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Athenian Democracy: a short overview – Historical Greece Reloaded

This text was initially written for the net dialogue sequence “Athenian Regulation in its Democratic Context”…


· Abstract ·

This text was initially written for the net dialogue sequence “Athenian Regulation in its Democratic Context,” organized by Adriaan Lanni and sponsored by Harvard College’s Heart for Hellenic Research. Its function is to introduce, very briefly, the establishments of the Athenian democracy throughout the late fifth century BCE by the top of the unconventional democracy within the late 4th century. 

· Introduction ·

The town of Athens lived below a radically democratic authorities from 508 till 322 BCE. Earlier than the sooner date there was democracy to be discovered right here and there within the authorities of Athens, and democratic establishments survived lengthy after the latter date, however for these 186 years the town of Athens was self-consciously and decidedly democratic, autonomous, aggressive, and affluent. Democracy in Athens was not restricted to giving residents the appropriate to vote. Athens was not a republic, nor had been the Folks ruled by a consultant physique of legislators. In a really actual sense, the Folks ruled themselves, debating and voting individually on points nice and small, from issues of struggle and peace to the right {qualifications} for ferry-boat captains (for the latter, see Aeschin. 3.157).1 The Athenian democracy was not, in fact, a free-for-all of mob rule. The Athenians understood the worth of checks and balances and of implementing time for reflection earlier than performing. They understood that professionalism is important in sure jobs, that accountability was mandatory of most jobs, and that some jobs required absolute job-security. The system developed over time, suffered two full breakdowns within the fifth century, and is definitely open to criticism at many factors throughout its historical past. Nonetheless, it was coherent sufficient throughout these two centuries that we will describe it, usually phrases, with out being too far improper on any level. And regardless of its moments of imprudence, injustice, and indecision, it was an experiment outstanding sufficient to deserve our consideration.

The early historical past of Athenian Democracy and its growth is the topic of one other article on this sequence. This normal description of how the Athenians ruled themselves will concentrate on the 4th century BCE, each as a result of the democracy was most totally developed throughout that point and since nearly all of our proof both comes from that interval, or describes the the Athenian authorities throughout that interval.

· The Demos ·

For the Athenians, “democracy” (demokratia, δημοκρατία) gave Rule (kratos, κράτος) to the Demos (Δῆμος). Demos (pronounced “day-moss”) has a number of meanings, all of them essential for Athenian democracy. Demos is the Greek phrase for “village” or, as it’s typically translated, “deme.” The deme was the smallest administrative unit of the Athenian state, like a voting precinct or college district. Younger males, who had been 18 years previous offered themselves to officers of their deme and, having confirmed that they weren’t slaves, that their dad and mom had been Athenian, and that they had been 18 years previous, had been enrolled within the “Meeting Record” (the pinax ekklesiastikos, πίναξ ἐκκλησιαστικός) (see Dem. 44.35; Aristot. Ath. Pol. 42.1).

One other which means of Demos, to the Athenians, was “Folks,” as within the Folks of Athens, the physique of residents collectively. So a younger man was enrolled in his “demos” (deme), and thus grew to become a member of the Demos (the Folks). As a member of the Demos, this younger man might take part within the Meeting of Residents that was the central establishment of the democracy. The Greek phrase for “Meeting” is ekklesia (ἐκκλησία), however the Athenians typically referred to it because the “Demos.” Decrees of the Meeting started with the phrase “It appeared finest to the Demos…,” very very like the phrase “We the Folks…” that introduces the Structure of the US. On this context, “Demos” was used to make a distinction between the Meeting of all residents and the Council of 500 residents, one other establishment of the democracy (see under). So some decrees would possibly start “It appeared finest to the Demos…”, others would possibly start “It appeared finest to the Council…”, and nonetheless others would possibly start, “It appeared finest to the Demos and the Council….”

So the Athenian Demos was the native village, the inhabitants typically, and the meeting of residents that ruled the state.

· Athenian Democracy: an Overview ·

The democratic authorities of Athens rested on three fundamental establishments, and some others of lesser significance. The three pillars of democracy had been: the Meeting of the Demos, the Council of 500, and the Folks’s Court docket. These had been supplemented by the Council of the Areopagus, the Archons, and the Generals. Precise laws concerned each the Meeting and the Council, and advert hoc boards of “Lawmakers.” This abstract will describe the Meeting, the Council, and the method of laws within the best element, together with a shorter description of the Council of the Areopagus. The Folks’s Court docket will likely be coated briefly after which left for fuller therapy in different sources. Whereas Generals and Archons will seem right here and there within the descriptions of different establishments, they had been actually servants of the Demos and don’t require intensive dialogue on this comparatively temporary introduction to Athenian Democracy.

· Athenian Democracy: the Meeting ·

The Meeting (Ekklesia, ἐκκλησία) was the common gathering of male Athenian residents (girls additionally loved a sure citizen standing, however with out political rights) to take heed to, talk about, and vote on decrees that affected each side of Athenian life, each private and non-private, from monetary issues to non secular ones, from public festivals to struggle, from treaties with overseas powers to laws governing ferry boats.

The Meeting was the common alternative for all male residents of Athens to talk their minds and train their votes relating to the federal government of their metropolis. It was probably the most central and most definitive establishment of the Athenian Democracy. Earlier than 462 BCE, the Court docket of the Areopagus managed laws in Athens, however in that 12 months Ephialtes instituted a reform that diminished the ability of the Areopagus and elevated the ability of the Meeting of the folks (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 25.2; Aristot. Ath. Pol. 27.1; Plut. Cim. 15.2; Plut. Per. 9.5). This Meeting grew to become synonymous with democracy. When Aristotle describes how democratic authorities was restored, after Sparta defeated Athens in 404 BCE, he says that this restoration occurred when the Folks (Demos, Δῆμος) grew to become sovereign over affairs (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 41.1). Underneath this authorities, he says, the Folks administers all enterprise by decrees and by law-courts (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 41.2). When Aristotle mentions the Folks and authorities by decrees, he’s describing the Meeting.

Within the Meeting every male citizen of Athens might communicate, no matter his station. The orator Aeschines says that “the herald, performing as a sergeant-at-arms, doesn’t exclude from the platform the person whose ancestors haven’t held a normal’s workplace, nor even the person who earns his day by day bread by working at a commerce; nay, these males he most heartily welcomes, and for that reason he repeats many times the invitation, ‘Who needs to handle the Meeting?’” (Aeschin. 1.27) The orator Demosthenes might scold his fellow Athenians for failing to remember sure occasions, as a result of they “had been current at each Meeting, because the state proposed a dialogue of coverage through which each one would possibly be part of” (Dem. 18.273). “Everybody,” on this context, refers back to the physique of residents who had been registered on the Meeting Record for his or her native Deme (Dem. 44.35). Underneath the Democracy of Aristotle’s time (after 330 BCE), younger males had been enrolled on this record after they had been 18 years previous (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 42.1), then spent two years as navy cadets, or ephebes, ἔφηβοι (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 42.4), after which they had been members of the citizen physique (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 42.5).

In fact, some folks may be higher certified than others to talk on sure topics, and the residents of Athens could possibly be very essential when anybody tried to talk exterior of his experience. The character Socrates in Plato’s Protagoras says that “when the Athenian Meeting is discussing development, the residents name for builders to talk, and when it’s discussing the development of ships they name for shipwrights, but when anybody else, whom the folks don’t regard as a craftsman, makes an attempt to advise them, irrespective of how good-looking and rich and well-born he could also be, not certainly one of these items induces them to simply accept him; they merely giggle him to scorn and shout him down, till both the speaker retires from his try, overborne by the clamor, or the Archers pull him from his place or flip him out altogether by order of the presiding officers” (Plat. Prot. 319b – Plat. Prot. 319c). However, Socrates continues, when the dialogue isn’t about technical issues however in regards to the governing of the town, the person who rises to advise them on this may occasionally equally effectively be a smith, a shoemaker, a service provider, a sea-captain, a wealthy man, a poor man, of fine household or of none (Plat. Prot. 319d).

There’s the query of participation by Athenians dwelling within the countryside of Attica, exterior the town of Athens. Whereas these folks had been definitely residents of Athens, it could typically have been tough for them to attend a gathering of the Meeting. This is able to have been very true when emergency conferences had been known as on brief discover, such because the event when information of a navy catastrophe got here to the town within the night, and a particular Meeting convened the very subsequent morning (Dem. 18.169). This Meeting, and any others prefer it, should have consisted primarily of residents dwelling near the town. And even when there was extra warning earlier than a gathering, now we have to surprise what number of Athenians dwelling within the countryside of Attica would have made a 50 or 60 mile journey to downtown Athens and again. Within the fifth century we will estimate the grownup male inhabitants of Athens, and thus the variety of males eligible to take part in an Meeting, to have been 40,000 – 60,000, and within the 4th century, 20,000 – 30,000. However the variety of Athenians in attendance at a given assembly appears to have been significantly decrease. Thucydides makes the assertion that throughout the Peloponnesian Conflict (331 – 404 BCE) there have been often solely 5000 folks at a gathering (Thuc. 8.72), though he could also be exaggerating downwards; a greater measure of standard attendance may be the truth that 6000 residents had been required for a sound vote conferring citizenship on a non-Athenian (the earliest proof for this rule dates from 369 BCE) (IG II2 103; Dem. 24.45; Dem. 59.89).

