Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory

BOOKS | 2013

2 October 2013

Individuals and Society in Mycenaean Pylos

Dimitri Nakassis

Individuals and Society in Mycenaean Pylos

City: Leiden, Boston

Year: 2013

Publisher: Brill

Series: Mnemosyne Supplements 358

Description: Hardback, xvii & 448 p., 18 b/w figures, 42 tables, 24,2x15,8 cm


This book revises our understanding of Mycenaean society through a detailed analysis of individuals attested in the administrative texts from the Palace of Nestor at Pylos in southwestern Greece, ca. 1200 BC. It argues that conventional models of Mycenaean society, which focus on administrative titles and terms, can be improved through the study of named individuals. A new, methodologically innovative prosopography demonstrates that many named individuals were not only important managers of palatial affairs but also high-ranking members of the community. This work significantly broadens the elite class and suggests that the palace was less of an agent in its own right than an institutional framework for interactions amongst individuals and social groups.


List of Figures [ix]
List of Tables [xi]
Acknowledgements [xiii]
A Note on Mycenaean Names [xv]
Glossary and Abbreviations [xvii]

1. Paupers and Peasants and Princes and Kings [1]

1.1. Putting Mycenaeans in their Place [5]
1.2. From Roles to Individuals [19]
1.3. Rethinking Mycenaean Society: A Road Map [23]

2. From Proper Names to People Proper [29]

2.1. The Nature of Pylian Documentation [30]
2.2. Naming the Pylians [33]
2.3. Previous Approaches [40]
2.4. Identifying the Pylians [48]
2.5. Discussion and Conclusions [68]

3. Smiths and Herders [73]

3.1. The Smiths of Pylos [74]
3.2. The Herders of Pylos [102]
3.3. Conclusions [114]

4. Soldiers and Landowners [117]

4.1. The o-ka Tablets [117]
4.2. The Landholders of Pylos [124]
4.3. Individuals in the Fn Series [135]
4.4. Individuals in the Qa Series [139]
4.5. Individuals in the Mb and Mn Series [140]
4.6. Individuals in the Na and Nn Series [142]
4.7. Individuals in the Vn Series [143]
4.8. Individuals in the Ua, Ub, and Un Series [146]
4.9. Conclusions [148]

5. From Social Structure to Social Activity [153]

5.1. Individuals from Names [153]
5.2. The People of Pylos [156]
5.3. Ranking the Pylians [162]
5.4. Defining the Mycenaean Elite [165]
5.5. Individuals and the State [173]
5.6. Theorizing the Individual [176]
5.7. Individuals in History [179]
5.8. Rethinking Pylian Society [183]

Appendix: A Prosopography of Mycenaean Pylos [187]

Works Cited [415]
Index of Subjects [443]
Index of Sources [447]


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