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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right to appeal to the jury-courts. This measure, as they say, was essential to give power to the populace, because the people, having become master of the vote, also became master of the constitution. Furthermore, the law-courts became the arbiter of all matters, public and private, because the laws had not been written in a clear and straightforward manner, but like those concerning inheritances and heiresses, and this resulted in a quantity of legal disputes. Some people believe that Solon

and realities The people of Athens had heard how harsh the tyranny of Pisistratus and his sons had become when it was brought to an end. Also, they had heard that the tyranny had been overthrown not by the people themselves and Harmodius, but by the Spartans. For this reason, they were always in fear and suspicious about everything. In fact, the truth is that Harmodius and Aristogiton undertook their daring enterprise because of a love affair. Giving a detailed account of this episode, I will

people, began to attack the council. Ephialtes first made away with many of its members by bringing charges against them regarding their administration; then, in the archonship of Conon, he stripped the Areopagus of all the additional powers which made it the guardian of the constitution. Some of these powers he transferred to the assembly and others to the law-courts. Ephialtes accomplished these things with the assistance of Themistocles, who was a member of the Areopagus, but was to be put on

outbreak of the war and, in addition to them, the Sicilians, and most of their allies, who revolted in great numbers, and finally Cyrus, the son of the Great King, who gave money to the Peloponnesians to maintain the fleet, and they did not give in until they fell victim to their own internal quarrels. So abundant were the resources upon which Pericles based his forecast of an easy Athenian victory over the sole forces of the Peloponnesians. 28. Democracy, demagogues and adventurers: The

In fact, this war was the greatest upheaval ever experienced by the Greek world as well for some of the barbarians, that is to say for most of mankind. [c] Thuc. 1.23.6: The real cause of the Peloponnesian War The truest cause of the conflict, and the least spoken of, I believe to have been the growth to power of the Athenians, which brought fear to the Spartans and made war inevitable. [d] Thuc. 1.68.3–69.4: The opposing characters of Spartans and Athenians ‘Spartans: the confidence you

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