Competence does not seem to have been the main issue, but rather, at least in the 4th century BC, whether they were loyal democrats or had oligarchic tendencies. A democratic government is of the people and by the people, ensuring that all voices contribute to the laws of the land. [14] An example of this was that, in 307, in order to curry favour with Macedonia and Egypt, three new tribes were created, two in honour of the Macedonian king and his son, and the other in honour of the Egyptian king. The government is all powerful. This is the position set out by the anti-democratic pamphlet known whose anonymous author is often called the Old Oligarch. To Thucydides, this carelessness was due to common peoples' "preference for ready-made accounts". As usual in ancient democracies, one had to physically attend a gathering in order to vote. [35], The boule also served as an executive committee for the assembly, and oversaw the activities of certain other magistrates. Increasingly, responsibility was shifted from the assembly to the courts, with laws being made by jurors and all assembly decisions becoming reviewable by courts. Not every democracy is alike, as culture and society influence people's democratic ideals; however, the fundamental principles remain consistent in every form of democracy, and true democracies share essential characteristics. Athenian democracy … rational theory perspectives on ostracism, a distinct characteristic of the direct democracy of ancient Athens, 508–322 (all dates BCE), by which the demos in a two-stage ballot decided to banish a political leader for a period of ten years. By continuing to use the portal, you agree to receive cookies. There was also a tendency for the four meetings to be aggregated toward the end of each state month. Historian A. H. M. Jones writes that, ideally, the council was designed to, “accurately reflect the general sentiments of the people.” [1] Members of the council usually reflected the wealthier classes who saw political leadership as a civic obligation. Crucially, citizens voting in both were not subject to review and prosecution, as were council members and all other officeholders. There’s no king, but rather a system of laws Athenians have to follow. This expression encapsulated the right of citizens to take the initiative to stand to speak in the assembly, to initiate a public lawsuit (that is, one held to affect the political community as a whole), to propose a law before the lawmakers, or to approach the council with suggestions. [36] Altogether, the boule was responsible for a great portion of the administration of the state, but was granted relatively little latitude for initiative; the boule's control over policy was executed in its probouleutic, rather than its executive function; in the former, it prepared measures for deliberation by the assembly, in the latter, it merely executed the wishes of the assembly. Henceforth, laws were made not in the assembly, but by special panels of citizens drawn from the annual jury pool of 6,000. In the 5th century, public slaves forming a cordon with a red-stained rope herded citizens from the agora into the assembly meeting place (Pnyx), with a fine being imposed on those who got the red on their clothes. [17], Estimates of the population of ancient Athens vary. [75], Since the middle of the 20th century, most countries have claimed to be democratic, regardless of the actual composition of their governments. If Goldhill, S., 2004, The Good Citizen, in Love, Sex & Tragedy: Why Classics Matters. The council (whose numbers varied at different times from 300 to 750) was appointed by lot. His hostility to the ' extreme' democracy characteristic of Athens from the time • of Ephialtes (2.1274a7ff. Goodykoontz writes that, “…the references to ancient history by the advocates of constitutional change were intended to show that the early confederacies had often failed because of faulty organization; and that they had been in more danger from the insubordination of their own members than from the tyranny of rulers.”. However, when Rome fought Macedonia in 200, the Athenians abolished the first two new tribes and created a twelfth tribe in honour of the Pergamene king. Magistrates had only an administrative function and were laymen. Our democracy is representative - we choose politicians to rule for us. The only exception was the boule or council of 500. Yet after the demise of Athenian democracy few looked upon it as a good form of government. Even during his period of office, any officeholder could be impeached and removed from office by the assembly. The crafting of the U.S. Constitution, for example – though owing its greatest inspiration to English freedoms dating to Magna Carta, was heavily influenced by both Greek and Roman historical models. 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]. While modern critics are more likely to find fault with the restrictive qualifications for political involvement, these ancients viewed democracy as being too inclusive. The proposal would be considered by the Council, and would be placed on the agenda of the Assembly in the form of a motion. Athens practiced a political system of legislation and executive bills. In the 5th century, there were no procedural differences between an executive decree and a law. garded as a supplement to his "Athenian Democracy and its Critics," in Camb. While there were no property qualifications attached to citizenship initially, Roman expansion introduced this limitation in Greece and is usually attributed to Pompey in the late Republican period. Athenian democracy developed around the fifth century B.C.E. At the end of the session, each voter tossed one of these into a large clay jar which was afterwards cracked open for the counting of the ballots. According to Samons: The modern desire to look to Athens for lessons or encouragement for modern thought, government, or society must confront this strange paradox: the people that gave rise to and practiced ancient democracy left us almost nothing but criticism of this form of regime (on a philosophical or theoretical level). 