When the Meeting met, the male residents assembled to debate the affairs of the town, and this dialogue required that every citizen have freedom to talk his thoughts. This freedom was very important to the right functioning of the Meeting, whether or not the difficulty at stake was some essential public coverage (Dem. 15.1), or the rights of a single citizen (Dem. 18.3). In an anecdote from the distant previous, Demosthenes means that freedom of speech had an extended historical past at Athens, and endured regardless of periodic makes an attempt to restrict it. He recounts how within the sixth century BCE the island of Salamis had revolted from Athenian management, and the Athenians had forbidden anybody even to suggest a struggle to get better the island; however Solon, an actual particular person whose place in Athenian historical past grew to become topic of legend, composed a poem on the topic (poetry on the topic was evidently not forbidden), and thru this ruse acquired across the regulation and satisfied Athens to struggle for Salamis (Dem. 19.252). By the 4th century BCE, discussions of motions within the Meeting had been opened with a normal invitation to all of the male residents, because the Herald requested, “Who needs to talk?” (Dem. 18.191; Aeschin. 1.26; Aristoph. Ach. 46). We’d be aware, right here, that Demosthenes claims a sure freedom of speech to have prolonged even to resident foreigners and slaves (Dem. 9.3), though he’s definitely not speaking about participation within the Meeting, and we should always surprise how a lot freedom these folks really loved.

This freedom to talk was not absolute or with out regulation. Aeschines tells us, for instance, that within the early democracy (earlier than the fifth century) residents over 50 years of age might communicate first, and solely after these had their say might youthful males communicate (Aeschin. 1.23; Aeschin. 3.2). Different formal restrictions might apply, equivalent to decrees limiting dialogue of sure matters to sure conferences of the Meeting (Aeschin. 2.109), and even legal guidelines forbidding dialogue of points already settled in a court docket (Dem. 24.54). Different, much less respectable (however maybe simpler) limits could possibly be imposed: the gang would possibly increase a clamor and refuse to take heed to a speaker advocate an unpopular proposal (Dem. 19.111), and this appears to have occurred typically sufficient that orators frequently requested, beforehand, to not be shouted down (Dem. 13.14).

Particular person residents might lose the appropriate to take part within the Meeting by committing numerous offenses (Aeschin. 1.23). Demosthenes mentions authorized penalties for individuals who attend a gathering of the Meeting whereas owing a debt to the general public treasury (Dem. 24.123), or who’ve been stricken, for some purpose or one other, from their deme’s register of residents (Dem. 18.132). Additionally prohibited from taking part had been: anybody convicted of prostituting himself (Aeschin. 1.72; Aeschin. 1.21; and Aeschin. 1.32, the place the orator provides, “nonetheless effectively he speaks”), anybody who beat his father or mom, or didn’t help them, or who threw away his protect in battle, or who squandered his inheritance (Aeschin. 1.28 – Aeschin. 1.30). Any citizen who suspected one other of being unqualified to take part within the Meeting might problem him to dokimasia, or “scrutiny” (δοκιμασία), whereupon the difficulty can be determined by a jury in a law-court (Aeschin. 1.32).

Residents had been paid for attending the Meeting, to make sure that even the poor might afford to take time from their work to take part in their very own authorities. Aristotle acknowledged that inclusion of all residents and freedom to talk will not be the one hallmarks of a democratic structure, however that probably the most democratic states pay their residents for attending the Meeting. He claims that within the absence of fee, the Council (Boule, Βουλή) is probably the most democratic of magistracies (Aristot. Pol. 1317b), however in states that may afford to, and do, pay their residents for attending conferences of the Meeting, all of the residents really participate in it and train their citizenship, as a result of even the poor are enabled to be at leisure by receiving pay (Aristot. Pol. 1293a). A historic anecdote recorded in Aristotle’s Structure of the Athenians (Aristot. Ath. Pol.) additional helps this assertion: In 411, when a bunch of Athenians briefly overthrew the democracy and established an oligarchy, certainly one of their first acts was to go a regulation that nobody ought to obtain pay for political exercise (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 29.5; and Aristot. Ath. Pol. 33.1, referring to the next regime of 411 and 410). Within the 4th century, when Timocrates had proposed that the Athenians loosen enforcement of penalties towards those that owe money owed to the state, Demosthenes claimed that there can be no cash left within the treasury to pay for attendance on the Meeting, and he went on to equate that final result with an finish to Democracy (Dem. 24.99).

The standard meeting-place for the Meeting was the open area on high of the hill of the Pnyx (Thuc. 8.97). The Pnyx was open to the sky, and thus conferences of the Meeting should have been influenced by the climate; the legal guidelines that mandated good climate omens earlier than the election of navy officers (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 44.4) may need been as serious about making certain a cushty day for dialogue as in ascertaining divine favor.

Within the 4th century, there have been 40 frequently scheduled conferences of the Meeting every year, 4 in every “prytany” (a “prytany” was an administrative unit equal to at least one tenth of the 12 months) (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 43.3).

One of many 4 conferences in every prytany was the Sovereign Meeting (kuria ekklesia, κυρία ἐκκλησία), the agenda for which included the affirmation of magistrates presently serving, problems with the meals provide and protection, bulletins of personal property to be confiscated, and bulletins of lawsuits relating to inheritance (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 43.4).

In every prytany, there have been three common assemblies along with the Sovereign Meeting; these had been merely known as Assemblies (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 43.3). It appears possible that within the fifth century solely the Sovereign Assemblies had been frequently scheduled, as a result of Thucydides mentions a interval of 40 days within the 12 months 431 through which there was no Meeting (Thuc. 2.22.1); if there have been 4 scheduled assemblies in every prytany at the moment, 40 days couldn’t have handed and not using a assembly.

Aside from the Sovereign Meeting, one of many remaining three was an event for any citizen who wished to current a suppliant-branch and tackle his fellow residents about any public or personal matter that involved him (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 43.6). The power of residents to voice complaints on this public discussion board might have deterred sure dangerous habits, or a minimum of made the perpetrators suppose twice. Aeschines recounts how on one event some males assaulted a person named Pittalacus. On the following day when Pittalacus was within the market, his attackers got here as much as him and tried to assuage him; they had been afraid that their crime can be revealed to the entire metropolis, since there was to be an Meeting that day (Aeschin. 1.60).

The opposite two frequently scheduled conferences in every prytany had been involved, in line with Aristotle, with different issues (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 43.6). A few of this different enterprise was scheduled to occur at explicit assemblies throughout the 12 months. At an Meeting held on the eleventh day of the primary prytany, the folks voted on whether or not or to not maintain an overview of all of the legal guidelines (Dem. 24.21). Within the sixth prytany, there was dialogue of whether or not or to not maintain an ostracism, dialogue of any data towards folks charged with being informers—on this class, not more than three residents and three resident foreigners—and dialogue of individuals accused of failing to carry out some assigned public service (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 43.5). A gathering throughout the sixth prytany was additionally the event for election of navy officers (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 44.4).

No less than till the center of the 4th century the Meeting often met to conduct a trial, most frequently an impeachment (Dem. 49.10).

Assemblies don’t appear to have taken place on fastened days throughout every prytany, however they didn’t occur on days when the law-courts had been in session (Dem. 24.80). They appear additionally to have been scheduled round different essential occasions, equivalent to non secular festivals. Aeschines is very essential of an Meeting that was known as on the eighth day of the month Elaphobolion, a day of sacrifices to Asclepius (the orator says that this was unprecedented in reminiscence) (Aeschin. 3.67), and Demosthenes criticizes a movement to have the Meeting meet on the twelfth of the month Hecatombaion, a competition day for Cronus (Dem. 24.26).

Along with Sovereign Assemblies (kuriai ekklesiai) and Assemblies (ekklesiai), there have been Known as-together Assemblies (sunkletoi ekklesiai, σύγκλητοι ἐκκλησίαι); the time period seems solely in literary proof (not in inscriptions) throughout the 4th century, and its which means isn’t fully clear. Generally our sources appear to make use of it to consult with additional conferences, along with the traditional 4 that occurred in every prytany. Aeschines mentions a time when Athens was in such a panic over Philip of Macedon’s struggle towards Amphipolis, that there have been extra Known as-together Assemblies than scheduled Assemblies (Aeschin. 2.72). However at different occasions the time period appears to point an Meeting known as at brief discover, however not essentially an additional Meeting.

Officers of the Council known as collectively a gathering of the Meeting, which opened with numerous non secular rituals earlier than the residents had been invited to talk and vote on issues of public enterprise.

The 50 members of the Council serving as Prytaneis—the identical phrase, prytaneis (πρυτάνεις) refers back to the governmental months, ten every year, and to the members of the Council who had been presiding throughout a given prytany—usually known as conferences of the Meeting (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 43.3), and posted the agenda beforehand (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 43.4). If the Meeting was to vote on some matter by poll, the Prytaneis distribute the ballots (Dem. 59.90).

Within the fifth century, the Prytaneis really managed the conduct of a gathering of the Meeting (Xen. Hell. 1.7.14), however in Aristotle’s time (after the center of the 4th century), the President of the Council appointed 9 Proedroi for every Meeting; these had been chosen from members of the Council who weren’t presently serving as Prytaneis (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 44.2). These Proedroi managed the conduct of the Meeting; deciding when to place a query to the vote (Aeschin. 2.84; Aeschin. 2.68), and deciding when to chop off dialogue of a matter (Aeschin. 2.67).

