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Analyzing the "democratic" features and institutions of the Athenian democracy in the fifth century B.C., Martin Ostwald traces their development from Solon's judicial reforms to the flowering of popular sovereignty, when the people assumed the right both to enact all legislation and to hold magistrates accountable for implementing what had been enacted.
Western political systems tend to be 'constitutional democracies', dividing the system into a domain of politics, where the people rule, and a domain of law, set aside for a trained elite. Antoni Abat i Ninet strives to resolve these apparently exclusive
In the contemporary United States the image and experience of Athenian democracy has been appropriated to justify a profoundly conservative political and educational agenda. Such is the conviction expressed in this provocative book, which is certain to arouse widespread comment and discussion. What does it mean to be a citizen in a democracy? Indeed, how do we educate for democracy? These questions are addressed here by thirteen historians, classicists, and political theorists, who critically examine ancient Greek history and institutions, texts, and ideas in light of today's political practices and values. They do not idealize ancient Greek democracy. Rather, they use it, with all its faults, as a basis for measuring the strengths and shortcomings of American democracy. In the hands of the authors, ancient Greek sources become partners in an educational dialogue about democracy's past, one that goads us to think about the limitations of democracy's present and to imagine enriched possibilities for its future. The authors are diverse in their opinions and in their political and moral commitments. But they share the view that insulating American democracy from radical criticism encourages a dangerous complacency that Athenian political thought can disrupt.
The Classical Athenians were the first to articulate and implement the notion that ordinary citizens of no particular affluence or education could make responsible political decisions. For this reason, reactions to Athenian democracy have long provided a prime Rorschach test for political thought. Whether praising Athens's government as the legitimizing ancestor of modern democracies or condemning it as mob rule, commentators throughout history have revealed much about their own notions of politics and society. In this book, Jennifer Roberts charts responses to Athenian democracy from Athens itself through the twentieth century, exploring a debate that touches upon historiography, ethics, political science, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, gender studies, and educational theory.
Mid-fifth-century Athens saw the development of the Athenian empire, the radicalization of Athenian democracy through the empowerment of poorer citizens, the adornment of the city through a massive and expensive building program, the classical age of Athenian tragedy, the assembly of intellectuals offering novel approaches to philosophical and scientific issues, and the end of the Spartan-Athenian alliance against Persia and the beginning of open hostilities between the two greatest powers of ancient Greece. The Athenian statesman Pericles both fostered and supported many of these developments. Although it is no longer fashionable to view Periclean Athens as a social or cultural paradigm, study of the history, society, art, and literature of mid-fifth-century Athens remains central to any understanding of Greek history. This collection of essays reveal the political, religious, economic, social, artistic, literary, intellectual, and military infrastructure that made the Age of Pericles possible.
Protagoras and Logos brings together in a meaningful synthesis the contributions and rhetoric of the first and most famous of the Older Sophists, Protagoras of Abdera. Most accounts of Protagoras rely on the somewhat hostile reports of Plato and Aristotle. By focusing on Protagoras's own surviving words, this study corrects many long-standing misinterpretations and presents significant facts: Protagoras was a first-rate philosophical thinker who positively influenced the theories of Plato and Aristotle, and Protagoras pioneered the study of language and was the first theorist of rhetoric. In addition to illustrating valuable methods of translating and reading fifth-century B.C.E. Greek passages, the book marshals evidence for the important philological conclusion that the Greek word translated as rhetoric was a coinage by Plato in the early fourth century. In this second edition, Edward Schiappa reassesses the philosophical and pedagogical contributions of Protagoras. Schiappa argues that traditional accounts of Protagoras are hampered by mistaken assumptions about the Sophists and the teaching of the art of rhetoric in the fifth century. He shows that, contrary to tradition, the so-called Older Sophists investigated and taught the skills of logos, which is closer to modern conceptions of critical reasoning than of persuasive oratory. Schiappa also offers interpretations for each of Protagoras's major surviving fragments and examines Protagoras's contributions to the theory and practice of Greek education, politics, and philosophy. In a new afterword Schiappa addresses historiographical issues that have occupied scholars in rhetorical studies over the past ten years, and throughout the study he provides references to scholarship from the last decade that has refined his views on Protagoras and other Sophists.
This book argues that ancient democracy did not stop at the door of economic democracy, and that ancient Athens has much to tell us about the relationship between political equality and economic equality. Athenian democracy rested on a foundation of general economic equality, which enabled citizens to challenge their exclusion from politics.

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