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Athenian Democracy

Edited by P. J. Rhodes

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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 meant 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 the 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 mob rule until the nineteenth century, the institutions of Athenian democracy have become an inspiration for modern democratic politics and political philosophy.

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Contents

Preface zz
Note to the Reader zz
Abbreviations zz
Maps zz

General Introduction 1

PART I POLITICAL INSTITUTIONS
Introduction to Part I
1 Athenian Citizenship: The Descent Group and the Alternatives
John K. Davies
2 How Did the Athenian Ecclesia Vote?
Mogens Herman Hansen
3 Aristotle, the Kleroteria and the Courts
Sterling Dow
4 Jury Pay and Assembly Pay at Athens
M. M. Markle
5 Capital Punishment
Louis Gernet

PART II POLITICAL ACTIVITY
6 Athenian Demagogues
M. I. Finley
7 Political Activity in Classical Athens
P. J. Rhodes
8 Competitive Festivals and the Polis: A Context for Dramatic Festivals at Athens
Robin Osborne

9 Public and Private Interests in Classical Athens
S. C. Humphreys

PART III MOMENTS IN HISTORY
10 Solon, 'Founding Father' of the Athenian Democracy
Claude Mossé
11 The Athenian Revolution of 508/7 BC: Violence, Authority and the Origins of Democracy
Josiah Ober

12 Cleisthenes and Attica
David M. Lewis
13 Ephialtes, Eisangelia and the Council
Raphael Sealey

PART IV A VIEW OF DEMOCRACY
14 The Greeks: The Political Revolution in World History
Christian Meier

Intellectual Chronology
Guide to Further Reading
Bibliography of works cited by Editor
Index.

About the Author

P. J. Rhodes is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Durham. His most recent books are The Decrees of the Greek States (with D. M. Lewis, 1997), Ancient Democracy and Modern Ideology (2003), and Greek Historical Inscriptions, 404–323 BC (with R. Osborne, 2003).

Reviews

Invaluable... This collection will give students a much better idea of how we know what we think we know about the Athenian democracy, and will stimulate productive debates about how to go about increasing our knowledge and understanding of its history and character.
- BMCR

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