The Folks did, occasionally, override the desire of the officers conducting the conferences, as when, within the late fifth century, the Prytaneis had been unwilling to permit a vote, the Folks overrode them with menacing shouts (Xen. Hell. 1.7.14).

The choice or appointment of Proedroi was doubtlessly topic to corruption, which Aeschines hints at on two events (Aeschin. 3.73; Aeschin. 2.90). Along with these Proedroi, the Meeting elected a clerk (grammateus, γραμματεύς) to learn paperwork aloud (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 54.5); the orator Aeschines served as a clerk early in his profession, though we have no idea whether or not he was the clerk appointed to learn within the Meeting (Dem. 19.79).

The opening of a gathering of the Meeting was marked by rituals. A sacrifice was made and carried across the space, and there was a prayer, each of those supposed to purify the proceedings (Aeschin. 1.23; Aeschin. 2.158; a parody of this prayer is discovered at Aristoph. Thes. 314). The heralds provided the prayer (Aeschin. 1.23; Dem. 24.20). The herald additionally known as down curses (kataratai, καταρᾶται) on anybody who would mislead the Meeting (Dem. 19.70; Dem. 23.97; there’s a parody of this at Aristoph. Thes. 335). After these rituals, the Herald requested “Who needs to talk?,” and the Meeting was opened (Dem. 18.191; Aeschin. 1.26; Aristoph. Ach. 46; cf. a potential parody of this at Aristoph. Eccl. 130).

Most voting within the Meeting was by a present of palms (cheirotonia, χειροτονία), though some votes had been performed by secret poll (psephos, ψῆφος, actually “pebble”). Even probably the most severe of issues had been typically determined by present of palms, such because the impeachment and condemnation of generals (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 34.1) and the approval of formal legal guidelines (nomoi, νόμοι) (Dem. 24.20) (legal guidelines had been extra vital than decrees; see under). This methodology of voting restricted the enterprise of the Meeting to sunlight hours, as this anecdote from Xenophon exhibits: “It was determined, nonetheless, that the matter ought to be postponed to a different assembly of the Meeting (for by that point it was late within the day and so they couldn’t have distinguished the palms within the voting).” (Xen. Hell. 1.7.7). Underneath sure circumstances, the Meeting would vote by poll (psephos) (Xen. Hell. 1.7.9). Voting by poll was restricted to points which needed to be determined by a quorum of 6000 residents (Dem. 59.89 – Dem. 59.90).

As soon as the Meeting had accepted one thing, the decree, its date, and the names of the officers who put the matter to the vote, had been recorded and preserved as a public report of the proceedings of presidency (Aeschin. 2.89; Aeschin. 2.58; Aeschin. 3.75).

· Athenian Democracy: the Council ·

The Council of 500 represented the full-time authorities of Athens. It consisted of 500 residents, 50 from every of the ten tribes, who served for one 12 months. The Council might concern decrees by itself, relating to sure issues, however its fundamental operate was to arrange the agenda for conferences of the Meeting. The Council would meet to debate and vote on “Preliminary decrees” (probouleumata, προβουλεύματα), and any of those that handed the Council’s vote went on for dialogue and voting within the Meeting.

Every member of the Council (boule, βουλή) was a Councilor (bouleutes, βουλευτής, within the plural, bouleutai) (see for instance Aeschin. 1.104; Andoc. 2.14). Aristotle lists service on the Council amongst these places of work chosen by lot (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 62.1). He elsewhere says that in a democratic metropolis, the Council was crucial board of magistrates (Aristot. Pol. 1322b). By means of a lot of the fifth and 4th centures BCE, residents had been paid for his or her participation within the Council (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 62.2), and every citizen might serve on the Council twice in his lifetime (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 62.3).

Though participation within the Council was paid, and thought of an workplace, it additionally appears to have been thought of an unexceptional a part of a citizen’s life, somewhat than part of a political profession. In Plato’s Apology of Socrates (an account, maybe largely fictional, of the speech Socrates gave when on trial for impiety), Socrates says that he served on the Council (Plat. Apol. 32a-b), but additionally says that he by no means participated in politics (Plat. Apol. 31c-d). So, in Plato’s account, plainly service on the Council didn’t point out political ambition, and even any particular curiosity in politics.

Earlier than taking their seats on the Council, newly chosen Councilors needed to endure scrutiny (dokimasia), an audit of their health to serve (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 45.3).

Lysias makes the declare that the regulation of scrutiny was primarily supposed to disclaim political workplace to males who had participated in one of many short-lived oligarchic coups of the fifth century BCE, or the Tyranny of the Thirty (these occasions are mentioned above) (Lys. 26.9-10). However scrutiny was a broadly essential establishment within the Athenian democracy, and Lysias’ assertion might be too slender to mirror strictly historic actuality.

The 9 Archons underwent scrutiny earlier than taking workplace (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 55.2), as did the ten generals (Lys. 15.1-2), as did clergymen, advocates, heralds, and ambassadors (Aeschin. 1.19-20). Actually, in line with Aeschines, any citizen might name upon every other citizen to endure scrutiny at any time, to find out whether or not he deserved the privilege of talking earlier than the Meeting (Aeschin. 1.32). Moreover, each younger Athenian man underwent a scrutiny earlier than the members of his deme earlier than he was enrolled within the record of residents (Dem. 44.41; Lys. 26.21).

The scrutiny of newly chosen Councilors was managed by the Thesmothetae, the decrease six of the 9 archons (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 59.4), but it surely was the outgoing Council that determined whether or not every of the five hundred new Councilors was eligible to take workplace (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 45.3).

This scrutiny took into consideration virtually each side of a citizen’s life, private and non-private, and we will be taught a lot in regards to the values of the Athenian democracy from the questions requested throughout a scrutiny, and grounds for which a candidate might fail his scrutiny. In response to Aristotle, a candidate for the Council was requested, “Who’s your father and to what deme does he belong, and who’s your father’s father, and who your mom, and who her father and what his deme? Then whether or not he has a Household Apollo and Homestead Zeus, and the place these shrines are; then whether or not he has household tombs and the place they’re; then whether or not he treats his dad and mom effectively, and whether or not he pays his taxes, and whether or not he has accomplished his navy service” (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 55.3-4). In response to Xenophon, they had been additionally requested in the event that they honored their household graves (Xen. Mem. 2.2.13).

After the candidate answered the questions, and any accusers had come ahead, the Council voted by present of palms (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 55.4). In response to Aristotle, initially the vote of the Council was the final phrase in a scrutiny, however in his time (the center of the 4th century BCE) “there may be an attraction to the Jury-court, and with this rests the ultimate determination as to qualification” (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 55.2).

A passage from a speech by Lysias confirms {that a} candidate who was rejected by the Council might attraction to a jury, whereas noting that this attraction might take time, and would possibly outcome within the 12 months starting and not using a full physique of magistrates in workplace (Lys. 26.6).

The newly appointed Councilors swore an oath, the phrases of that are preserved by passing mentions in numerous sources. In response to Xenophon, they swore “to advise in line with the legal guidelines” (Xen. Mem. 1.1.18). In response to two passages from Lysias, they swore “to advise what was finest for the town” (Lys. 31.2; Lys. 30.10). Demosthenes mentions Councilors swearing “to advise what was finest for the Folks” (Dem. 59.4), and this: “Nor will I imprison any Athenian citizen who supplies three folks to ensure his debt, guarantors who’re in the identical tax-bracket, besides anybody discovered responsible of conspiring to betray the town or to subvert the democracy, or anybody who has contracted to gather taxes, or his guarantor, or his collector who’s in default” (Dem. 24.144). A passage from a speech attributed to Andocides claims that the “oath of the Folks and the Council” included a promise “to not exile, nor imprison, nor execute anybody and not using a trial” (Andoc. 4.3). In response to Lysias, once more, Councilors swore an oath, “to let it’s recognized if he is aware of of anybody who has been chosen by lot however isn’t match to serve on the Council” (Lys. 31.2), and “to crown a person as worthy of public workplace solely after scrutinizing him” (Lys. 26.8  ).

5 hundred Councilors served on the Council for the 12 months, however sensible considerations required that they be divided into smaller teams. Accordingly, the legislative 12 months was divided into ten components, every known as a “prytany”; for every prytany, the fifty Councilors from one of many ten tribes served as “presidents,” or prytanes (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 43.2-3).

The order through which the Councilors from every tribe served as presidents was random, decided by lot (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 43.2). The random dedication appears to have taken place on the finish of every prytany (somewhat than abruptly originally of the 12 months), so nobody might predict which tribe would serve subsequent. An inscription makes reference to “the presidents, whichever ones would possibly maintain that place after the tribe of Oineis” (IG II2 553.16-17). When the decree was written, the Councilors from the tribe of Oineis had been serving as prytanes, or presidents; the decree wanted to consult with the following group of presidents, however that group was clearly not recognized. So, we will infer from this that the choice should have occurred towards the top of a prytany. Clearly, throughout the ninth prytany of the 12 months, it could be apparent that whichever tribe had not but served would maintain the presidency for the ultimate prytany.

This elaborate randomization of the presidency was most likely supposed to restrict prospects for corruption. Nobody might plan to introduce enterprise to the Council when a selected tribe held the presidency, and no Councilor might know upfront when he would function a president.

The presidents ate their meals collectively within the Tholos, the “Spherical Home.” They deliberate and arranged conferences of the Council and posted an agenda for every assembly beforehand (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 43.3).

