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Beiträge zur Alten Geschichte

Ed. by Clauss, Manfred / Funke, Peter / Gehrke, Hans-Joachim

Together with Brandt, Hartwin / Jehne, Martin

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Early History of Elis and Pisa: Invented or Evolving Traditions?

Mait Kõiv
Published Online: 2016-01-01 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/klio.2013.95.2.315


The article discusses the development of ethnic and political identities, and the related traditions concerning the past, in Archaic and Classical Elis and Pisa. It shows that the earliest signs of Pisatan identity can be traced to the sixth century BC, and that the Eleans of the valley of Peneios on the one hand, and the people dwelling in the valley of Alpheios (i.e. the Pisatans) and the so-called Triphylia farther south on the other, nourished distinct traditions about their heroic past, which reflect distinct ethnic identities. Instead of assuming that the Pisatans as a group was intentionally constructed and its ‚history‘ invented during the political disturbances of the fourth century BC, we must accept that the Eleans and the Pisatans had since an early period developed and mutually re-negotiated the traditions confirming their identities and promoting their interests in the changing historical conditions.

Keywords: Archaik; Peloponnes; historische Tradition; Elis; Pisa; Olympia

Published Online: 2016-01-01

Published in Print: 2013-12-01

Citation Information: Klio. Volume 95, Issue 2, Pages 315–368, ISSN (Online) 2192-7669, ISSN (Print) 0075-6334, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1524/klio.2013.95.2.315, January 2016

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