Archive for December 2006

Modern historians about Macedonia – Victor Ehrenberg

December 31, 2006

Quotes from the book “The Greek State” by Victor Ehrenberg
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The king of the Macedonians was now a member of the Synhedrion, whose decrees had to be expressly ratified by the individual states. These Hellenistic Leagues, directed by Macedon, rounded off a process of which the general unity is unmistakable, quite apart from all that was conditioned by the time and the special circumstances of each case.

“The Greek State” by Victor Ehrenberg, p120

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For the Greeks of the third century B.C., it is true, the Hellenistic world was only an extension of the earlier Greek world; that in itself is perhaps sufficient justification for including the present discussions under the one general title. There is more to add. It was Greeks who most strongly determined the general spirit and the cultural form of the Hellenistic age. It was the Greek spirit which, nourished and merged in the stream of Greek evolution, took over the local influences

“The Greek State” by Victor Ehrenberg, p135

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Alexander and the Macedonians carried Greek civilization into the East. It is, I believe, a historical fact that a command was issued by the king to the Greek states to worship him as a god; with this the monarchy took a new form, which went far beyond the Macedonian or Persian model, and which was destined to have immense importance in world history. How far Alexander deliberately tried to Hellenize the East remains uncertain; but the outcome certainly was that he opened up the world to a Greek

“The Greek State” by Victor Ehrenberg, p139

Modern historians about Macedonia – Chester G. Starr

December 31, 2006

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..the full dimensions of the next great phase of Greek civilization did no tgeneraly become apparent until the generation of Alexander. then came the conquest of the Persian empire and the establishment of great Greco-Macedonian monarchies over most of the Near East.

‘A History of the Ancient World’ By Chester G. Starr, page 391

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During the syrian war Ptolemy IV turned in desperation to native Egyptians and trained them in the Greek Fashion(217 B.C)

‘A History of the Ancient World’ By Chester G. Starr, page 391

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In military and political respects the Hellenistic world was administered in a Greek manner, though under the control of absolute monarchs.

‘A History of the Ancient World’ By Chester G. Starr, page 391

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The religius complex of Karnak is perhaps the most extensive ever created in the western world, and additions were still made to it in the days of Greek rule after Alexander

‘A History of the Ancient World’ By Chester G. Starr, page 92

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But even in Cyprus, where Greek-speaking peoples had secured a foothold at the end of the Mycenean era

‘A History of the Ancient World’ By Chester G. Starr, page 216

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In a broader view, Alexander’s meteoric conquests were an explosion of the Greek world.Earlier in the fourth century, Persia had appeared strong and Hellas weak; but this situation, born of Greek disunit, had actuall been the reverse of reality, Once Philip had forcibly drawn the Greeks together, his son could move swiftly.

‘A History of the Ancient World’ By Chester G. Starr, page 394

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The backbone was composed of the Macedonians who fought the battles but Alexander had also Greek contingents from the League of Corinth, who were employed in garrisons and as line-of-communications troops, and also important bands of mercenary Cretan archers and other light-armed troops. A regular staff, secretaries, scientists, and philosophers accompanied the king

‘A History of the Ancient World’ By Chester G. Starr, page 397

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Immediately thereafter he [Alexander] moved to Troy, where he offered libations to the Greek heroes of epic legend and took a sacred shiled which had traditionally been dedicated by the Greeks;[/