Aristotle tells us that “There’s a chairman of the presidents, one man, chosen by lot; this man chairs for an evening and a day—not—and can’t turn out to be chairman a second time” (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 44.1). This chairman stored the keys to the treasuries and archives of Athens, in addition to the state seal (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 44.1).

Along with a day by day assembly of all of the presidents, the chairman and one third of the presidents had been required to be available within the Tholos always (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 44.1); presumably solely the chairman was on obligation for a full 24 hours, and the opposite presidents might divide the day into 8 hour shifts. These males, on-call within the Tholos, represented the entire authorities of Athens in a time of disaster, a minimum of till the total Council or Meeting could possibly be convened. Heralds and envoys from different states got here to the presidents within the Tholos first, as did messenger bearing official letters (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 43.6).

Demosthenes describes a dramatic scene, that exhibits clearly the operate of the presidents and the chairman. In 339 BCE, Philip of Macedon marched his military south and captured the town of Elateia, thus threatening Thebes and the Thebans’ southern neighbor, Athens. Demosthenes describes what occurred when information of this menace got here to Athens:

“Night had already fallen when a messenger arrived bringing to the presiding councilors the information that Elateia had been taken. They had been sitting at supper, however they immediately rose from desk, cleared the cubicles within the market of their occupants, and unfolded the hurdles, whereas others summoned the commanders and ordered the attendance of the trumpeter. The commotion unfold by the entire metropolis. At dawn on the following day the presidents summoned the Council to the Council Home, and the residents flocked to the place of meeting. Earlier than the Council might introduce the enterprise and put together the agenda, the entire physique of residents had taken their locations on the hill. The Council arrived, the presiding Councilors formally reported the intelligence they’d acquired, and the courier was launched” (Dem. 18.169-170).

So, in a disaster, the security of Athens lay first within the palms of the presidents and the chairman. It’s value noting that as a result of there have been 354 days within the legislative 12 months (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 43.2), greater than two thirds of all Councilors would function chairman for an evening and a day in a given 12 months.

There are additional implications, if we settle for the estimate of two students that in 400 BCE there have been roughly 22,000 grownup male residents—it’s past the scope of this text to offer proof and justification for this, however the arguments are offered in Victor Ehrenberg, The Greek State, 2nd English Version (Methuen, 1969) 31, whose estimate is 20,000-25,000, and in A.W. Gomme, The Inhabitants of Athens within the Fifth and Fourth Centuries BC (Blackwell, 1933) 26, whose estimate is 22,000.

A citizen needed to be 30 years previous to function a Councilor (Xen. Mem. 1.2.35). For the sake of argument, we’d assume that the common citizen would then have an energetic political lifetime of 30 years, till he was 60. Throughout that point, there would must be roughly 10,000 chairmen, every controlling the state seal and the treasuries, and presiding over the presidents of the Council for a day and an evening (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 44.1). Since nobody might function chairman twice (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 44.1), this workplace must go to 10,000 totally different Athenians. It follows, then, that roughly one half of all Athenian residents would, sooner or later throughout their lives, have the privilege and duty of holding this workplace, arguably the closest equal to a Chief Government within the Athenian democracy.

Extra essential than every other operate of the Council was its function in making ready the agenda for conferences of the Meeting, the place all Athenian residents gathered to debate and vote on decrees.

Whereas any male citizen was invited to talk in an Meeting and all male residents might vote, the matters for dialogue and vote had been restricted by what amounted to a system of checks and balances between the Meeting and the Council.

The Council would vote on preliminary decrees (probouleumata, or within the singular, probouleuma, προβούλευμα) (Dem. 23.92). In response to the tenth century CE lexicon of the Greek language, the Suda, a probouleuma was “What has been voted on by the Council earlier than being offered to the Folks” (Suda pi,2349). A passage from the orator Demosthenes’ speech towards Neaira illustrates how a probouleuma labored:

“You had been at the moment on the purpose of sending your total drive to Euboea and Olynthus, and Apollodorus, being certainly one of its members, introduced ahead within the Council a movement, and carried it as a preliminary decree (probouleuma) to the Meeting, proposing that the folks ought to determine whether or not the funds remaining over from the state’s expenditure ought to be used for navy functions or for public spectacles. For the legal guidelines prescribed that, when there was struggle, the funds remaining over from state expenditures ought to be dedicated to navy functions, and Apollodorus believed that the folks should have energy to do what they happy with their very own; and he had sworn that, as a member of the senate, he would act for the perfect pursuits of the Athenian folks, as you all bore witness at that disaster” (Dem. 59.4).

On this case, an current regulation required that any surplus funds within the treasury of Athens ought to be used for navy functions. However regardless of this regulation, Apollodorus needed the Meeting to debate the best way to spend the funds. So Apollodorus introduced the matter to the Council, which voted to create a preliminary decree. The council accepted the preliminary decree. This preliminary decree allowed the Meeting to debate the best way to spend the cash. Demosthenes goes on to say that the Meeting voted, unanimously, to spend the cash on the navy (Dem. 59.5).

So, after this prolonged process, the Athenian democracy did with its cash exactly what an current regulation required. However the mechanism of the Council, its probouleuma, and the Meeting allowed all the residents to deliberate, in an orderly method, on the extent to which the present regulation was acceptable below these circumstances, a struggle in Euboea and round Olynthus.

An inscription that survives in pretty good situation illustrates vividly the course of an precise movement by the Council, to the Meeting by way of a preliminary decree, and into the physique of Athenian coverage as a decree of the Athenian Folks. This inscription dates from round 333 BCE, and has to do with a request by some retailers from the town of Citium on the island of Cyprus; these retailers got here to the Athenian Council to ask for permission to construct a temple to Aphrodite, Cyprus’ patron goddess, the place natives of Cyprus might worship whereas they had been visiting or dwelling in Athens (IG II2 337).

It is very important be aware that the textual content and translation given right here omit any indication of how the inscription really regarded, and the extent to which trendy editors have stuffed in lacking sections; what seems right here is significantly cleaned up. It may well serve for instance the workings of the Council, however shouldn’t be taken as indicative of the right option to current and browse an inscription.

Right here is the inscription, IG II2 337 [By the way, it makes reference to Proedroi, Πρόεδροι; these were the Councilors selected to run meetings of either the Council or the Assembly]:

“Gods. When Nikokratos was archon, within the first prytany (that of the tribe Aegeis): Theophilos from the deme Phegous, one of many Proedroi, put this matter to the vote: The Council determined (after Antidotos, son of Apollodoros, from the deme Sypalettos made the movement): Regarding the issues that the Citians say in regards to the basis of the temple to Aphrodite, it has been voted by the Council that the Proedroi, those to be chosen by lot to function Proedroi on the first Meeting, ought to introduce the Citians and permit them to have an viewers, and to share with the Folks the opinion of the Council, that the Folks, having heard from the Citians in regards to the basis of the temple, and from every other Athenian who needs to talk, determine to do no matter appears finest. When Nikokrates was archon, within the second Prytany (that of the tribe Pandionis): Phanostratos from the deme Philaidai, one of many Proedroi, put this matter to the vote: The Folks determined (after Lykourgos, son of Lykophron, of the deme Boutadai made the movement): Regarding the issues for which the Citian retailers resolved to petition, lawfully, asking the Folks for the usage of a plot of land on which they may construct a temple of Aphrodite, it has appeared finest to the Folks to offer to the retailers of the Citians the usage of a plot of land on which they may construct a temple of Aphrodite, simply as additionally the Egyptians constructed the temple of Isis.”

On this one inscription we see the entire legislative course of. Within the first prytany of the 12 months, Antidotos, a councilor, made a movement earlier than the Council relating to this request by the Citians. One of many Proedroi in control of working the assembly of the Council put the matter to a vote. The Council voted to ship the matter alongside to the Meeting with out making any suggestion to the Meeting for or towards the Citians’ request. Then, within the second Prytany, Lykourgos, made a movement within the Meeting. The movement was in favor of the Citians’ request, and it was put to the vote by Phanostratos, a Councilor serving as one of many Proedroi who had been in control of working the assembly of the Meeting. The Folks voted on the matter, and the Citians had been allowed to construct their temple, simply as (evidently) some Egyptians had been allowed to construct a temple to Isis.

· Athenian Democracy: Laws ·

Athenians within the 4th century had been ruled by legal guidelines (nomoi or nomos, νόμος, within the singular) and decrees (psephismata, or psephisma, ψήφισμα, within the singular). Decrees had been handed by a vote of the Meeting, of the Council, or each. Legal guidelines got here into being by a extra sophisticated course of. Legal guidelines took priority over Decrees. Anybody who proposed a decree within the Meeting that contradicted an current regulation was topic to prosecution on a cost of “Unlawful Proposal” (graphe paranomon, γραφὴ παρανόνων). Legal guidelines had been handed by a course of known as nomothesia (νομοθεσία) or “laws.” Annually the Meeting met to debate the present physique of legal guidelines. Any citizen might suggest a change within the legal guidelines, however might solely suggest the repeal of a regulation if he instructed one other regulation to interchange the repealed regulation. If the Meeting determined to vary the legal guidelines, a board of “Nomothetai” or “legislators” was chosen to overview and revise the legal guidelines. The method of laws was like a trial, with advocates talking in protection of the present legal guidelines, and others talking towards the present legal guidelines. The Nomothetai would vote on modifications, and any modifications that handed had been revealed on inscriptions close to the statues of the Eponymous Heroes and browse aloud on the subsequent assembly of the Meeting. The Nomothetai additionally undertook an annual overview of all current legal guidelines, to be sure that none contradicted others, and that none had been redundant.

