[37], Athens had an elaborate legal system centered on full citizen rights (see atimia). This remarkable step in Western Civilization paved the way for notions of due process. Originally, a male would be a citizen if his father was a citizen, Under, Likewise the status of women seems lower in Athens than in many Greek cities. Click to see full answer Justice was rapid: a case could last no longer than one day and had to be completed by the time the sun set. In 416 BC, the graphē paranómōn ('indictment against measures contrary to the laws') was introduced. In the 5th century setup, the ten annually elected generals were often very prominent, but for those who had power, it lay primarily in their frequent speeches and in the respect accorded them in the assembly, rather than their vested powers. In addition to being subject to review prior to holding office, officeholders were also subject to an examination after leaving office (euthunai, 'straightenings' or 'submission of accounts') to review their performance. Plateans in 427 BC and Samians in 405 BC). Most importantly, the Boule would draft probouleumata, or deliberations for the Ecclesia to discuss and approve on. XI (I953) 1-26. If It is inspirational because it empow-ered citizens to an extent that is virtually unique among sys-tems of government that the world has known. However, the governors, like Demetrius of Phalerum, appointed by Cassander, kept some of the traditional institutions in formal existence, although the Athenian public would consider them to be nothing more than Macedonian puppet dictators. The first was the ekklesia, or Assembly, the sovereign governing body of Athens. The term democracy comes from the Greek language and means "rule by the people. In Athenian democracy the people were to choose every single law to be passed. Pericles, according to Thucydides, characterized the Athenians as being very well-informed on politics: We do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all. His The Republic, The Statesman, and Laws contained many arguments against democratic rule and in favour of a much narrower form of government: "The organization of the city must be confided to those who possess knowledge, who alone can enable their fellow-citizens to attain virtue, and therefore excellence, by means of education."[68]. As the system evolved, the last function was shifted to the law courts. [53], Just before the reforms of Solon in the 7th century BC, Athens was governed by a few archons (three, then later nine) and the council of the Areopagus, which was composed of members powerful noble families. Jurors did talk informally amongst themselves during the voting procedure and juries could be rowdy, shouting out their disapproval or disbelief of things said by the litigants. For example, he points to errors regarding Sparta; Athenians erroneously believed that Sparta's kings each had two votes in their ruling council and that there existed a Spartan battalion called Pitanate lochos. Here the citizenry are allowed to choose the people that would represent their interests in government. Dinsmoor Jr., and appears in Mabel Lang, Socrates in the Agora (Am. During emergencies, the Ecclesia would also grant special temporary powers to the Boule. States govern themselves separately. On the other hand, communism occurred during the 17th century. If the Assembly voted in favor of the proposed change, the proposal would be referred for further consideration by a group of citizens called nomothetai (literally "establishers of the law").[18]. If the assembly broke the law, the only thing that might happen is that it would punish those who had made the proposal that it had agreed to. Participation, however, was limited to free males whose parents were also deemed citizens. Additional meetings might still be called, especially as up until 355 BC there were still political trials that were conducted in the assembly, rather than in court. By continuing to use the portal, you agree to receive cookies. Though there might be blocs of opinion, sometimes enduring, on important matters, there were no political parties and likewise no government or opposition (as in the Westminster system). Sch. By and large, the power exercised by these officials was routine administration and quite limited. Popular consultation: A democrat… The Greek idea of democracy was different from present-day democracy because, in Athens, all adult citizens were required to take an active part in the government . Crucially, citizens voting in both were not subject to review and prosecution, as were council members and all other officeholders. The Greek idea of democracy was different from present-day democracy because, in Athens, all adult citizens were required to take an active part in the government. [47], The word idiot originally simply meant "private citizen"; in combination with its more recent meaning of "foolish person", this is sometimes used by modern commentators to demonstrate that the ancient Athenians considered those who did not participate in politics as foolish. One of these was now called the main meeting, kyria ekklesia. Jurors would likely be more impressed if it seemed as though litigants were speaking for themselves.[44]. Weaknesses of the Athenian democracy include: The Athenian form of democracy was a contradiction in the sense that it did not allow participation of a large section of the public, namely, women and slaves. (In present-day use, the term "demarchy" has acquired a new meaning. Athenian democracy was probably true democracy in that all citizens, that had the right to do so, gathered together at once in a public forum to decide and time themselves.American “democracy” is just sort of a shorthand way to refer to our style of government. This approximately translates as the "people's hand of power", and in the context of the play it acts as a counterpoint to the inclination of the votes cast by the people, i.e. These officeholders were the agents of the people, not their representatives, so their role was that of administration, rather than governing. [51][52], Although, voters under Athenian democracy were allowed the same opportunity to voice their opinion and to sway the discussion, they were not always successful, and, often, the minority was forced to vote in favor of a motion that they did not agree with. Ostracism was not in use throughout the whole period of Athenian democracy (circa 506–322 BC), but only occurred in the fifth century BC. Athenian democracy was based on three main institutions. However, there are also several significant differences between those two systems. 2 See answers B. the people run the government. The constitutional change, according to Thucydides, seemed the only way to win much-needed support from Persia against the old enemy Sparta and, further, it was thought that the change would not be a permanent one. The courts became in effect a kind of upper house. The characteristics of Athenian democracy included not believing in social classes and the notion that poverty couldn’t hold you down. The classical example that inspired the American and French revolutionaries, as well as English radicals, was Rome rather than Greece, and, in the age of Cicero and Caesar, Rome was a republic but not a democracy. It Is also through elections that peaceful change of government is effected 2. [7] Another major contribution to democracy was Solon's setting up of an Ecclesia or Assembly, which was open to all the male citizens. Test. Democracy, literally, rule by the people.The term is derived from the Greek dēmokratiā, which was coined from dēmos (“people”) and kratos (“rule”) in the middle of the 5th century bce to denote the political systems then existing in some Greek city-states, notably Athens. While there seems to have also been a type of citizen assembly (presumably of the hoplite class), the archons and the body of the Areopagus ran the state and the mass of people had no say in government at all before these reforms. Under this, anything passed or proposed by the assembly could be put on hold for review before a jury – which might annul it and perhaps punish the proposer as well. The Athenian institutions were later revived, but how close they were to a real democracy is debatable. 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