‘A History of the Ancient World’ By Chester G. Starr, page 397

Modern historians about Macedonia – Fergus Millar

December 31, 2006

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“Hadrian… also founded a temple of `Zeus Panhellenios’, and established Panhellenic games and an annual Panhellenic assembly of deputies from ALL THE CITIES OF GREECE and all those outside which could prove their foundation FROM GREECE;…The importance attached to Hadrian’s institution is best illustrated by an early third-century inscription from THESSALONICA honouring a local magnate, T.Aelius Geminius Macedo [i.e., the Macedonian], who had not only held magistracies and provided timber for a basilica in his own city, and been Imperial `curator’ of Apollonia, but had been archon of the PANHELLENIC congress in Athens, priest of the deified Hadrian and president of the eighteenth PANHELLENIC Games (199/200); the inscription mentions proudly that he was the first `archon’ of the Panhellenic Congress from the city of Thessalonica. That was one side of the picture, the development of Greek civilization and the CONSCIOUS CELEBRATION OF ITS UNITY AND PROSPERITY. In the native populations of the East it produced mixed feelings, nowhere better exemplified than the conversation of three Rabbis of the second century,…”

<Fergus Millar, “The Roman Empire and its Neighbours,” 2nd ed. (London: Duckworth, 1981), pp.205-206>

Modern historians about Macedonia – George Cawkwell

December 31, 2006

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The Macedonians were Greeks. Their language was Greek, to judge by their personal names and by the names of the months of the calendar; Macedonian ambassadors could appear before the Athenian assembly without needing interpreters; in all Demosthenes’ sneers about their civilization there is no hint that Macedonians spoke other than Greek. But it was a distinct dialect not readily intelligible to other Greeks;
linguistically as geographically, Macedonia was remote from the main stream of Greek life. King Alexander ‘the Philhellene’ had been allowed to compete in the Olympic Games only after his claim to being Greek had
been fortified by the claim that the Macedonian ruling house had originated in Argos in the Peloponnese, which really conceded that those who sneered at Macedonia as ‘barbarian’ were right. The sneers went on.
The sophist Thrasymachus at the end of the fifth century referred even to king Archelaus as a ‘barbarian.’ Isocrates in the fourth no less than Demosthenes spoke of the Macedonians as ‘barbarians.’ The truth was that Macedon was as culturally backward as it was liguistically remote, and even the exact Thucydides classed it as ‘barbarian.’* Archelaus began to change all this and to make clear the Greeknes of his country. It was
under him that the city of Pella began to be not only the ‘greatest city in Macedonia’ but also a show-place which Greeks desired to visit, a centre of Greek culture. Archelaus was a generous patron of the arts,
and the leading literary figures of the age were happy to reside at his court. Euripides spent his last years in Macedon, and wrote there the Bacchae and the Archelaus. At Dium in the foothills of Mount Olympus a
Macedonian Olympic Festival was instituted which included a drama competition. There must have been as appreciateive audience. Under Archelaus, Macedon had ceased to be a cultural backwater.”

George Cawkwell’s (Fellow of the University College, Oxford)
“Philip of Macedon,” Faber & Faber, London, 1978, pp. 22-3:

Modern historians about Macedonia – Anthony E. David

December 31, 2006

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The history of ancient Egyptian civilisation covers a period from c.3100 BC to the conquest of the country by Alexander the Great in 332 BC. Before the Dynastic Period (beginning c.3100 BC), the communities laid the foundations for the later great advances in technological, political, religious and artistic developments; this is generally referred to as the Predynastic Period (c.5000-3100 BC). After *Alexander the Great conquered Egypt in 332 BC, the country was ruled by a line of Macedonian Greeks who descended from *Alexander’s general, Ptolemy (who became *Ptolemy I). The last of this dynasty, *Cleopatra VII, failed to prevent the absorption of Egypt into the Roman Empire in 30 BC, and subsequently Egypt was ruled by Rome as a province

Anthony E. David ‘A Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt’

Last Updated ( Saturday, 25 November 2006 )

Modern historians about Macedonia – J. E. G. Whitehorne

December 31, 2006

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Perdiccas II was one of five sons of Alexander I, the king who had first proved the hellenic bona fides of the Argead House to the game marshals at Olympia. Despite a sunsequent blot upon his record as a good Greek when he failed to join in immediate pursuit of the defeated persians as they withdrew through his territories i 479/9 BC

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Out of the rich spoils of his victory over them he was able to dedicate solid godl statues of himself at the major Greek shrines of Delphi and Olympia

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The inherent value of these splendid monuments (incidentally the earliest know portait statues of a Greek ruler) has ensure they have long since dissapeared, but their dedication was enough to secure Alexander’s hellenic status for all time.