To grasp laws below the Athenian democracy, it’s mandatory to grasp some phrases. The Athenians of the fifth century BCE appear to have used two phrases interchangeably to consult with what we name a “regulation,” nomos and psephisma. Within the 4th century these phrases had two distinct meanings: a nomos was a “regulation,” whereas a psephisma was a “decree.” For the fifth century utilization, now we have the historian Xenophon and his account of a speech that Euryptolemus gave earlier than the Meeting in 406. The speaker tells his viewers that, in a selected case, both the psephisma of Kannonus applies (Xen. Hell. 1.7.20), or the psephisma relating to temple-robbers and traitors (Xen. Hell. 1.7.21); he then refers to each of those psephismata as “nomoi” (the plural type of “nomos”) (Xen. Hell. 1.7.22). So it could appear that these two phrases had been more-or-less equal. Within the 4th century, nonetheless, these two phrases clearly referred to 2 various things: nomoi had been “legal guidelines” enacted by a particular means of laws, whereas psephismata had been “decrees” handed by a vote of the Meeting. The orator Aeschines in certainly one of his speeches asks, rhetorically, why the legal guidelines (nomoi) are good, however the decrees of the Meeting (psephismata) are dangerous (Aeschin. 1.177). The thinker Aristotle makes a theoretical distinction between legal guidelines and decrees, noting that in sure sorts of democracy the legal guidelines rule, however in different kinds of democracies decrees can override legal guidelines (Aristot. Pol. 1292a). Athens was the previous type of democracy, in line with Demosthenes, who quotes a precept of Athenian governance, that “No decree, both of the Council or the Meeting shall have extra authority than a regulation” (Dem. 23.87).

Alternatively, the legal guidelines might decide what kinds of decrees the Meeting might go, equivalent to a regulation that permits the Meeting to go a decree honoring a citizen, however that limits the circumstances of such an honor (Aeschin. 3.36). The courts might nullify a decree, based mostly on the legal guidelines (Dem. 23.96). When inscribed on stone for the everlasting report, decrees start with the system, “It was determined by the Folks,” or, “It was determined by the Council and the Folks” (IG II2 206 4-5, IG II2 206 28-30; IG II2 237.5; IG II2 237 31); a regulation started with the system, “It was determined by the Lawgivers” (SEG 12 87.607).

The Athenians had no “consitution” equivalent to the US has, a physique of legal guidelines that basically outline the state. Some legal guidelines, nonetheless, included further clauses that made it very tough to vary or revoke the regulation. One such clause is quoted at Dem. 23.62: “Whosoever, whether or not Justice of the Peace or personal citizen, shall trigger this ordinance to be annoyed, or shall alter the identical, shall be disfranchised along with his youngsters and his property” (Dem. 23.62).

A regulation included as a citation in a speech by the orator Andocides says, “In no circumstances shall magistrates implement a regulation which has not been inscribed. No decree, whether or not of the Council or Meeting, shall override a regulation. No regulation shall be directed towards a person with out making use of to all residents alike, except an Meeting of six thousand so resolve by secret poll” (Andoc. 1.87). This establishes three essential rules of Athenian laws: (so as from final to first) that besides below very particular circumstances, the legal guidelines of Athens had been to use to all residents equally; that the legal guidelines (nomoi) had extra authority than the decrees (psephismata) of the Meeting or Council; and at last that solely the written legal guidelines had been legitimate.

In response to Plutarch, when Solon revised the legal guidelines of Athens within the sixth century BCE, he wrote the brand new legal guidelines on wood tablets (Plut. Sol. 25.1). By inscribing legal guidelines, both on wooden or in stone, and setting them in a public place, data of the legal guidelines was made out there to all residents, somewhat than to a small elite.

The procedures for making new legal guidelines or revising current legal guidelines was sophisticated, and appears to have been supposed to make the method as democratic as potential, and to stop any hasty or poorly thought of modifications to the legal guidelines.

Demosthenes describes means of laws intimately in his speech prosecuting Timocrates (Dem. 24). He reminds the jurors that, “In our legal guidelines at current in drive, males of Athens, each situation that should be noticed when new statutes are to be enacted is laid down clearly and with precision. To begin with, there’s a prescribed time for laws; however even on the correct time a person isn’t permitted to suggest his regulation simply as he pleases. He’s directed, within the first place, to place it in writing and submit it in entrance of the statues of the Eponymous Heroes for everybody to see. Then it’s ordained that the regulation should be of common software, and in addition that legal guidelines of opposite function should be repealed; and there are different instructions with which I don’t suppose I want bother you now” (Dem. 24.17-18).

Whereas any citizen might counsel modifications to the legal guidelines, legal guidelines weren’t handed by the Meeting or the Council, as decrees had been, however had been handed by a somewhat extended course of involving the “Lawgivers,” the nomothetae (the singular type is nomothete). Panels of Nomothetae had been fashioned for the needs of making new legal guidelines and reviewing current legal guidelines; the Nomothetae had been drawn from Athenians who had sworn the “dikastic oath,” the oath that jurors swore earlier than getting into a courtroom (Dem. 24.27; a passage in Demosthenes, Dem. 24.149-151, purports to be the textual content of that oath). So these Nomothetae had been odd residents assigned the duty of making and revising the legal guidelines.

These Nomothetae would get collectively and conduct laws below three circumstances: if the Meeting known as for revisions to the legal guidelines, if a person Athenian proposed a change within the legal guidelines, and if the six Archons known as the Thesmothetae (see Aristot. Ath. Pol. 55.1) undertook a scrutiny of the legal guidelines (respectively: Dem. 24.20; Dem. 24.33; Aeschin. 3.38).

On the first assembly of the Meeting for the 12 months, within the month of Hekatombaion, the Athenians held votes on the entire physique of legal guidelines (Dem. 24.20; see Dem. 24.23 the place the month of Hekatombaion is specified). That is how Demosthenes describes the method:

“Within the first presidency and on the eleventh day thereof, within the Meeting, the Herald having learn prayers, a vote shall be taken on the legal guidelines, to wit, first upon legal guidelines respecting the Council, and secondly upon normal statutes, after which upon statutes enacted for the 9 Archons, after which upon legal guidelines affecting different authorities. Those that are content material with the legal guidelines respecting the Council shall maintain up their palms first, after which those that will not be content material; and in like method in respect of normal statutes. All voting upon legal guidelines shall be in accordance with legal guidelines already in drive” (Dem. 24.20).

This passage tells us a number of issues. First, it means that the legal guidelines of Athens had been divided into a number of classes. There have been legal guidelines in regards to the Council; this presumably included legal guidelines governing the Nomothetae and the process for laws itself, because it was the Council that appointed the panels of Nomothetae (Dem. 24.27; Dem. 24.47-48). There have been legal guidelines “frequent” to all Athenians. There have been legal guidelines having to do with the 9 Archons. And there have been legal guidelines having to do with “different authorities.” This passage additionally tells us that the Meeting voted on the present legal guidelines by a present of palms (Dem. 24.20).

Demosthenes continues his description of the annual overview: “If any regulation already in drive be rejected on present of palms, the presidents [the ‘Prytaneis’ described above in the discussion of the Council] in whose time period of workplace the voting takes place shall appoint the final of the three conferences of the Meeting for the consideration of legal guidelines so rejected. The commissioners [the ‘Proedroi’] who preside by lot on the Meeting are required, instantly after non secular observances, to place the query respecting the periods of the Nomothetae, and respecting the fund from which their charges are to be paid. The Nomothetae shall include individuals who’ve taken the judicial oath” (Dem. 24.21).

Earlier than this assembly of the Meeting, when the Athenians voted on the present legal guidelines, anybody who needed to vary the legal guidelines was speculated to make public particular proposals for brand new legal guidelines: “Earlier than the assembly of the Meeting any Athenian citizen who needs shall write down the legal guidelines proposed by him and exhibit the identical in entrance of the Eponymous Heroes, to the top that the Folks might vote on the query of the time allowed to the Nomothetae with due regard to the entire variety of legal guidelines proposed. Whosoever proposes a brand new statute shall write it on a white board and exhibit it in entrance of the statues of the Eponymous Heroes on daily till the assembly of the Meeting” (Dem. 24.23).

This should have meant that the vote on the present legal guidelines was equal to a vote on the proposed modifications. If the residents preferred the strategies posted beforehand, they may vote towards the present legal guidelines, thus beginning a means of laws. If the residents didn’t just like the posted strategies, they’d vote in favor of the present legal guidelines. Requiring proposed modifications earlier than the assembly would enable the Meeting to make an knowledgeable determination relating to how lengthy the Nomothetae ought to take to conduct their enterprise (see additionally Dem. 20.94, Dem. 24.36; Aeschin. 3.39).

Demosthenes says, elsewhere in his speech towards Timocrates, that it was lawful for any citizen to suggest altering an current regulation, however provided that he instructed a brand new regulation to take its place (Dem. 24.33).

The Meeting, at this primary assembly of the 12 months (on the eleventh day of the month Hekatombaion), would additionally select 5 residents to “communicate in defence of legal guidelines proposed for repeal earlier than the Nomothetae” (Dem. 24.23). This means that the method of laws was very very like a trial in a courtroom, with some folks “prosecuting” the present legal guidelines (and advocating new legal guidelines), and others defending the present legal guidelines (Dem. 24.23, Dem. 24.36).

