Download Athens on Trial: The Antidemocratic Tradition in Western by Jennifer Tolbert Roberts PDF

By Jennifer Tolbert Roberts

The classical Athenians have been the 1st to articulate and enforce the inspiration that standard voters of no specific affluence or schooling can make accountable political judgements. consequently, reactions to Athenian democracy have lengthy supplied a chief trying out floor for political inspiration. even if praising Athens's executive because the valid ancestor of recent democracies or condemning it as mob rule, commentators all through heritage have published a lot approximately their very own notions of politics and society. This examine charts responses to Athenian democracy from the traditional international to the twentieth century, exploring a debate that touches upon historiography, ethics, political technology, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, gender experiences and academic idea. Rooted within the bias of Greek intellectuals, the textual content argues, hostility to Athenian democracy won energy from the propensity of Western thinkers to learn background backward and infer the impotence of Athens's type of govt from the Athenians' final defeat by way of Macedon in 338 BC. In time, dislike of Athenian govt built right into a strong highbrow build that stood mostly unchallenged till the early nineteenth century. within the epilogue, the writer examines the controversies that proceed to enclose Athens at present.

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Like their predecessors in Victorian England, many American admirers of ancient Athens wish to bring about the improvement of public education to facilitate more widespread participation in democracy. Taking a broad view of what is political, they often stress the important role of shared civic festivals (such as tragedy) as forces for both unification and instruction. Thus while in eastern Europe the CommunistSocialist alternative to liberal democracy has been crumbling, in North America academics have been squabbling over who will receive custody of the Athenians.

10 Pericles was elected one of the ten strategoi nearly every year between the murder of Ephialtes and his own death in 429, and nobody in fifth-century Athens matched him for enduring political prestige. 11 It was in part the tribute from the league that enabled the Athenians of Pericles’ day to carry out numerous building projects, the most famous of which resulted in the Parthenon. The art forms for which the Periclean age was known included not only sculpture and architecture but also the tragic drama, already flourishing by the middle of the century but perfected during the time of Pericles’ ascendancy by his friend Sophocles and Sophocles’ slightly younger contemporary, Euripides.

INTRODUCTION 9 ways show fine distinctions among the classical states. To the idealistic martyr Algernon Sidney, governments as diverse as Sparta, Athens, and republican Rome all afforded variations on a single theme: the wondrous excellence of the mixed constitution. ”8 As the eighteenth century began, the abortive attempts of the British Tories to impeach a handful of Whig ministers spawned a series of remarkable essays on accountability in government, the first of which, the Discourse of the Contests and Dissentions Between the Nobles and the Commons in Athens and Rome with the Consequences they had upon both those States, was penned by none other than Jonathan Swift.

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