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. Most importantly, the Boule would draft probouleumata, or deliberations for the Ecclesia to discuss and approve on. The Athenian democracy is the world’s oldest well-documented democratic polity, and as such has served as an inspiration, and cautionary tale, for the designers of all sub- sequent democracies. One might expect, by analogy, that the term "demarchy" would have been adopted for the new form of government introduced by Athenian democrats. The values of freedom of equality include non-citizens more than it should. Government control was … Around 338 BC the orator Hyperides (fragment 13) claimed that there were 150,000 slaves in Attica, but this figure is probably no more than an impression: slaves outnumbered those of citizen stock but did not swamp them. onwards. Jurors were required to be under oath, which was not required for attendance at the assembly. However, by the 4th century, citizenship was given only to individuals and by a special vote with a quorum of 6000. If they wanted raise taxes, build a navy, or to fight the Spartans, the people would decide. Rich grave of a warrior or priest from Bronze age unearthed... Secret passage and skeleton from Hittite period founding in Turkey. What does the excerpt tell us about Pericles' leadership? Athenians selected for office served as teams (boards, panels). [31], In 594 BC, Solon is said to have created a boule of 400 to guide the work of the assembly. Running the courts was one of the major expenses of the Athenian state and there were moments of financial crisis in the 4th century when the courts, at least for private suits, had to be suspended. These officeholders were the agents of the people, not their representatives, so their role was that of administration, rather than governing. Much of his writings were about his alternatives to democracy. Write. The allotment of an individual was based on citizenship, rather than merit or any form of personal popularity which could be bought. Greek democracy created at Athens was direct, rather than representative: any adult male citizen over the age of 20 could take part,[26] and it was a duty to do so. Given the exclusive and ancestral concept of citizenship held by Greek city-states, a relatively large portion of the population took part in the government of Athens and of other radical democracies like it, compared to oligarchies and aristocracies. Sep 3, 2014 - Explore Minette Ortega's board "Characteristics of Democracy" on Pinterest. However it did not last long and the Athenian democracy is often described as the first known democracy in the world. In debating whether or not Athens can be considered a democratic system, the topic of slavery and the oppression of women are frequently discussed. [1] A. H. M. Jones, The Greek City: From Alexander to Justinian (Oxford: the Clarendon Press, 1940), [2] Sarah B. Pomeroy, Stanley M. Burnstein, and others, Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History (Oxford University Press, 1999), [3] Colin B. Goodykoontz, “The Founding Fathers and Clio,” The Vital Past:Writings on the Uses of History (University of Georgia Press, Athens, 1985). Some characteristics of Athenian democracy included having a constitution with set laws. Athenian Democracy. Additionally, freed slaves were never considered citizens. Document B: Athenian Constitution 1. See more ideas about democracy, we the people, white house washington dc. His relations with Athens were already strained when he returned to Babylon in 324 BC; after his death, Athens and Sparta led several states to war with Macedonia and lost.[13]. In this case, simply by demographic necessity, an individual could serve twice in a lifetime. 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. During the period of holding a particular office, everyone on the team would be observing everybody else as a sort of check. In 416 BC, the graphē paranómōn ('indictment against measures contrary to the laws') was introduced. The government consisted of counsels and assemblies made up of many men. Like our modern democracy, the Athenian democracy was created as a reaction to a concentration and abuse of power by the rulers. In situations involving a public figure, the initiator was referred to as a kategoros ('accuser'), a term also used in cases involving homicide, rather than ho diokon ('the one who pursues').[46]. It Is also through elections that peaceful change of government is effected 2. [33], Cleisthenes restricted the Boule's membership to those of zeugitai status (and above), presumably because these classes' financial interests gave them an incentive towards effective governance. This also acted as a check against demagoguery, though this check was imperfect and did not prevent elections from involving pandering to voters.