Dating athens ga

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 Herodotus Histories 6. Aristotle points to other cities that adopted governments in the democratic style.

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 that were "a clear expression of the power of the aristocracy over everybody else. However, the "enfranchisement of the local laboring classes was succeeded by the development of chattel slavery, the enslavement of, in large part, foreigners. Athenians were not slaves but citizens, with the right, at the very least, to participate in the meetings of the assembly.

However, "one must bear in mind that its agenda was apparently set entirely by the Council of ", "consisting of members from each of the four tribes", that had taken "over many of the powers which the Areopagos had previously exercised. This sort of aristocratic takeover "was ended by the appeal by one contender, Cleisthenes , for the support of the populace. It was this registration which confirmed his citizenship.

While his opponents were away attempting to assist the Spartans, Ephialtes persuaded the Assembly to reduce the powers of the Areopagus: Their efforts, initially conducted through constitutional channels, culminated in the establishment of an oligarchy, the Council of , in 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 Tyrants , 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 Phalerum , appointed by Cassander , kept 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 in , the Athenians abolished the first two new tribes and created a twelfth tribe in honour of the Pergamene king.

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 three hundred to seven hundred and fifty was appointed by lot.

It was superseded in importance by the Areopagus , which, 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 Sulla , left 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 were , slaves in Attica, but this figure is probably no more than an impression: 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.

Plateans in BC and Samians in BC but, by the 4th century, only to individuals and by a special vote with a quorum of This was generally done as a reward for some service to the state. In the course of a century, the number of citizenships so granted was in the hundreds rather than thousands. These are the assembly in some cases with a quorum of , the council of boule and the courts a minimum of people, on some occasions up to Of these three bodies, the assembly and the courts were the true sites of power although courts, unlike the assembly, were never simply called the demos the People as they were manned by a subset of the citizen body, those over thirty.

But crucially citizens voting in both were not subject to review and prosecution as were council members and all other officeholders. In the 5th century BC we often hear of the assembly sitting as a court of judgment itself for trials of political importance and it is not a coincidence that is the number both for the full quorum for the assembly and for the annual pool from which jurors were picked for particular trials.

Greek democracy created at Athens was direct , rather than representative: The officials of the democracy were in part elected by the Assembly and in large part chosen by lottery in a process called sortition. The assembly had four main functions: As the system evolved, the last function was shifted to the law courts. 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.

Though there might be blocs of opinion, sometimes enduring, on important matters, there were no political parties and likewise no government or opposition as in the Westminster system. Voting was by simple majority. In the 5th century at least there were scarcely any limits on the power exercised by the assembly. If the assembly broke the law, the only thing that might happen is that it would punish those who had made the proposal that it had agreed to.

Military service or simple distance prevented the exercise of citizenship. This could cause problems when it became too dark to see properly. However, "any member of the Assembly could demand a recount". 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.

In the 5th century BC, there were 10 fixed assembly meetings per year, one in each of the ten state months , with other meetings called as needed. In the following century the meetings were set to forty a year, with four in each state month. One of these was now called the main meeting, kyria ekklesia. Additional meetings might still be called, especially as up until BC there were still political trials that were conducted in the assembly rather than in court.

The assembly meetings did not occur at fixed intervals, as they had to avoid clashing with the annual festivals that followed the lunar calendar. There was also a tendency for the four meetings to be aggregated toward the end of each state month.

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. This promoted a new enthusiasm for assembly meetings. Only the first to arrive were admitted and paid, with the red rope now used to keep latecomers at bay. The most important task of the Athenian Boule was to draft the deliberations probouleumata for discussion and approval in the Ecclesia.

Cleisthenes restricted its membership, "to those of zeugitai status and above, probably arguing that these classes had a financial interest in good government". A member had to be approved by his deme, "and one can well imagine that demes were careful to select only those of known good sense who also had experience of local politics, and who were actually available to do the time-consuming job which demanded frequent attendance in Athens; and they probably favoured those who were well past 30".

All fifty members of the prytaneis on duty were housed and fed in the tholos of the Prytaneion , a building adjacent to the bouleuterion , where the boule met. The chairman for the day presided over any meeting of the Boule held that day, and if there was a meeting of the Assembly that day 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.

The age limit of 30 or older, the same as that for office holders but ten years older than that required for participation in the assembly, gave the courts a certain standing in relation to the assembly.

Jurors were required to be under oath, which was not required for attendance at the assembly. The authority exercised by the courts had the same basis as that of the assembly: Unlike office holders magistrates , who could be impeached and prosecuted for misconduct, the jurors could not be censured, for they, in effect, were the people and no authority could be higher than that.

A corollary of this was that, at least acclaimed by defendants, if a court had made an unjust decision, it must have been because it had been misled by a litigant. For private suits the minimum jury size was increased to if a sum of over drachmas was at issue , for public suits The cases were put by the litigants themselves in the form of an exchange of single speeches timed by a water clock or clepsydra, first prosecutor then defendant.

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. Decisions were made by voting without any time set aside for deliberation. Jurors did talk informally amongst themselves during the voting procedure and juries could be rowdy, shouting out their disapproval or disbelief of things said by the litigants.

This may have had some role in building a consensus. 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. Payment for jurors was introduced around BC and is ascribed to Pericles , a feature described by Aristotle as fundamental to radical democracy Politics a Pay was raised from 2 to 3 obols by Cleon early in the Peloponnesian war and there it stayed; the original amount is not known. Notably, this was introduced more than fifty years before payment for attendance at assembly meetings.

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. No judges presided over the courts nor did anyone give legal direction to the jurors; magistrates had only an administrative function and were laymen. Most of the annual magistracies at Athens could only be held once in a lifetime.

There were no lawyers as such; litigants acted solely in their capacity as citizens. 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. Probably jurors would be more impressed if it seemed as though the litigant were speaking for themselves. From BC political trials were no longer held in the assembly, but only in a court. Under this, anything passed by the assembly or even proposed but not yet voted on, could be put on hold for review before a jury which might annul it and perhaps punish the proposer as well.

Remarkably, it seems that a measure blocked before the assembly voted on it did not need to go back to the assembly if it survived the court challenge: To give a schematic scenario by way of illustration: The quantity of these suits was enormous: In the 5th century there was in effect no procedural difference between an executive decree and a law: But from BC they were set sharply apart.

Henceforth laws were made not in the assembly, but by special panels of citizens drawn from the annual jury pool of This expression encapsulated the right of citizens to take the initiative: Unlike officeholders, the citizen initiator was not voted before taking up office or automatically reviewed after stepping down it had after all no set tenure and might be an action lasting only a moment.


Find Women Seeking Men listings in Athens, GA on Oodle Classifieds. Join millions of people using Oodle to find great personal ads. Don't miss what's happening in your neighborhood. Athenian democracy developed around the fifth century BC in the Greek city-state (known as a polis) of Athens, comprising the city of Athens and the surrounding territory of Attica, and is often described as the first known democracy in the world. Other Greek cities set up democracies, most following the Athenian model, but none are as well documented as Athens'.

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