By Keith Noonan Ancient Athens was one of the most influential cities in history.
One might expect the term "demarchy" to have been adopted, by analogy, for the new form of government introduced by Athenian democrats.
In present-day use, the term " demarchy " has acquired a new meaning. It is unknown whether the word "democracy" was in existence when systems that came to be called democratic were first instituted. The word is attested in the works of Herodotus Histories 6. Around BC an individual is known with the name of Democrates,  a name possibly coined as a gesture of democratic loyalty; the name can also be found in Aeolian Temnus.
Aristotle points to other cities that adopted governments in the democratic style. 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.
The members of these institutions were generally aristocrats who ruled the polis for their own advantage. In BC, Draco codified a set of notoriously harsh laws designed to reinforce aristocratic power over the populace.
In the 6th century BC, the Athenian laboring class convinced Plato's ancestor Solonpremier archon at the time, to liberate them and halt the feuding of the aristocracy. What soon followed was a system of chattel slavery involving foreign slaves.
Athenian citizens had the right to participate in assembly meetings. By granting the formerly aristocratic role to every free citizen of Athens who owned property, Solon reshaped the social framework of the city-state.
Under these reforms, a council of members with citizens from each of Athens's four tribes called the boule ran daily affairs and set the political agenda. Cleisthenes Not long afterwards, the nascent democracy was overthrown by the tyrant Peisistratosbut was reinstated after the expulsion of his son, Hippiasin Cleisthenes issued reforms in and BC that undermined the domination of the aristocratic families and connected every Athenian to the city's rule.
Cleisthenes formally identified free inhabitants of Attica as citizens of Athens, which gave them power and a role in a sense of civic solidarity. Every male citizen over 18 had to be registered in his deme.
While Ephialtes's opponents were away attempting to assist the Spartans, he persuaded the Assembly to reduce the powers of the Areopagus to a criminal court for cases of homicide and sacrilege.
At the same time or soon afterwards, the membership of the Areopagus was extended to the lower level of the propertied citizenship. Their efforts, initially conducted through constitutional channels, culminated in the establishment of an oligarchy, the Council ofin the Athenian coup of BCE.
The oligarchy endured for only four months before it was replaced by a more democratic government. Democratic regimes governed until Athens surrendered to Sparta in BCE, when government was placed in the hands of the so-called Thirty Tyrantswho were pro-Spartan oligarchs.
His relations with Athens were already strained when he returned to Babylon in BC; after his death, Athens and Sparta led several Greek states to war with Macedon and lost. However, the governors, like Demetrius of Phalerumappointed by Cassanderkept some of the traditional institutions in formal existence, although the Athenian public would consider them to be nothing more than Macedonian puppet dictators.
However, by now Athens had become "politically impotent". However, when Rome fought Macedonia inthe Athenians abolished the first two new tribes and created a twelfth tribe in honour of the Pergamene king. The Athenians declared for Rome, and in BC Athens became an autonomous civitas foederata, able to manage internal affairs.
This allowed Athens to practice the forms of democracy, though Rome ensured that the constitution strengthened the city's aristocracy.
They were elected, and even foreigners such as Domitian and Hadrian held the office as a mark of honour. Four presided over the judicial administration. The Council whose numbers varied at different times from to was appointed by lot. It was superseded in importance by the Areopaguswhich, recruited from the elected archons, had an aristocratic character and was entrusted with wide powers.
From the time of Hadrian, an imperial curator superintended the finances. The shadow of the old constitution lingered on and Archons and Areopagus survived the fall of the Roman Empire.
Athenion allied with Mithridates of Pontus and went to war with Rome; he was killed during the war and was replaced by Aristion. The victorious Roman general, Publius Cornelius Sullaleft the Athenians their lives and did not sell them into slavery; he also restored the previous government, in 86 BC.
During the 4th century BC, there might well have been some ,—, people in Attica. In the mid-5th century the number of adult male citizens was perhaps as high as 60, but this number fell precipitously during the Peloponnesian War.
From a modern perspective these figures may seem small, but among Greek city-states Athens was huge: Around BC the orator Hyperides fragment 13 claimed that there wereslaves in Attica, but this figure is probably no more than an impression:Ancient Education Education in schools in ancient Athens was at first limited to aristocratic boys.
By the 4th century b.c. all year-old males spent two years in a gymnasion, a state school devoted to the overall physical and intellectual development of a young alphabetnyc.com advanced education in philosophy, mathematics, logic and rhetoric was available to the aristocracy in highly select. Religion.
The ancient Greeks were a deeply religious people. They worshipped many gods whom they believed appeared in human form and yet were endowed with superhuman strength and ageless beauty.
Athens is seen as the birthplace of democracy – where a large number of the population had a say in state affairs and proceedings. This differed from Sparta’s rule by the few, which allowed for much less say from the people – next to none, in fact. The roles of government in Athens are very similar to the roles that are used in Democracies today.
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