Polis and Oikos : The Art of Politics in the Greek City-State
Ojakangas, M. (2020). Polis and Oikos : The Art of Politics in the Greek City-State. European Legacy : Toward New Paradigms, 25(4), 404-420. https://doi.org/10.1080/10848770.2020.1721828
Published inEuropean Legacy : Toward New Paradigms
© 2020 Taylor & Francis
The Greek city-state has traditionally been viewed as an entity that was divided into two distinct spheres (oikos and polis) and governed by two distinct arts (oikonomia and politikê technê). The aim of this article is to show that this image of the Greek city-state is not very accurate. The relationship between the oikos and the polis was not exclusive in classical poleis. Particularly in Athens during the democratic period, the polis was depicted as a family writ large, and to the extent that oikos was seen as an entity of its own, it was a part of the polis, not excluded from or opposed to it. My aim is to show that the art of the household and the art of politics were not distinct arts as has been claimed in modern political theory. Furthermore, although the collapse of the classical city-state during the Hellenistic era entailed a privatization of the household, it was not until modern times, from the late eighteenth century onwards—when the concept of the natural right to life and property became firmly established in juridical and political discourses—that the private sphere attained genuine autonomy. ...
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