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Athenian Political Art from the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BCE: Images of Political Personifications 

Amy C. Smith, edition of January 18 2003

page 18 of 26

· Homonoia (Concord) ·


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Aristotle (Aristot. Ath. Pol.).
Demosthenes (Dem. 18).
Demosthenes (Dem. 20).
Isocrates (Isoc. 8).
Lysias (Lys. 18).
Plato (Plat. Alc.).
Thucydides (Thuc.).
Plot on a Map

Discussion: Homonoia ( ὁμόνοια) concord, was much discussed by the fifth-century sophists and other pre-Socratic thinkers, generally in political contexts (see, e.g., Antiphon, “On Concord,” in DK, 87 B 44a; Aristot. Ath. Pol. 40.3; Dem. 18.164, 20.12; Gorgias, “On Concord,” in DK, 82 B 8a; Isoc. 8.13, 217; Lys. 18.17; Plat. Alc. 126c; Thuc. 8.75, 93). Homonoia was the international equivalent of philia, a bond that could bring together otherwise unrelated or unallied groups of individuals; accordingly at the end of the Peloponnesian War the Greeks aimed for homonoia, to which they swore allegiance after the Battle of Aigospotami (405). Although there are no extant Attic representations of Homonoia, she was probably personified in Classical Athens, as was Philia, given her popularity in literature, and her later appearances in non Attic art.

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Demosthenes (Dem. 25).
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Apulia (in text as “Apulian”).

Homonoia is represented and labelled on a fragmentary Apulian pelike, in Malibu 87.AE.23, attributed to the workshop of the Darius Painter (340-330) (shown here). It is interesting to note also that the antonyms of Philia and Homonoia, neikos and stasis, hatred and faction, respectively, are two of the four otherwise unattested “personifications” cited by Pseudo-Demosthenes as “companions whom painters couple with the damned souls in hell” (Ps.-Dem. 25.52).

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page 18 of 26