Boiotian group identity in the late archaic and early classical periods
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This dissertation presents late-sixth and early fifth-century Boiotia as a case study in the construction and articulation of group identity in archaic and early classical Greece. Boiotia is a region well-suited for such consideration, for by the mid-fifth century three different types of community operated there simultaneously: ethnos, polis, and koinon. Analysis of these groups suggests that Boiotia was a crossroads of sorts, between north and south, between polis-dominated Attika and ethnosoriented Thessaly. My project builds on recent scholarship on Greek regionalism and is also informed by recent studies of Greek identities. I first challenge the traditional view of an archaic Boiotian military and political federation by reanalyzing the evidence normally adduced in such arguments. I propose instead that institutionalized political and military federalism became part of Boiotian identity only in the mid-fifth century after the Boiotian victory at Koroneia. In the following seven Chapters I offer a more nuanced definition of this group identity, suggesting that before Koroneia Boiotian selfidentification was premised upon economic needs and a perceived common culture. I examine use of ethnika from Boiotian and nonBoiotian literary texts and inscriptions, the genealogy of the eponymous Boiwtov", traditions of the Boiotian migration, and the significance of the "Boiotian" shield in archaic iconography. Together these sources suggest that the Boiwtoiv publicly connected themselves to epic tradition and specific heroes of the Trojan war while also claiming a tradition of migration and invasion from Thessaly. To one another they were a religious group concerned with Athena and Poseidon. This collective compares with other constructions of group identity in the late archaic period, e.g., Phokian. In the final chapter I discuss manifestations of Boiotian group identity in relation to the Phokians and Thessalians as evident in literature and myth.