Athenian Democracy: A Sourcebook (Bloomsbury Sources in Ancient History)

Athenian Democracy: A Sourcebook (Bloomsbury Sources in Ancient History)

Luca Asmonti

Language: English

Pages: 264

ISBN: 1441113711

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This volume presents a wide range of literary and epigraphic sources on the history of the world's first democracy, offering a comprehensive survey of the key themes and principles of Athenian democratic culture. Beginning with the mythical origins of Athenian democracy under Theseus and describing the historical development of Athens' democratic institutions through Solon's reforms to the birth of democracy under Cleisthenes, the book addresses the wider cultural and social repercussions of the democratic system, concluding with a survey of Athenian democracy in the Hellenistic and Roman age. All sources are presented in translation with full annotation and commentary and each chapter opens with an introduction to provide background and direction for readers. Sources include material by Aristotle, Homer, Aristophanes, Herodotus, Thucydides, Cicero, Tacitus and many others. The volume also includes an Az of key terms, an annotated bibliography with suggestions for further reading in the primary sources as well as modern critical works on Athenian democracy, and a full index.

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(1977), Aristotle’s Political Theory: An Introduction for Students of Political Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press. Murray, O. (1993), ‘Polis and politeia in Aristotle’, in M. H. Hansen, ed., The Ancient Greek City-State: Symposium on the Occasion of the 250th Anniversary of the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, 1–4 July 1992, Copenhagen: Royal Danish Academy of Science and Letters, 197–210. Nagle D. B. (2006), The Household as the Foundation of Aristotle’s Polis, Cambridge:

quarrel over the possession of the country, Zeus parted them and appointed judges to solve the matter. These judges were not Cecrops and Cranaus, as some people have said, but the twelve gods, and their verdict was that the land should belong to Athena, because Cecrops himself had witnessed that she was the first to have planted the olive tree. So Athena called the city Athens after herself, and Poseidon, angry in his heart, flooded the Triasian plain and put Attica under water. Cecrops married

not appoint the archon for the same reason. After these events, the same period of time having elapsed, Damasias was elected archon and held the post for two years and two months, until he was removed from office by force. After this, owing to the civic strife, the Athenians decided to elect ten archons, five from the well-born, three from the farmers and two from the artisans. These held office for the year following Damasias’ archonship. It is clear from this that in those times the archonship

corrupting power of wealth and imperialism. The fact that the body of the Great Rhetra was left untouched for so long was an essential element to its perceived perfection. The image of the Spartan constitution was that of a monolith, the gift of an extraordinary man inspired in his work by the oracle of Delphi. In the light of its divine germination, the Rhetra could not be criticized or modified, but just obeyed and worshipped. The Great Rhetra appeared to be ideally shaped to the needs of a

hand, among the populace there is a maximum of ignorance, disorder and wickedness. For poverty drives them to commit disgraceful acts. Also, poverty causes some to be uncultured and ignorant. Some might say that they should not let everyone speak at the assembly on equal terms, or serve in the council, but only the best and most righteous men. But even in their letting the worst men address the assembly they are in fact acting very sensibly: for if the best men were to address the assembly and

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