Discovered one hundred years ago, Aristotle's Athenaion Politeia is invaluable to contemporary understanding of Athenian democracy. As a historical record, however, it has been found to be so unreliable that some have questioned its true authorship, and it has remained largely ignored by those studying philosophy and literature. Keaney uses a literary approach to reassert Aristotle's authorship and to present the Athenaion Politeia as a document that defies the constraints of any particular genre--probably never intended to be a piece of historical writing. He goes beyond the traditional approach of historical analysis to consider the work as characteristic of a new and innovative genre created by Aristotle, that of empirically-based cultural history.
"Throughout, Keaney's aim is to find evidence of a consistent thesis, reasoned presentation, and ideas congruous with Aristotelian principles. That he has found all these in abundance is the result of detailed and intricate inquiry into every aspect of narrative style, diction, structure, and methodology. The significance of the Athenaion Politeia has thereby been immeasurably increased."--Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"A most scholarly presentation and should be read by anyone interested in the constitution of the Athenians and the development of Greek literature. Keaney gives us a new genre and most original insight into the reliability of the Athenaion Politeia."--American Historical Review
"This is a demanding and challenging book."--The Classical Review
"Few have studied the Athenaion Politeia as profoundly as Keaney or can speak about it with such authority....This is an important book and advanced students of Athenaion Politeia will find it indispensable."--Ancient Philosophy
"...everyone who wants to see below the surface of the text of the AP will have this book, the fruit of many years of original and intensive reading, alongside the Greek text."--Gnomon