Architectonics

Murphy, Peter (2001) Architectonics. In: Arnason, Johann P., and Murphy, Peter, (eds.) Agon, Logos, Polis: the Greek achievement and its aftermath. Franz Steiner Verlag Stuttgart, pp. 207-232.

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Abstract

[Extract] Hippodamos was the first utopian - the first person not actually taking part in the workings of a constitution to attempt some description of the ideal one. [1] That at least was Aristotle's reckoning - and we have no reason to doubt his judgement. Hailing from the port-city of Miletus, [2] Hippodamos was invited to provide an urban plan for Athens' port, Piraeus. He laid-out the entrepôt in the fashion of a grid. The design was not his invention. It had precedents amongst earlier Ionian Greek cities. Miletians had employed the grid-schema in their creation of colonial cities and in the rebuilding of Miletus after its sack by the Persians. What was revolutionary though, in Hippodamos' case, was to suppose that such a schema belonged to no place, to no where (u-topia) in particular - neither to Ionia nor to Attica. While the Persian conquest presented the Ionian Greeks with the necessity of systematically rebuilding broken cities, and while Ionian colonials took with them recreatable patterns of urbanity to new and distant places, Athens' acquisition-by-invitation of the grid-schema was unusual. It presumed to order space, providing a eu-topia, but without reference to a place-specific Nomos. It turned the Greek idea of eu-topia (the beautiful-good place) into the idea of u-topia (the no place).

Item ID: 23411
Item Type: Book Chapter (Research - B1)
ISBN: 978-3-515-07747-7
Date Deposited: 22 Jan 2013 04:50
FoR Codes: 20 LANGUAGE, COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE > 2002 Cultural Studies > 200204 Cultural Theory @ 50%
16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1608 Sociology > 160806 Social Theory @ 50%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970119 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of the Creative Arts and Writing @ 50%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950407 Social Ethics @ 50%
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