Geltungskonkurrenz zwischen Praktiken des Prestigeerwerbs als Problem des archaischen ‚Adels‘

Meister, Jan B. (2020). Geltungskonkurrenz zwischen Praktiken des Prestigeerwerbs als Problem des archaischen ‚Adels‘. In: Meister, Jan B.; Seelentag, Gunnar (eds.) Konkurrenz und Institutionalisierung in der griechischen Archaik (pp. 39-60). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag

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Archaic elites were in constant competition for prestige and social prominence. However, if we apply Georg Simmel’s model of competition, it emerges that the personae we can observe in Archaic texts are not competing on one and the same level. Competition revolves not so much around social prominence per se but rather around the validity of various criteria for social prominence. The historical background of this phenomenon is a plurality of different fields of competition, all of which could potentially enhance the prestige of individual actors. This variety produced a ‘nobility’ for which there was a multitude of ‘ennobling’ criteria. These various fields of competition – most prominently the polis and the ‘Panhellenic’ games – subsequently underwent a process of institutionalisation. By the end of the Archaic period, institutionalisation had changed the nature of elite competition: on the one hand, institutionalisation guarantied the existence of several relatively autonomous, established fields of competition for social prominence; on the other, it made it more difficult to question the validity of these criteria for prominence.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of History > Ancient History and Reception History of the Ancient World

UniBE Contributor:

Meister, Jan Bernhard


900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)




Franz Steiner Verlag






Jan Bernhard Meister

Date Deposited:

25 Feb 2021 11:43

Last Modified:

25 Feb 2021 11:43

Additional Information:

978-3-515-12510-9 (E-Book)

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Adel, Archaisches Griechenland, Konkurrenz, Georg Simmel, Institutionalisierung




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