Griechische Sozialgeschichte. Von der Mykenischen bis zum Ausgang der klassischen Zeit.
Steiner Verlag, Wiesbaden, 1981. VII,189p. Paperback. Name and date on half title. Nice copy. ‘Changes in the University curricula reflect themselves in an increasing need for short introductions in the main subject of modern historical interests. G. has written a sympathetic book on the archaic and classical Greek social history. In his introduction he defines, without resorting to modern sociological jargon, social history as a discipline which above all should describe the social structure of society, i.e. the various social strata within in. (…) The reader finds nothing about spectacular subjects like women, youth, leisure-time, sports, the gymnasium, and hardly anything at all about education. G. (p.7) prefers the concept of ‘Stand’ to that of ‘Klasse’, thereby following (…) the Weber-Finley line against the Marxists à la de SteCroix. Both groups agree on the large amount of exploitation of the poor by the rich but the former deny the appropriateness of the class-concept, solely based on material wealth, and of the class-struggle. G.’s first two chapters are devoted to Mycenaean and Homeric society respectively. They give a clear and succinct picture of the social structure. The paragraph on the various forms of Mycenaean landholding is especially illuminating. (…) In his chapter on archaic Greece (…) G. gives a very sensible survey of the main factors which contributed to changes in archaic society. Perhaps he somewhat overemphasizes the importance of commerce when he argues that in cities like Aigina, Megara and Corinth, commerce and crafts were the most importance source of wealth and that nouveaux riches were predominantly commercial ‘riches’. (…) G. gives an excellent survey of the main constitutional and juridical developments in the archaic age and of Solon’s reforms. (…) On G.’s rosy view of Solon it becomes hard to understand why eventually tyranny became successful in Attica. (…) G. defends the theory that in the course of the archaic period the socio-economic differences between the income-groups became less sharp and more ‘ausgeglichen’. (…) As to the 4th century B.C. in Athens G. (…) preaches the orthodox message of social polarization both in and outside Athens and of the lasting influence of the destructive forces of the Peloponnesian war in the Athenian country-side. However, G. fails to refer to recent studies which have undermined the theory about a 4th century B.C. crisis. (…) G. has excellent discussions on the adaptation to the old ‘Adelsethik’ to the need of the polis (pp.126-132), on the social policy of democracy (pp.138-144) and on the composition of the Athenian elite (pp.149-160).’ (H.W. PLEKET in Mnemosyne, 1984, pp.235-38).