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'Benefactors and the Polis' by Marc Domingo Gyax

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Published Date

April 15, 2021

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Marc Domingo Gygax is Director of the Program in the Ancient World and Professor of Classics. His new book “Benefactors and the Polis: The Public Gift in the Greek Cities from the Homeric World to Late Antiquity” was co-edited by Arjan Zuiderhoek (Universiteit Gent) and published by Cambridge University Press in December 2020. In this interview, Professor Gygax talks about his research into public gifts in Greek cities. 

How did you get the idea for this project?

The idea came from a conversation with Professor Peter Garnsey of Cambridge University. When Garnsey visited Princeton to give a lecture, he asked about my research on public gifts in ancient Greece and told me that Arjan Zuiderhoek at Ghent University was working on similar questions. Later, Garnsey put the two of us in touch, and we realized that our investigations were complementary: while I was studying the origins of the phenomenon—which specialists call ‘euergetism’—Zuiderhoek was focusing on its later manifestations in the Roman period. We therefore decided to combine forces to produce a volume that would offer the first survey of elite donations to Greek communities from the Homeric world to Late Antiquity.

Read the full interview here.