Athenian Democracy / Edition 1

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Overview


Athens' democracy developed during the sixth and fifth centuries and continued into the fourth; Athens' defeat by Macedon in 322 began a series of alternations between democracy and oligarchy. The democracy was inseparably bound up with the ideals of liberty and equality, the rule of law, and the direct government of the people by the people. Liberty means above all freedom of speech, the right to be heard in the public assembly and the right to speak one's mind in private. Equality meant the equal right of male citizens (perhaps 60,000 in the fifth century, 30,000 in the fourth) to participate in the government of the state and the administration of the law. Disapproved of as a mob rule until the nineteenth century, the institutions of Athenian democracy have become an inspiration for modern democratic politics and political philosophy.

P. J. Rhodes's reader focuses on the political institutions, political activity, history, and nature of Athenian democracy and introduces some of the best British, American, German, and French scholarship on its origins, theory, and practice. Part I is devoted to political institutions: citizenship, the assembly, the law-courts, and capital punishment. Part II explores aspects of political activity: the demagogues and their relationship with the assembly, the maneuverings of the politicians, competitive festivals, and the separation of public from private life. Part III looks at three crucial points in the development of the democracy: the reforms of Solon, Cleisthenes, and Ephialtes. Part IV considers what it was in Greek life that led to the development of democracy. Some of the authors adopt broad-brush approaches to major questions; others analyze a particular body of evidence in detail. Use is made of archeology, comparison with other societies, the location of festivals in their civic context, and the need to penetrate behind what the classical Athenians made of their past.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195221404
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 6/3/2004
  • Series: Edinburgh Readings on the Ancient World
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 6.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

P. J. Rhodes is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Durham.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Note to the reader
Abbreviations
Maps
General introduction 1
Pt. I Political institutions
Introduction to part I 15
1 Athenian citizenship : the descent group and the alternatives 18
2 How did the Athenian Ecclesia vote? 40
3 Aristotle, the Kleroteria, and the courts 62
4 Jury pay and assembly pay at Athens 95
5 Capital punishment 132
Pt. II Political activity
Introduction to part II 161
6 Athenian demagogues 163
7 Political activity in classical Athens 185
8 Competitive festivals and the polis : a context for dramatic festivals at Athens 207
9 Public and private interests in classical Athens 225
Pt. III Moments in history
Introduction to part III 239
10 How a political myth takes shape : Solon, 'founding father' of the Athenian democracy 242
11 The Athenian Revolution of 508/7 B.C. : violence, authority, and the origins of democracy 260
12 Cleisthenes and Attica 287
13 Ephialtes, Eisangelia, and the council 310
Pt. IV A view of democracy
Introduction to part IV 327
14 The Greeks : the political revolution in world history 328
Intellectual chronology 349
Guide to further reading 350
Bibliography 352
Index 356
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