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Read comments on this review or add a comment on the BMCR blog. Nevertheless, for specialists working with more than one edition it would be helpful to know. It is presented in Italian, although the introduction, by Rhodes, was originally written in English.

The Italian translation is excellent in style, and intelligent, avoiding artificiality and forced translations of Greek terms that are better left untranslated.

Since we just own two large papyri and no manuscripts of the Aristotelian Athenaion Politeiathe apparatus criticus for the Greek text is usually rather spare—although some passages have more discussion, chiefly due to conjectures deriving from 19 th – and 20 th -century editions. Even if the Athenaion Politeia had not been written by Aristotle himself, but by one of his pupils or colleagues, it would still be one of our most important sources for the history of Athenian democracy.

Xenophon, Lysias, Diodorus who refer to the same events and facts as the Athenaion Politeiapointing out where and how they differ from the Aristotelian version.

Its first and longer part focuses on the history of political organization in Athens. The commentary mentions authors e.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review

The second section provides information atenieso the history of the text, including the discovery of the Berlin and London papyri, and the most important editions, starting with the editio princeps by Arostotele. It even mentions where these authors use different terms from those used in the Athenaion Politeia e. This makes the Athenaion Politeia indispensable for historians and literary scholars interested in Archaic and Classical Greece. Occasionally the commentary anticipates conclusions that would have been better left to the reader.


The commentary has under pages, while the outstanding English commentary by Rhodes, published by Oxford University Press inhas about three times more. XLV-XLVIbut this new one has the advantage of being bilingual, and relatively cheap, considering its academic quality. The following two sections introduce the structure and content of the Athenaion Politeia: There already exist several editions of the Athenaion Politeia some of them listed in this edition, pp. That may not be that fatal, precisely because the Athenaion Politeia has come down to us on just two papyri, of which one the Berlin papyrus contains just the first parts.

It would also be nice to know whether Rhodes worked with the same Greek text when he wrote his popular English edition, published by Penguin in At a time of new interest in Athenian politics, which has resulted in several conferences and workshops on Athenian constitutions — especially in Italy, where the last one, Athenaion Politeiai tra storia, politica e sociologiatook place in May in Cagliari — this Italian edition will surely find a ready market.

For specialists, the introduction will, in large part, rehearse familiar arguments, arriving at mostly sensible conclusions. The two remaining sections seek to explain the language and style of the Athenaion Politeiawhich differ from those of other genuine Aristotelian works, and discuss its dating allowing that it passed through various revisions and the form in which it began to circulate in antiquity.


The beginning of the commentary, detailing the socio-political circumstances of the period before the event with which the main body of the text begins, is especially well done cf.

Fondazione Lorenzo Valla, Mondadori It informs the reader about the events that led to the development of Athenian democracy, from its beginning degki the time of Solon through to its pinnacle and decline in the fifth century BC. The following paragraphs of the commentary contextualize the first words of our text, informing us about the Cylonian Affair mentioned in Herodotus 5.

Costituzione degli ateniesi

The second part shows in detail how the Athenian constitution worked in the fourth century BC. At some points, the commentators ought to have ka their opinions more cautiously, notably where they make inferences to the general from the particular, as happens on p.

But that does not mean that the Italian commentary partly done by Rhodes himself is lacking. Abstaining from too much detail in its analysis, it reliably covers the most important points, while avoiding over-generalization. The book comprises a thirty-page introduction, a bibliography that lists previous critical editions and commentaries in chronological order, the Greek text of the Athenaion Politeia with a facing Italian translation, some additional fragments that probably come from its lost sections, and a generally well-executed commentary on the text.

Bryn Mawr Classical Review There is no information costtiuzione how the text used here was established, or which text was used as basis for this edition.