By Eric W. Robinson
Democracy is among the maximum innovations of the traditional Greeks. This ebook invitations readers to enquire the phenomenon of historical Greek democracy for themselves, from its earliest roots within the archaic interval to its visual appeal and improvement in Athens.
The booklet is constituted of six chapters, proposing questions of constant curiosity and controversy. every one encourages readers to interact with historical texts in translation and to determine how modern classical students have won insights from them. every one can be utilized as a self-contained unit to discover a selected point of historic democratic executive. Taken as an entire, the e-book offers readers with an in depth evaluation of historic Greek democracy and the present kingdom of its examine. For ease of use, the booklet includes maps, a thesaurus, and an index.
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Additional info for Ancient Greek Democracy: Readings and Sources
Even though you are the stronger man, and the mother who bore you was immortal, yet is this man greater who is lord over more than you rule. ’ Then in answer again spoke powerful Agamemnon: ‘Yes, old sir, all this you have said is fair and orderly. Yet here is a man who wishes to be above all others, who wishes to hold power over all, and to be lord of all, and give them their orders, yet I think one will not obey him. ’ Then looking at him darkly brilliant Achilleus answered him: ‘So must I be called of no account and a coward if I must carry out every order you may happen to give me.
Community and king cannot expect from him more than voluntary cooperation; there are no legal or practical possibilities short of violence to impose a superior will on an unwilling oibos. ’ However, Book I1 of the Odyssey shows beginnings of change in this respect as well. Odysseus has been gone for twenty years and is supposed dead. A band of suitors, sons of the best families from near and far, have occupied Odysseus’ house, pressuring his wife Penelope to agree to a new marriage which would at the same time determine the succession, and threatening the king’s oibos with economic ruin, thereby also weakening Telemachos’ chances to succeed his father.
It is their problem if in their competition for power and rank they use the most vicious methods and risk their lives. This does not seem to me to mirror a high opinion of the behavior typical of noblemen. Second, he criticizes the people in the assembly: It is the rest of you I am indignant with, to see how you all sit dumbly there instead of rebulung them and restraining them; you are many; the suitors are few. (239-241) What appears a distant possibility in the Iliad is here turned into a direct appeal, expressed not by the despicable Thersites but by the respected Mentor.