Whatever aspect of Athenian culture one examines, whether it be tragedy and comedy, philosophy, vase painting and sculpture, oratory and rhetoric, law and politics, or social and economic life, the picture looks very different after 400 BC from before 400 BC. Scholars who have previously addressed this question have concentrated on particular areas and come up with explanations, often connected with the psychological effect of the Peloponnesian War, which are very unconvincing as explanations for the whole range of change. This book attempts to look at a wide range of evidence for cultural change at Athens and to examine the ways in which the changes may have been coordinated. It is a complement to the examination of the rhetoric of revolution as applied to ancient Greece in Rethinking Revolutions through Ancient Greece (Cambridge, 2006).
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