After this primary assembly of the Meeting for the 12 months, if the voting decided that the legal guidelines ought to be reviewed and probably modified, there was a delay, presumably to let folks think about issues. No additional motion occurred on the subsequent assembly of the Meeting in that month, however on the third assembly, the Meeting determined how lengthy the Nomothetae ought to spend legislating, and particulars of their pay (Dem. 21.24).

The Nomothetae weren’t chosen till the precise day assigned for laws; on the morning of that day they had been chosen by lot from those that had sworn the “Heliastic oath” that each one jurors swore (Dem. 24.27). A board of nomothetae could possibly be large: Demosthenes experiences that in 354/3 BCE, Timocrates handed within the Meeting a decree organising a board of 1001 Nomothetae, and ordering the Council to help them of their work (Dem. 24.27).

The assembly of the Nomothetae was performed by “Proedroi” (Dem. 24.33). The assembly was performed like a trial, with advocates talking in favor of the present legal guidelines (Dem. 24.23), and others talking in favor of fixing the legal guidelines (Dem. 24.36). When each events had spoken, the Nomothetae voted by present of palms (Dem. 24.33).

Any new legal guidelines proposed by the Nomothetae had been revealed close to the statues of the Eponymous Heroes and had been additionally learn aloud to the following assembly of the Meeting (Dem. 20.94).

Along with this frequently scheduled, annual, alternative for laws, there have been different methods of initiation the method of constructing modifications to the legal guidelines of Athens. Any citizen might, at any time, suggest a change within the legal guidelines (Dem. 24.33). The Archons, particularly the Thesmothetae, had been additionally charged with making an annual overview of the present legal guidelines and, in the event that they discovered contradictory legal guidelines or redundant legal guidelines, they may organize for a board of Nomothetae to vary the legal guidelines (Aeschin. 3.38).

Within the case of a person citizen who needed to vary the legal guidelines, he couldn’t suggest repealing a regulation with out suggesting a brand new regulation to take its place (Dem. 24.33; Dem. 20.89-94; Dem. 24.21). The Meeting would determine whether or not or not the proposal had enough benefit to be introduced earlier than the Nomothetae (Dem. 24.21; Dem. 3.10-13; Aeschin. 3.39).

The Council needed to be concerned, too, as a result of it was the Council that set the agenda for conferences of the Meeting. So as soon as a citizen had posted a proposal for brand new laws, the Council needed to put the difficulty on the agenda for a gathering of the Meeting; this was accomplished by way of a Preliminary Decree, or probouleuma (Dem. 24.27; Dem. 24.48; Aeschin. 3.39). Dem. 24.27 accommodates a decree that orders “the Council to cooperate within the legislative course of” within the matter of convening the Nomothetae, which can imply solely that the Council was to make sure that the enterprise appeared on the agenda for the Meeting. The Council did, nonetheless, even have a particular “legislative secretary,” who made copies of all legal guidelines, and attended all conferences of the Council; this means that the Council mentioned proposals for laws earlier than sending them on to the Meeting (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 54.4).

Since legal guidelines, handed by the Nomothetae, had been extra essential than decrees of the Council or Meeting (Andoc. 1.87), what occurred when a decree contradicted a regulation? Or, what occurred when somebody proposed a regulation in a method that violated the legal guidelines governing laws?

A “graphe paranomon,” or “prosecution for having proposed an illegal decree” was the means by which the Athenians ensured the sovreignty of the legal guidelines; any such cost can be tried earlier than the Folks’s Court docket (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 59.2; Dem. 24.33).

Demosthenes’ speech towards Timocrates focuses on simply such a cost; the prosecution claims that Timocrates launched a brand new regulation that contradicted an previous regulation (Dem. 24.33). That doing so was unlawful runs opposite to the belief in American regulation that newer laws takes priority over older legal guidelines.

Demosthenes really claims that Timocrates’ proposal was unlawful for a number of causes. First, it contradicted already current legal guidelines (Dem. 24.33). Second, the proposal had not been revealed by the statues of the Eponymous Heroes (Dem. 24.18). Third, he didn’t enable the Council to think about the regulation earlier than referring it to the Meeting (Dem. 24.26). Lastly, he didn’t observe the lawful schedule, which might have meant proposing a brand new regulation at one assembly of the Meeting, taking no motion on the subsequent assembly, and on the third assembly voting on whether or not or to not convene the Nomothetae (Dem. 24.21); Timocrates, it’s alleged, proposed his regulation at one assembly of the Meeting and moved that it’s handed over to the Nomothetae on the very subsequent day (Dem. 24.28).

Demosthenes’ speech towards Leptines (Dem. 20) is one other instance of a graphe paranomon. Right here, Demosthenes claims that Leptines organized for the Nomothetae to go a regulation with out repealing any opposite legal guidelines (Dem. 20.89; Dem. 20.96), publishing the proposal beforehand, or permitting the Meeting to think about the matter earlier than sending it to the Nomothetae (Dem. 20.93).

Demosthenes himself was as soon as charged with improperly suggesting the emendation of a regulation governing the upkeep of warships (Dem. 18.105).

Aristotle criticizes direct democracy on the grounds that in democracy decrees have extra authority than legal guidelines (Aristot. Pol. 1297a4-7). However this criticism doesn’t appear to use to the democracy of 4th century Athens.

We discover a extra apt criticism in Aristotle’s Structure of the Athenians (Aristot. Ath. Pol.), which says that in Athens all the pieces is set by “decrees and lawcourts” (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 41.2); for the reason that legislators, the Nomothetae, had been chosen from the identical pool as potential jurors, and swore the identical oaths as jurors (Dem. 24.27; Dem. 24.149-151), this remark appears pretty correct. Whether or not or not we should always see this truth as a nasty factor is, in fact, a matter of opinion.

· Athenian Democracy: the Council of the Areopagus ·

The Areopagus, or Hill of Ares, in Athens was the location of council that served as an essential authorized establishment below the Athenian democracy. This physique, known as the Council of the Areopagus, or just the Areopagus, existed lengthy earlier than the democracy, and its powers and composition modified many occasions over the centuries. Initially, it was the central governing physique of Athens, however below the democracy, it was primarily the court docket with jurisdiction over circumstances of murder and sure different severe crimes. After an Athenian had served as one of many 9 archons, his conduct in workplace was investigated, and if he handed that investigation he grew to become a member of the Areopagus; tenure was for all times.

The Areopagus (Areios pagos) was a hill in Athens, south of the agora, to the north-west of the Acropolis (Hdt. 8.52). The time period Areopagus, nonetheless, typically refers back to the Council of the Areopagus, a governmental establishment that met on that hill (Aeschin. 1.92). This establishment was very historic, current lengthy earlier than democratic authorities. Its historical past, which recedes again into mythological pre-history, follows intently the political historical past of Athens, and exhibits the continuing stress between democratic and anti-democratic forces (see, for instance, Isoc. 15.316, through which he complains that as the town grew extra democratic, the ability of the older establishments, such because the Areopagus, declined).

The Council of the Areopagus functioned as a court docket below the democracy of 4th century Athens, and it had a really excessive fame (Dem. 23.65). The orator Lycurgus tells his fellow Athenians that they’ve within the Council of the Areopagus the best mannequin in Greece: a court docket so superior to others that even the boys convicted in it admit that its judgements are simply (Lyc. 1.12).

The Council of the Areopagus, as a bunch, and its particular person members had been held in excessive regard and thought of to be worthy of respect. Aeschines experiences an incident when Autolycus, a member of the Areopagus, unwittingly made a sexual pun; when the folks laughed, Pyrrandrus scolded them, asking in the event that they weren’t ashamed of themselves for laughing within the presence of the Council of the Areopagus (Aeschin. 1.84). Aeschines is cautious to defend Autolycus, as a person whose life has been good and pious, and so worthy of that physique, i.e. the Areopagus (Aeschin. 1.82).

The precept operate of the Areopagus, within the 4th century BCE, was to attempt circumstances of murder. Demosthenes describes this operate and the lengths to which the court docket ensured that its proceedings had been honest and simply; this passage, addressed to the Athenians, additionally means that the Athenians noticed a robust relationship between human and divine justice: “You’re all in fact conscious that within the Areopagus, the place the regulation each permits and enjoins the trial of murder, first, each man who brings accusation of such against the law should make oath by invoking destruction upon himself, his kindred, and his family; secondly, that he should not deal with this oath as an odd oath, however as one which no man swears for every other function; for he stands over the entrails of a boar, a ram, and a bull, and so they should have been slaughtered by the required officers and on the times appointed, in order that in respect each of the time and of the functionaries each requirement of solemnity has been happy. Even then the one who has sworn this large oath doesn’t achieve speedy credence; and if any falsehood is introduced dwelling to him, he’ll carry away with him to his youngsters and his kindred the stain of perjury—however achieve nothing. If, then again, he’s believed to be laying a simply cost, and if he proves the accused responsible of homicide, even then he has no energy over the convicted legal; solely the legal guidelines and the appointed officers have energy over the person for punishment.” (Dem. 23.67-69).