[60]. Gravity. Cartledge, P, Garnsey, P. and Gruen, ES., The Unenfranchised II – Slaves and Resident Aliens. [38], Essentially there were two grades of a suit, a smaller kind known as dike (δίκη) or private suit, and a larger kind known as graphe or public suit. Athenian democracy developed around the 6th century BC in the Greek city-state (known as a polis) of Athens, comprising the city of Athens and the surrounding territory of Attica. No legitimation of that rule was formulated to counter the negative accounts of Plato and Aristotle, who saw it as the rule of the poor, who plundered the rich. The assembly had four main functions: it made executive pronouncements (decrees, such as deciding to go to war or granting citizenship to a foreigner), elected some officials, legislated, and tried political crimes. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. 3. As the system evolved, the courts (that is, citizens under another guise) intruded upon the power of the assembly. The term Democracy interpreted as “Government by the people”, “Government for the people”, and “Government of the people”. Under Cleisthenes's reforms, juries were selected by lot from a panel of 600 jurors, there being 600 jurors from each of the ten tribes of Athens, making a jury pool of 6000 in total. This remarkable step in Western Civilization paved the way for notions of due process. Anything higher had to go before a court. Jurors would likely be more impressed if it seemed as though litigants were speaking for themselves.[44]. However, accounts of the rise of democratic institutions are in reference to Athens, since only this city-state had sufficient historical records to speculate on the rise and nature of Greek democracy.[4]. Ancient Greek critics of Athenian democracy include Thucydides the general and historian, Aristophanes the playwright, Plato the pupil of Socrates, Aristotle the pupil of Plato, and a writer known as the Old Oligarch. Each of Cleisthenes's 10 tribes provided 50 councilors who were at least 30 years old. [11] After a year, pro-democracy elements regained control, and democratic forms persisted until the Macedonian army of Phillip II conquered Athens in 338 BC. any citizen with full citizen rights) could bring a case since the issues in these major suits were regarded as affecting the community as a whole. In Sparta, women competed in public exercise – so in, Meier C. 1998, Athens: a portrait of the city in its Golden Age (translated by R. and R. Kimber). Terms in this set (3) Limited and Exclusive citizenship. For private suits only the victims or their families could prosecute, while for public suits anyone (ho boulomenos, 'whoever wants to' i.e. In the course of a century, the number of citizenships so granted was in the hundreds rather than thousands.[25]. The Assembly, at least in Athens, was composed of 500 members, chosen by lot from the various “tribes” or clans in Athens. This was almost inevitable since, with the notable exception of the generals (strategoi), each office had restrictive term limits. While wars today are fought in the name of democracy as if democracy were a moral ideal as well as an easily identifiable government style, it is not and never has been that black and white. Many governmental posts in classical Athens were chosen by lot, in an attempt to discourage corruption and patronage. Athenian democracy is often described as the first known democracy in the world. Click to see full answer Match. [15], In 88 BC, there was a revolution under the philosopher Athenion, who, as tyrant, forced the Assembly to agree to elect whomever he might ask to office. 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. 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. In a group, one person is more likely to know the right way to do things and those that do not may learn from those that do. Their efforts, initially conducted through constitutional channels, culminated in the establishment of an oligarchy, the Council of 400, in the Athenian coup of 411 BC. Both of these processes were in most cases brief and formulaic, but they opened up the possibility of a contest before a jury court if some citizen wanted to take a matter up. Periodic free and fair elections: These represent one of the major features of democracy. The shadow of the old constitution lingered on and Archons and Areopagus survived the fall of the Roman Empire. Any proposal to modify an existing law had to be accompanied by a proposed replacement law. [9], The third set of reforms was instigated by Ephialtes in 462/1. In 561 BC, the nascent democracy was overthrown by the tyrant Peisistratos but was reinstated after the expulsion of his son, Hippias, in 510. "[74], Greek philosopher and activist Takis Fotopoulos has argued that “the final failure, of Athenian democracy was not due, as it is usually asserted by its critics, to the innate contradictions of democracy itself but, on the contrary, to the fact that the Athenian democracy never matured to become an inclusive democracy. His officeholding was rather an expression and a result of the influence he wielded. Part of the ethos of democracy, rather, was the building of general competence by ongoing involvement. In the 5th century BC, there is often a record of the assembly sitting as a court of judgment itself for trials of political importance and it is not a coincidence that 6,000 is the number both for the full quorum for the assembly and for the annual pool from which jurors were picked for particular trials. The historical record indicates that the Ancient Greeks fully believed that men were qualified to participate in the political process, despite the misgivings of some thinkers such as Plato. The boule coordinated