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Democracy : a life by Paul Cartledge

By Paul Cartledge

"Ancient Greece first coined the concept that of "democracy," but nearly each significant historical Greek thinker--from Plato and Aristotle onwards--were ambivalent or maybe antagonistic to democracy in any shape. the reason is kind of easy: the elite perceived majority strength as tantamount to a dictatorship of the proletariat. In historic Greece there could be traced not just the rudiments of recent democratic society however the entire

"Democracy: A lifestyles holds out 3 detailed learn goals: a formal realizing of the origins and diversity of historic Greek democracies; an in depth account of the destiny of democracy - either the establishment and the observe - within the historic Greek and Roman worlds from the 5th century BCE to the sixth century CE; and a nuanced exploration of the ways that all old Greek democracies differed from all smooth so-called 'democracies'"-- Read more...


The 2,500 12 months tale of democracy, from old Greece to the twenty-first century Read more...

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The date of the stele is reckoned somewhere between 440 and 420, a period of huge upheaval in the fortunes of the Athenian democratic state, running from the revolt of one of its most important allies, the island-╉state of Samos, to the end of the first phase of the great Atheno-╉Peloponnesian War fought between alliances headed by Athens and Sparta respectively. We shall return of course to those huge struggles in another place, but here it is the religious dimension to which I wish to give pride of place.

At the age of seventeen—╉not yet an adult but no longer a child—╉Aristotle chose to migrate to Athens, the ‘city-╉hall of Wisdom’, as the man who was to be his master for the next twenty years had dubbed it, and join the community of the Academy, an informal intellectual circle grouped around their master and mentor, and so named for the grove within which they met to learn and discuss. When Plato died in 347, Aristotle left Athens and travelled in the eastern Aegean for the next dozen years or so, during which he conducted primary biological research on the island of Lesbos and got himself married to the ward of Hermeias, the intellectually inclined ‘tyrant’ (sole ruler) of Atarneus, a Greek city of northwest Asia Minor.

Somehow or other, he—╉ with or without his many pupils’ assistance—╉ contrived over the next dozen years to compile a portfolio of some 500 titled 14 Sources, Ancient and Modern works, most of which (the ‘exoteric’ works) were apparently designed to reach out to a public beyond the confines of the Lyceum. But of those 500 the only thirty or so to have survived more or less intact to our day are all works for internal, in-╉school consumption, being therefore so-╉called esoteric works. Of these, one has a special place in any history of ancient Greek democracy: the tract that is usually referred to as the ‘Politics’.

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