The Areopagus consisted of former archons (Plut. Sol. 19.1; Dem. 24.22; Aristot. Ath. Pol. 60.3). This meant that each one members of the Areopagus had been totally investigated by officers of the democracy. All incoming archons had been topic to scrutiny (dokimasia) by the sitting archons—an investigation into their {qualifications} to serve—earlier than they assumed their workplace (Lys. 26.9). On the finish of their 12 months of service, every archon was investigated by the Folks’s Court docket, the Heliaia; solely these archons who handed this public audit (euthuna) might turn out to be members of the Areopagus (Dem. 26.5). An archon might fail this audit (euthuna) by violating any of the legal guidelines governing the conduct of his workplace (Dem. 24.22). For instance, the Eponymous Archon was chargeable for accumulating and holding the olive oil that was given as a prize on the Panathenaic Video games; this archon was not allowed to turn out to be a member of the Areopagus till he had handed all the oil over to the treasurers on the Acropolis (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 60.3).

Appointment to the Areopagus was for all times (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 3.6; Lys. 26.11). Nonetheless, members of the Areopagus, the Areopagites, had been nonetheless topic to audit (euthuna). Aeschines describes this to his fellow Athenians as a democratic measure: “For, first, the Council of the Areopagus is required by the regulation to file its accounts with the Board of Auditors and to undergo their examination; sure, even these males, who sit with solemn side yonder because the court docket of highest competence, are introduced below your verdict” (Aeschin. 3.20).

Members of the Areopagus appear to have acquired a free portion of the meat from sure sacrifices, an added advantage of service (Din. 1.56)

The Council of the Areopagus met typically on the Areopagus, the Hill of Ares (Dem. 23.65-66; Isoc. 7.38). Demosthenes mentions the physique assembly within the Stoa Basileus within the agora, which was roped off for the event, so the court docket wouldn’t be disturbed (Dem. 25.23).

The Areopagus, functioning as a court docket of regulation throughout the 4th century, had a fame for following unimpeachable procedures. In his speech towards Aristocrates, Demosthenes describes this process at some size, and begins his description with the declare that no convicted defendant and no defeated prosecutor has ever made good any grievance towards the justice of the decision given. (Dem. 23.66). “Anybody who introduced an accusation of murder earlier than the court docket needed to swear an oath invoking destruction upon himself, his kindred, and his family” (Dem. 23.67). The swearing of this oath was distinctive: a boar, a ram, and a bull had been to be sacrificed by sure folks and on sure days (Demosthenes doesn’t say which individuals or which days), in order that in respect each of the time and of the functionaries each requirement of solemnity has been happy; the accuser then stood over the entrails of the sacrificed animals and swore his oath. Demosthenes is cautious so as to add that, even with this large oath, the accuser was not routinely believed, and that if he ought to be proved to have lied, not solely would he bear the stain of perjury himself, however his youngsters and family members would as effectively (Dem. 23.68).

On this speech and elsewhere, Demosthenes emphasizes the extent to which the rights of the accused had been protected by regulation and process. “If the accuser gained his case, and the accused was convicted, the accuser had no energy of punishment: solely the legal guidelines and the appointed officer have energy over the person for punishment. The prosecutor is permitted to see him struggling the penalty awarded by regulation, and that’s all” (Dem. 23.69). If the Areopagus discovered a defendant responsible in a case of murder, the court docket appears to have had the authority handy him straight over to the executioner (Din. 1.62; though this passage refers to powers given to the Areopagus by a selected decree within the late 4th century). In different issues, although the Areopagus’ energy of punishment was not limitless. Talking of a case of impiety, Demosthenes says that the court docket doesn’t have the ability to punish any of the Athenians as they see match. (Dem. 59.80).

Defendants swore the identical oath as accusers, however Demosthenes says that they’d an essential further proper: “it’s permitted to them to depart after giving his first speech, and neither the prosecutor, nor the jurors, nor every other man is allowed to stop it” (Dem. 23.69). We might suppose (though Demosthenes doesn’t make this clear) that the defendant would have needed to go away Athens after withdrawing from the trial.

The trial would proceed with either side giving a number of speeches (see Din. 1.1, the place he says that he doesn’t have to offer all the main points of the case as a result of a fellow-prosecutor, Stratocles, has already given his speech). Aeschines, talking in reward of the Areopagus, says that this court docket was totally different from the opposite courts of Athens in that Areopagites had been much less possible than different jurors to be swayed by skillful talking alone: “I actually have prior to now seen many males convicted earlier than this tribunal, although they spoke most eloquently, and offered witnesses; and I do know that prior to now sure males have gained their case, though they spoke most feebly, and though no witnesses testified for them. For it’s not on the power of the pleading alone, nor of the testimony alone, that the members of the court docket give their verdict, however on the power of their very own data and their very own investigations. And that is the rationale why that tribunal maintains its excessive reputation within the metropolis” (Aeschin. 1.92).

The Archon Basileus, or King Archon served because the introducing official, however plainly he didn’t really take part in deciding the case; solely the precise members of the Areopagus voted (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 57.4). As a result of members of the Areopagus had all served as archons (Plut. Sol. 19.1; Dem. 24.22; Aristot. Ath. Pol. 60.3), and since, as archons, they’d every have had expertise presiding over the assorted courts of Athens (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 56.6-7, Aristot. Ath. Pol. 57.2-4, Aristot. Ath. Pol. 58.2, Aristot. Ath. Pol. 59.2-6), and since they served on the Areopagus for all times (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 3.6; Lys. 26.11), they should have had way more expertise than the juries of the opposite courts.

In response to Aristotle, the Areopagus didn’t enable audio system, both defendants or prosecutors, to introduce irrelevant data into their speeches; on this, he says, the Areopagus is totally different from the opposite courts at Athens (Aristot. Rh. 1354a 20).

If a speaker was accused of perjury (pseudomarturia) earlier than the Areopagus, he wouldn’t be prosecuted by the Areopagus itself, however by the Archons (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 59.6).

Within the 4th century BCE, the Areopagus was chargeable for making an attempt circumstances of probably the most severe crimes. Aristotle says: “Trials for deliberate homicide and wounding are held within the Areopagus, and for inflicting demise by poison, and for arson” (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 57.3; Dem. 23.22). Other forms of homicide—involuntary murder, conspiracy to homicide, homicide of a slave, resident alien, or overseas—had been tried on the Palladium (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 57.3). Nonetheless different kinds of homicide—when the accused claimed that the killing was authorized, as a matter of self-defense or in a case of adultery, or if somebody by accident killed a fellow citizen in struggle or throughout an athletic competitors—had been tried on the Delphinium (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 57.3). Within the case of adultery, the orator Lysias says that “the Court docket of the Areopagus itself, to which has been assigned, in our personal as in our fathers’ time, the trial of fits for homicide, has expressly said that whoever takes this vengeance on an adulterer caught within the act along with his partner shall not be convicted of homicide” (Lys. 1.30).

The Areopagus additionally heard circumstances of assault and wounding (trauma) (Dem. 40.32; Dem. 23.22; Aeschin. 2.93; Aristot. Ath. Pol. 57.3). The Areopagus didn’t merely punish the assailants themselves, but additionally had the ability to punish equipment. Demosthenes mentions a case of assault the place the Areopagus exiled a person for encouraging the assailant; the defendant on this case was the daddy of the priestess of Artemis at Brauron, and due to this fact an essential Athenian, however punished as an adjunct nonetheless (Dem. 54.25).

In response to Demosthenes, not solely did the Areopagus allow Athenians to convey circumstances of murder earlier than it for judgement, however really required it (Dem. 23.67). Demosthenes himself was fined by the Areopagus, in line with Aeschines, for failing to pursue a cost of assault towards his cousin Demomeles (Aeschin. 2.93).

The members of the Areopagus, the Areopagites, additionally appear to have investigated murders and assaults personally. In a speech prosecuting Conon, Demosthenes says that it was potential for members of the Areopagus to come back to the bedside of a sufferer of assault, as a result of if the sufferer ought to finally die, they must attempt the case of his homicide (Dem. 54.28).

It was a really severe matter to be charged with against the law earlier than the Areopagus. In a speech written by Demosthenes for a consumer the speaker describes how his enemies plotted towards him: “After they have thus overtly laid a plot, and acquired up a cost towards me earlier than the Areopagus, do you suppose there may be any poisoning or every other such villainy from which they’d abstain?” (Dem. 40.57). This passage compares being charged earlier than the Areopagus with being poisoned, and provides us an thought of how severe such a cost was. Elsewhere in that very same speech, the speaker explains that his enemies hoped that by charging him earlier than the Areopagus, he would go into exile somewhat than threat conviction (Dem. 40.32).

In response to the foundations of process, a defendant charged earlier than the Areopagus had the choice of leaving the town somewhat than see the trial to its conclusion (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 23.69). If the defendant left, then his property was offered off by the Venders (poletai), after the 9 Archons gave their approval for the sale (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 47.2).

Among the many severe crimes that fell to the Areopagus had been sure sorts of sacrilege. One instance we all know of needed to do with a girl who had served as a priestess for the competition of Anthesteria, in honor of the god Dionysus (Dem. 59.78). On this case, the lady was married to an Athenian named Theogenes, and it grew to become recognized that she was not herself correctly an Athenian citizen (Dem. 59.81). The matter was investigated by the Areopagus (Dem. 59.80). In response to Demosthenes, the Areopagus was initially inclined to impose the best fantastic in its energy on Theogenes for permitting his spouse to function priestess below false pretenses (Dem. 59.81), however they relented as a result of Theogenes satisfied them that he had been deceived, and meant no hurt (Theogenes instantly expelled his spouse from his home) (Dem. 59.83).

