Vol. 21 (2023)

Affective states and emotional spaces: Memory, identity, and urban space

Giuseppina Paola Viscardi
University of Bologna

Published 2024-01-31


  • Classical Athens,
  • cultural memory,
  • discourse and identity,
  • urban space,
  • corrupting connectivity


At the beginning of the fifth century BC, as a result of the enlargement of the fleet and the consequent growth of the social base following the enactment of Naval Law by Themistocles (482/1 BC), the entire coastal area of Piraeus began to become recognized as the centre of maritime power and the cultural medium of democratic values as opposed to the oligarchic pressures of the landed aristocracy. In Plato’s political view, Themistocles’ policy of social basis enlargement had undermined the cohesion and stability of the city-state which was founded on the concept of κοινωνία. By these premises, we aim to discuss the ideological representation of the classical polis in the Platonic discourse which, through an emotional lens, draws the portrait of a city culturally divided between τὸ θυμοειδές and τὸ φιλομαθές, highlighting the dangers of a corrupting connectivity of which the port of Piraeus embodies a symbol of intense emotional significance.