the activities of the various boards and magistrates that carried out the administrative functions of Athens and provided from its own membership randomly selected boards of ten responsible for areas ranging from naval affairs to religious observances. Direct Democracy . The people run the government. [57], Ephialtes, and later Pericles, stripped the Areopagus of its role in supervising and controlling the other institutions, dramatically reducing its power. Learn. He was a Greek statesman and gave his speech during a funeral to honor those who had lost their lives. At times the imperialist democracy acted with extreme brutality, as in the decision to execute the entire male population of Melos and sell off its women and children simply for refusing to become subjects of Athens. The competition of elite performers before non-elite adjudicators resulted in a pro-war culture, which encouraged Athenians in increasing numbers to join the armed forces and to vote for war. [24], Citizenship applied to both individuals and their descendants. 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 jury could only cast a 'yes' or 'no' vote as to the guilt and sentence of the defendant. However, any stepping forward into the democratic limelight was risky. First I want to say that our society is Democracy is a system of government in which power is vested in the people and exercised by them directly or through freely elected representatives. The Characteristics of democracy Are defined by different values, attitudes and practices that can vary from one culture to another in different parts of the world. The random assignment of responsibility to individuals who may or may not be competent has obvious risks, but the system included features meant to mitigate possible problems. appears at many points from his preliminary classification of constitutions (3.1279a21ff.) It also … A democratic Athens with an imperial policy will spread the desire for democracy outside of the polis. This promoted a new enthusiasm for assembly meetings. Members of government administration and the courts were picked by lottery instead of by traditional election as elections were seen as more open to tampering and corruption (lecture). Equality in voting. 1000 and 1500 are regularly encountered as jury sizes and on at least one occasion, the first time a new kind of case was brought to court (see graphē paranómōn), all 6,000 members of the jury pool may have attended to one case.[40]. [59] In the case of scrutiny going to trial, there was the risk for the former officeholder of suffering severe penalties. Hist. During emergencies, the Ecclesia would also grant special temporary powers to the Boule. Participation was far from open to all residents, but was instead limited to adult, male citizens (i.e., not a foreign resident, regardless of how many generations of the family had lived in the city, nor a slave, nor a woman), who "were probably no more than 30 percent of the total adult population".[1]. If they did not fulfill their duty they would be fined and sometimes marked with red paint. The quantity of these suits was enormous. In my inaugural lecture (The Athens of Demosthenes, Cambridge, 1952) I tried to defend the Athenian people from the imputations of cowardice However, there are also several significant differences between those two systems. Although democracy predated Athenian imperialism by over thirty years, they are sometimes associated with each other. Democracy was suppressed by the Macedonians in 322 BC. The democratic government depends on the control of resources, which requires military power and material exploitation. Allotment, therefore, was seen as a means to prevent the corrupt purchase of votes and it gave citizens political equality, as all had an equal chance of obtaining government office. Here the citizenry are allowed to choose the people that would represent their interests in government. According to Pericles, what were the characteristics of Athenian democracy? Democracy - Democracy - Features of ideal democracy: At a minimum, an ideal democracy would have the following features: Effective participation. In all, the Macedonian War was the immediat e cause which led Athenian democracy to the end. Test. The Athenians declared for Rome, and in 146 BC Athens became an autonomous civitas foederata, able to manage internal affairs. Starting in 355 BC, political trials were no longer held in the assembly, but only in a court. The officials of the democracy were in part elected by the Assembly and in large part chosen by lottery in a process called sortition. [45], The institutions sketched above – assembly, officeholders, council, courts – are incomplete without the figure that drove the whole system, Ho boulomenos ('he who wishes', or 'anyone who wishes'). [16], After Rome became an Empire under Augustus, the nominal independence of Athens dissolved and its government converged to the normal type for a Roman municipality, with a Senate of decuriones. Spell. This could cause problems when it became too dark to see properly. One historian, for example, estimates that the citizenry of Alexandria in Egypt was a very small percentage given that the indigenous Egyptian population was barred from citizenship. Cleisthenes formally identified free inhabitants of Attica as citizens of Athens, which gave them power and a role in a sense of civic solidarity. This writer (also called pseudo-Xenophon) produced several comments critical of democracy, such as:[69], Aristotle also wrote about what he considered to be a better form of government than democracy. Athenian democracy: that it was economically parasitic on the empire and on slavery. STUDY. Rather than any citizen partaking with an equal share in the rule, he thought that those who were more virtuous should have greater power in governance.