The role of Xenophon as a witness of federalism, and of its clash with the city autonomies during the fourth century, has often been misunderstood. In fact, not only does the historian prove to be familiar with the events related to the federal states and their institutional bodies, but he also reveals deep sensibility in the use of the specific terminology of federalism, especially with respect to vocabulary expressing the opposition between federal sympoliteia and city politeia, and to significative themes in federal 'ideology', such as the sharing of rights and duties in equal realities. Despite being a man of the polis, Xenophon offers an adequate appreciation of the federal state and its potential, which reveals its alternative nature to cities and some of its historical limits: demographic and, consequently, military force; economic power; the tendency to unification connected to mutual exchange of rights. Far from displaying a polis-centered character, Xenophon's Hellenica provides a substantial contribution, second only to that of Polybius, to the understanding of Greek federalism and of the different aggregation phenomena that aimed at overcoming polis fragmentation.
|Translated title of the contribution||[Autom. eng. transl.] Federalism and autonomy in Xenophon's Hellenics|
|Publisher||Vita e Pensiero|
|Number of pages||168|
|Publication status||Published - 2004|