“Cleopatras” By J. E. G. Whitehorne page 15

Modern historians about Macedonia – M. E. Thalheimer

December 31, 2006

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In 334 B.C. Alexander with his 35,000 Greeks crossed the strait which had been passed by Xerxes, with his five millions, less than 150 years before. The Greek army was scarcely more inferior to the Persian in number than superior in efficiency. It was composed of veteran troops in the highest possible state of equipment and discipline, and every man was filled with enthusiastic devotion to his leader and confidence of success.

“A manual of ancient history” By M. E. Thalheimer, 1872, page 99

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With fresh reinforcements from Greece, he [Alexander] commenced his second campaign, in the spring of 333, by marching through Cappadocia and Cilicia to the gates of Syria.

“A manual of ancient history” By M. E. Thalheimer, page 100

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Alexander was compelled to turn back. His fleet was now ready, and he descended the Hydaspes to the Indus, in the autumn and winter of 327 B. C. His army marched in two columns along the banks, the entire valley submitting with little resistance. Two more cities were founded, and left with Greek garrisons and governors.

“A manual of ancient history” By M. E. Thalheimer, page 205

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The Greek language and literature were planted every-where: every new exploration added to the treasures of science and the enlightenment of the human race.

“A manual of ancient history” By M. E. Thalheimer, page 206

Modern historians about Macedonia – Eugene Borza

December 31, 2006

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During medieval and modem times, Macedonia was known as a Balkan region inhabited by ethnic Greeks, Albanians, Vlachs, Serbs, Bulgarians, Jews, and Turks.

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The emergence of a Macedonian nationality is an offshoot of the joint Macedonian and Bulgarian struggle against Hellenization. With the establishment of an independent Bulgarian state and church in the 1870s, however, the conflict took a new turn. Until this time the distinction between “Macedonian” and “Bulgarian” hardly existed beyond the dialect differences between standard “eastern” Bulgarian and that spoken in the region of Macedonia.

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Modern Slavs, both Bulgarians and Macedonians, cannot establish a link with antiquity, as the Slavs entered the Balkans centuries after the demise of the ancient Macedonian kingdom. Only the most radical Slavic factions—mostly émi-grés in the United States, Canada, and Australia—even attempt to establish a connection to antiquity.

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…the Macedonians are a newly emergent people in search of a past to help legitimize their precarious present as they attempt to establish their singular identity in a Slavic world dominated historically by Serbs and Bulgarians.

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The twentieth-century development of a Macedonian ethnicity, and its recent evolution into independent statehood following the collapse of the Yugoslav state in 1991, has followed a rocky road. In order to survive the vicissitudes of Balkan history and politics, the Macedonians, who have had no history, need one. They reside in a territory once part of a famous ancient kingdom, which has borne the Macedonian name as a region ever since and was called ”Macedonia” for nearly half a century as part of Yugoslavia. And they speak a language now recognized by most linguists outside Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece as a south Slavic language separate from Slovenian, Serbo-Croatian, and Bulgarian. Their own so-called Macedonian ethnicity had evolved for more than a century, and thus it seemed natural and appropriate for them to call the new nation “Macedonia” and to attempt to provide some cultural references to bolster ethnic survival.

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It is difficult to know whether an independent Macedonian state would have come into existence had Tito not recognized and supported the development of Macedonian ethnicity as part of his ethnically organized Yugoslavia. He did this as a counter to Bulgaria, which for centuries had a historical claim on the area as far west as Lake Ohrid and the present border of Albania.

