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Greeks and Barbarians: The Genesis of Hellenic International Thought


Greeks and Barbarians: The Genesis of Hellenic International Thought

Arnopoulos, Paris (1999) Greeks and Barbarians: The Genesis of Hellenic International Thought. In: Exopolitics: polis, ethnos, cosmos : classical theories and praxis of foreign affairs. Nova Science, New York, NY. ISBN 1560726628

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The ancient Hellenic world was composed of more sovereign states than the contemporary one. Aristotle alone studied the constitutions of over150 city-states or poleis. As such it was a microcosm of a sociocultural system which existed within the Mediterranean geopolitical environment, much the same as the European society now exists within its global context.

It would therefore be instructive to know how the Greeks saw themselves in relation to other nations. Such holistic perspective gives an idea of the origins of classical international affairs theory. This article, part of a larger study of classical world theory, concentrates on the central aspect of Greek Weltanschauung that divided humanity into Greeks and Barbarians.

It is our thesis here that this primordial dichotomy served as the foundation of Hellenic international ideology. Moreover, we contend that such distinctions always color human reason and still persist in modern times. Although the analogy should not be carried too far, there are definite parallels between the classical and present worlds which the reader will recognize and appreciate.

In order to give the flavor of the times, this article is based on the world shaking events up to the Fifth century BC and the impact they had upon the great Greek thinkers of that era. The trauma of this critical period dominated international thought for almost two centuries until the final demise of the inter-state system. Nevertheless, during that period of upheaval, some progressive thinkers also developed the notion of a common humanity. Their cosmopolitan ideals therefore influenced international thinking through the millennia.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Political Science
Item Type:Book Section
Authors:Arnopoulos, Paris
ID Code:983158
Deposited By: Danielle Dennie
Deposited On:02 Nov 2017 18:14
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:56


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