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The Threshold of Democracy re-creates the intellectual dynamics of one of the most formative periods in Western history. In the wake of Athenian military defeat and rebellion, advocates of democracy have reopened the Assembly, but stability remains elusive. As members of the Assembly, players must contend with divisive issues like citizenship, elections, remilitarization, and dissent. Foremost among the troublemakers: Socrates.
Ancient Greek literature, Athenian civic ideology, and modern classical scholarship have all worked together to reinforce the idea that there were three neatly defined status groups in classical Athens--citizens, slaves, and resident foreigners. But this book--the first comprehensive account of status in ancient democratic Athens--clearly lays out the evidence for a much broader and more complex spectrum of statuses, one that has important implications for understanding Greek social and cultural history. By revealing a social and legal reality otherwise masked by Athenian ideology, Deborah Kamen illuminates the complexity of Athenian social structure, uncovers tensions between democratic ideology and practice, and contributes to larger questions about the relationship between citizenship and democracy. Each chapter is devoted to one of ten distinct status groups in classical Athens (451/0-323 BCE): chattel slaves, privileged chattel slaves, conditionally freed slaves, resident foreigners (metics), privileged metics, bastards, disenfranchised citizens, naturalized citizens, female citizens, and male citizens. Examining a wide range of literary, epigraphic, and legal evidence, as well as factors not generally considered together, such as property ownership, corporal inviolability, and religious rights, the book demonstrates the important legal and social distinctions that were drawn between various groups of individuals in Athens. At the same time, it reveals that the boundaries between these groups were less fixed and more permeable than Athenians themselves acknowledged. The book concludes by trying to explain why ancient Greek literature maintains the fiction of three status groups despite a far more complex reality.
This book asks an important question often ignored by ancient historians and political scientists alike: Why did Athenian democracy work as well and for as long as it did? Josiah Ober seeks the answer by analyzing the sociology of Athenian politics and the nature of communication between elite and nonelite citizens. After a preliminary survey of the development of the Athenian "constitution," he focuses on the role of political and legal rhetoric. As jurymen and Assemblymen, the citizen masses of Athens retained important powers, and elite Athenian politicians and litigants needed to address these large bodies of ordinary citizens in terms understandable and acceptable to the audience. This book probes the social strategies behind the rhetorical tactics employed by elite speakers. A close reading of the speeches exposes both egalitarian and elitist elements in Athenian popular ideology. Ober demonstrates that the vocabulary of public speech constituted a democratic discourse that allowed the Athenians to resolve contradictions between the ideal of political equality and the reality of social inequality. His radical reevaluation of leadership and political power in classical Athens restores key elements of the social and ideological context of the first western democracy.
This book invites readers to join in a fresh and extensive investigation of one of Ancient Greece’s greatest inventions: democratic government. Provides an accessible, up-to-date survey of vital issues in Greek democracy. Covers democracy’s origins, growth and essential nature. Raises questions of continuing interest. Combines ancient texts in translation and recent scholarly articles. Invites the reader into a process of historical investigation. Contains maps, a glossary and an index.
For two centuries classical Athens enjoyed almost uninterrupted democratic government. This was not a parliamentary democracy of the modern sort but a direct democracy in which all citizens were free to participate in the business of government. Throughout this period Athens was the cultural centre of Greece and one of the major Greek powers. This book traces the development and operation of the political system and explores its underlying principles. Christopher Carey assesses the ancient sources of the history of Athenian democracy and evaluates criticisms of the system, ancient and modern. He also provides a virtual tour of the political cityscape of ancient Athens, describing the main political sites and structures, including the theatre. With a new chapter covering religion in the democratic city, this second edition benefits from updates throughout that incorporate the latest research and recent archaeological findings in Athens. A clearer structure and layout make the book more accessible to students, as do extra images and maps along with a timeline of key events.
The fifth century BC witnessed not only the emergence of one of the first democracies, but also the Persian and the Peloponnesian Wars. John Thorley provides a concise analysis of the development and operation of Athenian democracy against this backdrop. Taking into account both primary source material and the work of modern historians, Athenian Democracy examines: * the prelude to democracy * how the democractic system emerged * how this system worked in practice * the efficiency of this system of government * the success of Athenian democracy. Including a useful chronology and blibliography, this second edition has been updated to take into account recent research.
This book, based on an empirical form of narration, outlines a short-medium term analysis of the social impact of austerity politics on urban life.. Set in Exarchia, a radical and anti-authoritarian neighbourhood located within the city centre of Athens, Greece, this is an ethnography examining the social struggles and grassroots mobilizations that emerged locally during the crisis. Based on over two years of fieldwork between November 2012 and early 2014, the author brings together participant observation and a period of research-action in one of Exarchia’s stekia. One particular pedestrian street is used as a case study – ‘Odos Tsamadou’ is located near Exarchia Square and here multiple social centres and political activity converge to allow the neighbourhood’s climate of solidarity and reciprocity to fully emerge. This book is specifically targeted at academics specialized in the social sciences, ethnography, cultural anthropology and urban studies and more generally at anyone interested in contemporary urban and social development. To read reviews about this book please visit: · https://www.vice.com/gr/article/mb5n7x/mia-koybenta-me-thn-italida-an8rwpologo-poy-afhse-th-rwmh-gia-na-melethsei-ta-kinhmata-sta-e3arxeia?utm_source=vicefbgrh · https://www.dinamopress.it/news/everything-continues/ · https://ilmanifesto.it/exarchia-uno-spazio-sociale-di-resistenza/ · http://media.planum.bedita.net/cb/42/(ibidem)_Planum_Readings_no.9:2018_De%20Angelis.pdf · https://www.urbanstudiesonline.com/resources/resource/book-review-austerity-and-democracy-in-athens-crisis-and-community-in-exarchia/