By John Thorley
This pamphlet outlines the advance and operation of Athenian democracy to the tip of the 5th century BC. Separate sections learn the prelude to democracy, the emergence of a democratic method, and how the program labored in perform. a last part makes a speciality of the questions:
- how should still we pass judgement on the luck of Athenian democracy?
- who benefitted?
- was it a good approach of government?
- in what experience used to be Athenian democracy the forerunner of recent democracies?
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Extra info for Athenian Democracy (Lancaster Pamphlets) (1996)
This gave time for the dokimasia process to be properly carried out before those appointed took office. The full details of the election process are not known, but it seems one or more names were proposed from each tribe for each magistracy, and the Assembly voted for or against each person. The other 500 magistrates were chosen by lot from those willing to stand. The different magistracies varied in status and popularity, but there was considerable competition for most, though we know some boards regularly operated with vacancies when a tribe provided no member.
The same person could not be a member of the Boule in two consecutive years, and could only be a member twice in a lifetime. Kleisthenes did not, however, make membership of the Boule open to all citizens, but only to those whose property qualification put them in the zeugitai class (possessing an annual income of at least 200 medimnoi) or above. The thetes class, who constituted probably well over a half of the citizen popu- lation, were thus excluded from the Boule, just as they had been excluded from Solon’s Council of 400.
Solon, fragment 5 as in West 1992) This is a fair assessment of his achievements. Solon’s reputation thereafter was great and he was regarded as one of the ‘Seven Sages’ of the Greek world. In Athens much was later attributed to him which he did not do, and for this reason (among others) the reconstruction of his reforms is still the subject of much debate. Nevertheless, Solon’s reputation must have been based on some quite drastic changes to the law and constitution of Athens, and the reconstruction given above represents a general consensus of ancient and modern views.