Democracy: A Life

Hardcover | March 10, 2016

byPaul Cartledge

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Ancient Greece first coined the concept of "democracy," yet almost every major ancient Greek thinker - from Plato and Aristotle onwards - were ambivalent or even hostile to democracy in any form. The explanation is quite simple: the elite perceived majority power as tantamount to adictatorship of the proletariat. In ancient Greece there can be traced not only the rudiments of modern democratic society but the entire Western tradition of anti-democratic thought. In Democracy: A Life, Paul Cartledge provides a detailed history of this ancient political system. In addition, by drawing out the salientdifferences between ancient and modern forms of democracy he enables a richer understanding of both. Cartledge contends that there is no one "ancient Greek democracy" as pure and simple as is often believed. Democracy surveys the emergence and development of Greek politics, the invention of political theory, and - intimately connected to the latter - the birth of democracy, first at Athens in c.500 BCE and then at its greatest flourishing in the Greek world around 350 BCE. Cartledge then traces the decline of genuinely democratic Greek institutions at the hands of the Macedonians and - subsequently and decisively - the Romans. Authoritative and accessible, Democracy: A Life will beregarded as the best account of ancient democracy and its long afterlife.

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From the Publisher

Ancient Greece first coined the concept of "democracy," yet almost every major ancient Greek thinker - from Plato and Aristotle onwards - were ambivalent or even hostile to democracy in any form. The explanation is quite simple: the elite perceived majority power as tantamount to adictatorship of the proletariat. In ancient Greece ther...

Paul Cartledge is A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture Emeritus at the University of Cambridge. He is an honorary citizen of modern Sparta and holds the Gold Cross of the Order of Honor awarded by the President of Greece. His previous books include The Cambridge Illustrated History of Ancient Greece (Cambridge, 1997, 2002), The Spa...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:312 pages, 9.25 × 6.12 × 0.98 inPublished:March 10, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199837457

ISBN - 13:9780199837458

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Table of Contents

Preface and AcknowledgementsIllustrationsTimelinePrologue Introduction: Lost in Translation? Modern and Contemporary Appropriations of Democracy IACT I1. Sources, Ancient and Modern2. The Emergence of the Polis/Politics/the Political: Modern and Contemporary Appropriations of Democracy IIACT II3. The Emergence of Greek Democracy I: Archaic Greece4. The Emergence of Greek Democracy II: Athens 508/75. The Emergence of Greek Democracy III: Athens 508/7-451/06. Greek Democratic Theory7. Athenian Democracy in Practice c. 450-3358. Athenian Democracy as a Culture c. 450-3359. Greek Democracy in Credit and Crisis I: Fifth Century10. Athenian Democracy in Court: the Trials of Demos and SocratesACT III11. Greek Democracy in Credit and Crisis II: The Golden Age of Greek Democracy (c.375-50) and its Critics12. Athenian Democracy at Work in the 'Age of Lycurgus'?13. Classical Greek Democracy: a RetrospectACT IV14. Hellenistic 'Democracy'? Democracy in Deficit c. 323-86 BCE15. Roman Republic: a sort of Democracy? [I: Polybius's Roman Constitution II: the 'Millar Thesis' ]16. Democracy Denied: the Roman and Early Byzantine Empire17. Democracy Eclipsed: Late Antiquity, European Middle Ages and the RenaissanceACT V18. Democracy Revived I: England in the 17th Century19. Democracy Revived II: France in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries20. Democracy Revived III: the United States in the late 18th and early 19th Centuries21. Democracy Reinvented II: Tocqueville's America22. Democracy Reinvented II: 19th-century BritainEpilogue Democracy Now: Retrospect and ProspectsNotesReferences and Further ReadingIndex