This article approaches the study of Greek inscriptions of the Classical period and, in particular, of the Hellenistic age from a historical and anthropological perspective. Specifically, it seeks to identify - beyond individual cases and exceptions - patterns of behaviour and social practices deeply rooted in Greek society and of very long duration in Greek history. The key object of study here is what we shall call «proleptic honours». By this is meant honours granted by a polis to recompense benefactions that had yet to be carried out. The analysis of this custom and its origins helps shed light on some basic mechanisms of Greek euergetism and its structural and historical relationship with gift-exchange.
|Published - 2009
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