“Macedonia Redux”, Eugene N. Borza, The Eye Expanded: Life and the Arts in Greco-Roman Antiquity, Frances B. Titchener and Richard F. Moorton, Jr., editors

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Only recently have we begun to clarify these muddy waters by
revealing the Demosthenean corpus for what it is: oratory designed to sway public opinion and thereby to formulate public policy. That elusive creature, Truth, is everywhere subordinate to Rhetoric; Demosthenes’ pronouncements are no more the true history of the period than are the public statements of politicians in any age.

[E.Borza, “On the shadows of Olympus…” pages 5-6]

This larger Macedon included lands from the crest of the Pindus range to the plain of Philippi and the Nestos River. Its northern border lay along a line formed by Pelagonia, the middle Axios valley and the western Rhodopi massif. Its southern border was the Haliac- mon basin, the Olympus range and the Aegean, with the Chalcidic peninsula as peripheral… We thus have a conception of Macedonia both more and less extensive than Hammonds’s -less in that IT REDUCES EMPHASIS ON THE north western LANDS that lie today WITHIN THE YUGOSLAV STATE, but more in that it takes into greater account the territory east of the Axios. It is a definition BASED on the political DEVELOPMENT of the MACEDONIAN STATE OVER A LONG PERIOD OF TIME,…”

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), pp.29-31 >

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The macedonians themselves may have originated from the same population pool that produced other Greek peoples.

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), page 84

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but that the argive context is mythic, perhaps a bit of fifth-century BC propaganda.

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990) page 80

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There is NO reason to deny the Macedonians’ own tradition about their early kings and the migrations of the Makedones.

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The basic story as provided by Herodotus and Thucydides minus the interpolation of the Temenid connection, UNDOUBTEDLY reflects the Macedonians’ own traditions about their early history

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990) Page 84

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The memory of these early times may be preserved in a fragment of Hesiod; ” From the warloving king Hellen sprang Dorus and Xouthous [father of Ion] and Aeolus who took delight in horses”. Speakers of these various Greek dialects settled different parts of Greece at different times during the Middle Bronze Age, with one group, the “northwest” Greeks, developing their own dialect and peopling central Epirus. This was the origin of Molossian or Epirotic tribes.

“In the shadow of Olympus..” By Eugene Borza, page. 62

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the western greek people (with affinities to the Epirotic tribes) in Orestis, Lyncus , and parts of Pelagonia;”

“In the shadow of Olympus..” By Eugene Borza, page 74

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The wester mountains were peopled by the Molossians (the western Greeks of Epirus)

“In the shadow of Olympus..” By Eugene Borza, page 98

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Whether it was a rude patois that was the dialect of farmers and hillsmen or a style of speaking (like “Laconic”) is impossible to know from this scant, late evidence. In any case we cannot tell if it was Greek.

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990) page 92

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It is only to say that there is an insufficient sample of words to show exactly what the macedonian language was. It must also be emphasized that this is not to say that it was not Greek; It is only to suggest that, from the linguists’ point of view, it is as yet impossible to know

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990)page 93

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although the thracians continued to produce coins well into the 470s and 460s and although they ADOPTED some of Alexander’s innovations (such as inscriptions in Greek), the obverse designs of their issues never achieved the quality of workmanship of their macedonian counterparts. They remain “Thracian” in style, whereas the Macedonian coinage is SIMILAR in its execution to the coins of the Greek world.

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990), pp.129 >\

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The argead Macedonians were now in contact with some of the macedonians of the western mountains, who were FORCED to accept a vassalage with which they never were comfortable. It is clear that these tribes retained their own royal houses and considerable local autonomy…..But for at least the next century and a half, the links between lower and upper Macedonians were tenuous at best.

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990) page 124

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Despite the fact that Thucydides (2.99.3.6) could now call the whole area “Macedonia” the Argeads were NOT able to integrate their highland kinsmen into the kingdom until the reign of Philip II, and even then with only mixed success.