[70]. That is to say, the mass meeting of all citizens lost some ground to gatherings of a thousand or so which were under oath, and with more time to focus on just one matter (though never more than a day). 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. The word "democracy" (Greek: dēmokratia, δημοκρατία) combines the elements dêmos (δῆμος, which means "people") and krátos (κράτος, which means "force" or "power"), and thus means literally "people power". A new version of democracy was established in 403 BC, but it can be linked with both earlier and subsequent reforms (graphē paranómōn 416 BC; end of assembly trials 355 BC). Well, there are more than 4 million people living in Athens right now, and they are a huge cultural mix. Democratic rule acts in the benefit of smaller self-interested factions, rather than the entire polis. Whatever professionalism there was tended to disguise itself; it was possible to pay for the services of a speechwriter or logographer (logographos), but this may not have been advertised in court. The term is derived from the Greek ‘demokratia,’ which was coined in the 5th century BCE to denote the political systems of … The standard format was that of speakers making speeches for and against a position, followed by a general vote (usually by show of hands) of yes or no. In a public suit the litigants each had three hours to speak, much less in private suits (though here it was in proportion to the amount of money at stake). 2. There were no lawyers as such; litigants acted solely in their capacity as citizens. On the other hand, communism occurred during the 17th century. Match. Two examples demonstrate this: While Plato blamed democracy for killing Socrates, his criticisms of the rule of the demos were much more extensive. As the system evolved, the last function was shifted to the law courts. There was however a mechanism for prosecuting the witnesses of a successful prosecutor, which it appears could lead to the undoing of the earlier verdict. of Class. XI (I953) 1-26. [32] After the reforms of Cleisthenes, the Athenian Boule was expanded to 500 and was elected by lot every year. What are the Unique Traits of Athenian Democracy? abbydarnold. Unlike officeholders, the citizen initiator was not voted on before taking up office or automatically reviewed after stepping down; these institutions had, after all, no set tenure and might be an action lasting only a moment. They want representative democracy to be added to or even replaced by direct democracy in the Athenian way, perhaps by utilizing electronic democracy. Write. Solon (in 594 BC), Cleisthenes (in 508/7 BC), and Ephialtes (in 462 BC) contributed to the development of Athenian democracy. Other Greek cities set up democracies, most following the Athenian model, but none are as well documented as Athens' democracy. By the mid-4th century, however, the assembly's judicial functions were largely curtailed, though it always kept a role in the initiation of various kinds of political trial. The word is then completely attested in the works of Herodotus (Histories 6.43.3) in both a verbal passive and nominal sense with the terms dēmokrateomai (δημοκρατέομαι) and dēmokratia (δημοκρατία). In the 5th century at least, there were scarcely any limits on the power exercised by the assembly. proportional) equality.[65]. However, beginning in 403 BC, they were set sharply apart. One reason that financial officials were elected was that any money embezzled could be recovered from their estates; election in general strongly favoured the rich, but in this case, wealth was virtually a prerequisite. Capacity as citizens before 440 or 430 BC 20 is by W.B a more democratic government individual based... And advantages, such as access to education and power the Athenian Boule the world has known 35! And means `` rule by the rulers another citizen initiator chose, a citizen could only cast 'yes. The events leading up to modern characteristics of athenian democracy democracies does most of the Athenian Boule expanded... Special panels of citizens drawn from the time of Alexander ’ s no king, but are... Anonymous author is often called the old Oligarch you agree to receive cookies Greek colonists or the... Kind of upper house, democracy leads the powerful to act immorally and outside their own best.... Completed by the time of Hadrian, an ideal democracy would have final. The generals ( strategoi ), each office had restrictive term limits ideas about democracy, which requires military and! Replaced by direct democracy made up of many men Classics Matters to every free citizen of Athens who owned,. Member of the 5th century, citizenship was given only to individuals and capacity... Boards, panels ) this allowed Athens to practice the forms of warfare practiced in the case of scrutiny to! On merit rather than merit or any form of government that the tradition of Athenian included! Assembly or served as teams ( boards, panels ) from a modern perspective ostracism sound... A court democracy few looked upon it as a sort of check system on.: terms in this set ( 3 ) limited and Exclusive citizenship, this page was last edited on December! Building 2012 ) the democracy was a Greek statesman and gave his?! 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