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Athenian Revolution Essays on Ancient Greek Democracy and Political Theory

ISBN-10: 0691001901
ISBN-13: 9780691001906
Edition: 1997
Authors: Josiah Ober
List price: $45.00 Buy it from $26.77
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Description: Where did "democracy" come from, and what was its original form and meaning? Here Josiah Ober shows that this "power of the people" crystallized in a revolutionary uprising by the ordinary citizens of Athens in 508-507 B.C. He then examines the  More...

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Book details

List price: $45.00
Copyright year: 1997
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 1/3/1999
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 224
Size: 6.25" wide x 9.25" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.946
Language: English

Where did "democracy" come from, and what was its original form and meaning? Here Josiah Ober shows that this "power of the people" crystallized in a revolutionary uprising by the ordinary citizens of Athens in 508-507 B.C. He then examines the consequences of the development of direct democracy for upper-and lower-class citizens, for dissident Athenian intellectuals, and for those who were denied citizenship under the new regime (women, slaves, resident foreigners), as well as for the general development of Greek history. When the citizens suddenly took power into their own hands, they changed the cultural and social landscape of Greece, thereby helping to inaugurate the Classical Era. Democracy led to fundamental adjustments in the basic structures of Athenian society, altered the forms and direction of political thinking, and sparked a series of dramatic reorientations in international relations. It quickly made Athens into the most powerful Greek city-state, but it also fatally undermined the traditional Greek rules of warfare. It stimulated the development of the Western tradition of political theorizing and encouraged a new conception of justice that has striking parallels to contemporary theories of rights. But Athenians never embraced the notions of inherency and inalienability that have placed the concept of rights at the center of modern political thought. Thus the play of power that constituted life in democratic Athens is revealed as at once strangely familiar and desperately foreign, and the values sustaining the Athenian political community as simultaneously admirable and terrifying.

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Athenian Democracy and the History of Ideologies
Models and Paradigms in Ancient History
Public Speech and the Power of the People in Democratic Athens
The Athenian Revolution of 508/7 B.C.: Violence, Authority, and the Origins of Democracy
The Rules of War in Classical Greece
Thucydides, Pericles, and the Strategy of Defense
Power and Oratory in Democratic Athens: Demosthenes 21, Against Meidias
The Nature of Athenian Democracy
The Athenians and Their Democracy
How to Criticize Democracy in Late Fifth-and Fourth-Century Athens
The Polis as a Society: Aristotle, John Rawls, and the Athenian Social Contract
Bibliography
Index

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