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990) page 124

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Whatever the case, there is insufficient information to know whether the army of Alexander I, who was the first king tentively to ATTEMPT an unification fo the Macedonians

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990) page 126

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it becomes clear that the Argeadae were notoriously quarrelsome, and that any unity that the Macedonian kingdom might posses would have to depend upon the strenght that could be excercised from the throne.

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990) page 135

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Philip managed to incorporate the cantons of western macedonia into the greater Macedonians kingdom on a permanent basis. These mountainous regions had been virtually independent – and OFTEN HOSTILE – until Philip’s reign, and it was among his first necessities to stabilize the frontier.

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990) page 135

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As for the rivalries among Macedonian families, these are unclear until the time of Philip II, and even here most of the evidence points to a hostility between the houses of western Macedonia and the Argeadae.

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990) page 237

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Their daughter, who would be the half-sister of Alexander the Great and, later the wife of Cassander, was appropriately named Thessalonike, to commemorate Philip’s victory in Thessaly. In 315 Cassander founded at or near the site of ancient Therme the great city that still bears her name.

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990) page 220

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It is difficult to imagine that Philip’s policy toward Greece was an end in itself. Once his Balkan borders had been secured his general course seems to have been directed toward the establishment of stability in Greece, NOT CONQUEST.

<E.N.Borza, “On the Shadows of Olympus” (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1990) page 230

Modern historians about Macedonia – Richard Stoneman

December 29, 2006

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The world he [Alexander] left behind him, split as it quickly was between several successor-kings, retained the Greek language as its medium of communication and Greek culture as its frame of reference.

“Alexander the Great” By Richard Stoneman, page 1

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When, as a young, ambitious and romantic youth with a genius for military strategy and tactics, he embarked on the conquest of the Persian empire, he may have had no more in mid than the setting to rights of the perceived age-old wrong inflicted by the Persians on the Greeks

“Alexander the Great” By Richard Stoneman, page 2

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“‘In favour of the Greek identity of the Macedonians is what we know of their language: the place-names, names of the months and many of the personal names, especially royal names, which are Greek in roots and form.’ This suggests that they did not merely use Greek as a lingua franca, but spoke it as natives (though with a local accent which turned Philip into Bilip, for example). The Macedonians’ own traditions derived their royal house from one Argeas, son of Macedon, son of Zeus, and asserted that a new dynasty, the Temenids, had its origin in the sixth century from emigrants from Argos in Greece, the first of these kings being Perdiccas. This tradition became a most important part of the cultural identity of Macedon. It enabled Alexander I (d.452) to compete at the Olympic Games (which only true Hellenes were allowed to do); and it was embedded in the policy of Archelaus (d.399) who invited Euripides from Athens to his court, where Euripides wrote not only the Bacchae but also a lost play called Archelaus. (Socrates was also invited, but declined.)”

“Alexander the Great” By Richard Stoneman, page 14

Modern historians about Macedonia – Jonathan M. Hall

December 29, 2006

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That the origin of this new population should be the supposed Dorian of northwest Greece seemed to be confirmed by the early appearance of cist
graves at Kalbaki in Epeiros, Kozani, Vergina and Khaukhitsa in Makedonia.

Jonathan M. Hall, “Ethnic identity in Greek antiquity”

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“The Dorians have also, however, been credited with the introduction of ‘Protogeometric’ pottery, popular throughout Greece in the tenth century BC.
Its linear decoration and preference for tauter shapes seemed to present a clear contrast with LHIIIC vessels, and Theodore Skeat argued that it was
possible to trace its origin and diffusion through a stylistic analysis, particularly of the characteristic concentric circle motif. Skeat argued for an early appearance of this motif in Thessaly and Makedonia, from where it was diffused southwards, and attributed its passage to the series of
migrations which brought the Dorians to the Peloponnese.”

Jonathan M. Hall, “Ethnic identity in Greek antiquity”, Cambridge University
Press, 1998


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