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By Kurt A. Raaflaub, Robert Wallace, Josiah Ober

This publication offers a cutting-edge debate concerning the origins of Athenian democracy by way of 5 eminent students. the result's a stimulating, serious exploration and interpretation of the extant proof in this exciting and significant subject. The authors deal with such questions as: Why used to be democracy first discovered in historical Greece? was once democracy "invented" or did it evolve over an extended time period? What have been the stipulations for democracy, the social and political foundations that made this improvement attainable? And what components grew to become the potential for democracy into necessity and truth? The authors first learn the stipulations in early Greek society that inspired equality and "people's power." They then scrutinize, of their social and political contexts, 3 an important issues within the evolution of democracy: the reforms attached with the names of Solon, Cleisthenes, and Ephialtes within the early and past due 6th and mid-fifth century. ultimately, an old historian and a political scientist evaluate the arguments offered within the past chapters and upload their very own views, asking what classes we will draw at the present time from the traditional democratic experience.

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Normally, the leader makes conscious efforts to convince the assembled men. Great importance is therefore attributed to his ability in persuasive speaking (Il. 440–43). ” Agamemnon employs this formula when urging—not commanding—the troops to sail for home (Il. 139). ’” Submissiveness and blind obedience are not typical of the laoi. True, there is no formal vote, hence no counting of votes, and no formal obligation to respect the people’s opinion. Later, the introduction of such procedures and obligations will represent a big step toward institutionalized government in Greece.

Van Effenterre (1985), trying to demonstrate with archaeological evidence that the Greek polis existed already in the Greek Bronze Age, offers a good example (see reviews by A. Snodgrass, Classical Review 36 [1986] 261–65; N. Ehrhardt, Gnomon 58 [1986] 711–15). 11. , Raaflaub 2000; and see chapter 2 below. 12. For efforts to overcome narrow “Athenocentrism,” see, for example, Kurke 1998; Morris 1998; Rhodes 2003b. 13. For discussion, see, for example, Hansen 1989e, 2005; Bleicken 1994: 323– 34; Robinson 1997: 25–33; Ober 2004; Woodruff 2005; and Cartledge, chapter 6 below.

Raaflaub and Robert W. 6 In view of all this, it is not surprising that the assembly plays a crucial role in both epics. Here, too, we need to look beneath the surface. At Wrst sight, assemblies seem powerless and easily manipulated. They must be convened by an elite leader. Only the leaders (basileis, sg. basileus) speak. 142–54. Leaders as often as not seem to ignore such manifestations, dissolve the assembly, and do what they want anyway. 7 The assembly is a constant feature of Homeric society, embedded in its structures and customs, and formalized to a considerable degree.

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