circle, as in the winds of a typhoon. On the one side, we see the ritual that produces a centrality by means of a circular movement. On the other, we see a ritual that affirms a postulated centrality, with a straight and vertical line that, to remain in the wind analogy, could be compared to the image of a tornado. Thinking in the "obscure center", one can affirm that the two ways to describe the determinants of the system are "extreme cases", both modes of relation, which are themselves in a "relation of relations". The centrality in the Kula circle results from the movement of desire in the circle itself, and is attested from the fact of appearing, as a block, in the structure of values that operate in the remainder of the Trobriand economic architecture – including the Kula. The Greek obeloi model (Chapter 5) has different figures, but a similar structure. Contrary to the Trobriand, a society based on clans that remain relatively isolated in the islands throughout the year, the Greek society, in the period where coined metal money appears, is based on city-states. This was the political structure over which the Lydian kings held power. Thus the cattle sacrificing ceremonies contained, on the one hand, the egalitarian distribution of meat, operated from top to bottom, i.e., from priests to the people (in parallel to reserving a significant portion of the animal for holocaust in the temple). The spits, distributed among the populace, are identical. As Seaford reports, people kept them to serve later as units of account and, by extension, currency – in the sense of the horizontal axis, instrumental money. From this angle, the agonistic establishment of equivalence, in the sense of the gift disputes in the system of the Kula, is not immediately visible. Yet one must also take into account that, within this Greece that is divided among nation-states, the constitution of the Lydian money, minted from the electrum alloy, served as a means to pay for mercenaries, as Grierson points out, thus guaranteeing the city-state's position in the concert of the other cities, each with its own king who sought to keep and expand their powers – it was also a particular moment in that the neighboring Persian empire expanded and threatened the whole system of cities. This aspect adds a few dimensions to the problem, the first being the fact that the totality enunciated through the ritual of sacrifice and distribution of meat is not limited to the singular city-state, but regards the whole system of Greek city-states. When the ritual is performed, from the political point of view (and, with it, the diplomatic and religious ones), the priests of the city-state inscribe it in a totality formed by the Greek ethnic, religious, political and military space, in the absence of an Imperial totality.
You've reached the end of your free preview.
Want to read all 20 pages?
- Fall '19
- Sociology, Simmel