Front cover image for Athenian democracy

Athenian democracy

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. -- Back cover
Print Book, English, ©2004
Oxford University Press, New York, ©2004
xiv, 358 pages : maps ; 24 cm
9780195221398, 9780195221404, 9780748616862, 9780748616879, 0195221397, 0195221400, 0748616861, 074861687X
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 Mosse; 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.