The Athenian Piraeus and Its Inhabitants
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The Athenian Piraeus and Its Inhabitants
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Valerya Lanskaya 
Affiliation: Institute of World history RAS
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The Athenian polis had two city centers: Athens, the old capital and the administrative and cultural center of Attica, and Piraeus, the new port town. On the one hand, Piraeus was only a part of the Athenian polis, but on the other hand, the status of a port town created its exceptional position within the polis and determined the peculiar composition of its inhabitants, as well as its cultural image. The author comes to the conclusion that Piraeus was a place where some processes happened, which were not typical for a classical Greek polis: 1) The economy of the polis was based on agriculture, while the Piraean economy was based on craft and trading; 2) The free population of Piraeus was comprised of aboriginal inhabitants, citizens who had migrated from other demes of Attica, and metics; the number of people living in Piraeus was increased by the numerous guests who came there for short periods of time for their trading business. All those groups of the Piraean population cooperated with one another and made business contacts, but the “world of the emporium” was never completely integrated into the Athenian polis, which preserved the traditional system of values antithetical to the principles of gain. The population of Piraeus was only partially comprised of citizens, the great part of free people living there had the status of metics; and the citizens engaged in maritime commerce retained the self-sentiment of foreignness in their own polis; 3) Piraeus was a place of foreign cults’ concentration.

ancient Greece, Piraeus, economy, harbour, social structure, metics
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