The Areopagus had authority over the sacred olive timber of Attica as effectively. If anybody was accused of chopping down a sacred olive tree, he was tried earlier than the Areopagus (Lys. 7.22). Aristotle explains that the town of Athens collected the fruit from the olive timber and pressed it into oil, which might then be saved on the Acropolis or offered; if anybody dug up or reduce down one of many timber, he can be tried by the Areopagus, and if he had been discovered responsible, the penalty was once demise (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 60.1-2). However, Aristotle continues, in his personal time (the center of the 4th century), whereas the regulation nonetheless exists, such a trial has fallen out of use (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 60.2). Even within the early 4th century, plainly the penalty was not demise, however exile and confiscation of property (Lys. 7.2; Lys. 7.32; Lys. 7.41).

Within the latter a part of the 4th century, the Areopagus exercised different powers past its conventional function as a court docket. The Areopagus could possibly be known as on, by the Council or the Meeting, to research sure public issues and concern a report back to the Folks. In a single case that we hear of, Timarchus handed a movement within the Meeting to have the Areopagus examine and report on some dwellings that had been erected on the hill of the Pnyx (Aeschin. 1.81). A member of the Areopagus, Autolycus, gave the physique’s report back to the Meeting, and in doing so reminded the assembled those that, “We Areopagites don’t, males of Athens, both accuse or defend, for that’s not our custom” (Aeschin. 1.83).

· Athenian Democracy: the Folks’s Court docket ·
Of virtually equal significance to the Meeting and Council, and doubtless of higher significance (if not higher status) than the Areopagus was the Folks’s Court docket, the Heliaea and different courts the place juries of residents would take heed to circumstances, would vote on the guilt or innocence of their fellow residents, and vote on punishments for these discovered responsible.

Since Athenian regulation is the topic of this dialogue sequence, the current introduction to Athenian democracy is not going to describe the lawcourts in as a lot element because it has given to the Meeting and Council.

Athenians who served on juries acquired one-half drachma a day, or three obols, for his or her service (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 62.2). Cost for service was a democratic innovation, in fact, as a result of it allowed the poorer residents to take part within the governance of their metropolis. There was no property requirement for service; any citizen who didn’t owe any money owed to the treasury, was a minimum of thirty years previous, and had not misplaced his citizenship by any authorized motion might function a juror (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 63.3).

Aristotle’s description of the Athenian lawcourts and the juries that served on them focuses on the frilly programs that appear to have existed to thwart makes an attempt to bribe juries (this description begins at Aristot. Ath. Pol. 63.1). These anti-bribery measures appear to have centered on making each side of jury choice and allocation among the many numerous courts as unpredictable as potential. Jurors can be chosen, randomly, from the pool of individuals keen to serve. The can be divided into teams, one group for each energetic courtroom, randomly and on the final minute. The person teams can be assigned to particular person courtrooms randomly and on the final minute. And there have been elaborate checks to make sure that solely approved jurors entered every courtroom.

For the reason that lawcourts had been charged with listening to, not solely circumstances of legal and civil issues, however appeals on the a part of residents who had been unhappy with rulings by the Council or Meeting, this elaborate effort to make sure that the juries had been really trustworthy embodiments of the Demos is smart. The courts had been the last word guarantor of democratic rule, and so the juries that dominated these courts needed to be as democratic as potential.

Timekeeping was additionally essential throughout the course of trials, to make sure that the plaintiff and the defendant had equal time to talk. Aristotle describes the water-clock (klepsydra) that measured the time for either side’s speeches. One of many jurors, appointed by lot, poured water into a big jar from which the water ran out in a gradual stream; when the jar was empty, the speaker’s time was up. The quantity of water poured into the clock different in line with the magnitude of concern at stake. For fits involving sums of cash as much as 2000 drachmas, either side acquired to talk for seven measures of water, for suites between 2000 and 5000 drachmas, 9 measures of water, and for fits of over 5000 drachmas, ten measures. For circumstances through which the defendant stood to lose all of his property, his citizenship, or his life, the entire day—eleven measures of water—was given over to the trial. (See Aristot. Ath. Pol. 67).

Juries different in dimension from 501 jurors in lesser circumstances, as much as 1500 for crucial issues (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 68.1). Selections didn’t need to be unanimous; after each side within the case had given one or two speeches, the jurors voted by dropping ballots into two jars. Every juror had two ballots, one representing the plaintiff and the opposite representing the defendant. One after one other, the jurors inserted their ballots into two urns. The bronze urn was for the vote that counted; the wood urn was for discarding the unused poll. As every juror voted, he was given a token which he might redeem for his juror’s charge of three obols (one-half a drachma). (See Aristot. Ath. Pol. 68). After the voting, the courtroom attendants emptied the bronze urn in full view of each events to the go well with and counted the ballots. Whichever facet acquired probably the most votes gained (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 69).

Whereas the Archons had been chargeable for making certain the right working of the Athenian courts, they didn’t function judges. Actually, there was nobody in an Athenian courtroom who was a acknowledged authorized authority, aside from the a number of hundred (a minimum of) jurors chosen from the Demos typically. Plaintiffs and defendants, a minimum of these with the legal guidelines of Athens on their facet, needed to depend on the residents’ data of the legal guidelines. In a speech earlier than an Athenian jury, the orator Demosthenes reminded them that, “You will have sworn to offer a verdict in line with the legal guidelines, and to the decrees of the Folks and of the Council of 5 Hundred” (Dem. 19.179; be aware that he mentions the legal guidelines earlier than the decrees).

However with no presiding decide, plaintiffs and defendant additionally needed to depend on the jurors’ just-mindedness (or susceptibility to rhetoric), particularly when the regulation was obscure or non-existant. Throughout a distinct trial from the one simply talked about, Demosthenes reminded one other Athenian jury that, “Once more, males of Athens, you will need to additionally think about effectively and thoroughly the truth that you will have come into court docket at present, sworn to offer your verdict in line with the legal guidelines… and the place there are not any statutes to information you, you’re sworn to determine in line with the perfect of your judgement” (Dem. 20.118). So within the absence of clear legal guidelines, jurors had been free to vote in line with unwritten legal guidelines, or their very own understanding of justice (or their very own prejudices).

· The Finish of Athenian Democracy ·

What occurred to Athenian democracy? As with the rise of democratic governance in Athens (described briefly in one other article), its decline was a gradual course of, marked by a number of dramatic moments and a number of other reversals of fortune.

The decline had a lot to do with the rise of Macedonia as an influence within the Greek world, below the management first of Philip after which of his son, Alexander. In 338 BCE, Philip’s military defeated the allied forces of Athens and Thebes in a battle at Chaeronea. This defeat pressured Athens to enter into the so-called League of Corinth, ostensibly a pan-Hellenic alliance aimed toward opposing the ability of Persia, however really a company that gave Philip unprecedented authority over Greek affairs.

Upon Philip’s demise, Alexander took over management of this League, and used it to assist launch his invasion of Asia and his struggle with the Persian Empire. After Alexander’s departure from Greece in 335 BCE, the Athenians spent the following eleven years in an unsettled state. On the one hand, they had been more-or-less fully free from overseas interference of their home affairs; then again, there was a robust physique of Macedonian troopers below the command of Antipater ready in northern Greece to place down any effort at resisting Macedonian will. Throughout Alexander’s life, the Macedonians didn’t really use drive towards the Athenians at any level, however this was solely as a result of the Athenians didn’t overtly act towards Macedonian needs. The Spartans, below king Agis III, did attempt to assert their independence and had been totally, although not simply, defeated in a battle at Megalopolis in 331 or 330 BCE.

Issues modified in 324 BCE, when Alexander reappeared in western Asia after his march to India. In that 12 months he issued the so-called “Exiles Decree” that commanded each Greek metropolis to readmit any former residents who had been disenfranchised. Alexander additionally introduced, from Asia, that he supposed to finish Athenian rule over Samos and to return management of the island to the Samians. This was a heavy-handed and, to many Athenians, unacceptable interference within the sovereignty of Athens. Underneath the management of an Athenian named Leosthenes, Athens started accumulating a mercenary military and forming plans (if obscure ones) to do one thing towards regaining true freedom as an unbiased polis.

Issues modified much more dramatically in 323 BCE, when information of Alexander’s demise reached the Greeks of Europe. The Athenians turned on any of their fellow residents who had spoken in favor of cooperating with Macedonia—the orator Demades, who had handed a movement within the Meeting to award divine honors to Alexander, was fined ten abilities, and Aristotle, who had been tutor to the younger Alexander himself, properly moved out of Athens.

And as 323 got here to an in depth, Leosthenes, main Athenian and allied forces, attacked the Macedonian forces below Antipater within the north. The trouble was initially profitable, however Leosthenes was killed whereas besieging the fortress of Lamia, Macedonian reinforcements arrived throughout the spring of 322, and the by summer season of that 12 months the Athenians had misplaced each on land and sea.

The Macedonian Antipater imposed a settlement on Athens, which was in no place to withstand, that led to an finish of the town’s autonomy in overseas affairs and democratic self-rule at dwelling. The revisions to the Athenian structure restricted citizenship to these whose wealth amounted to a minimum of 2000 drachmas; there was additionally to be a garrison of Macedonian forces stationed within the harbor of Piraeus.

Thereafter, whereas lots of the establishments of the Athenian democracy continued to operate, and the structure underwent additional modifications, typically towards extra inclusiveness and freedom, and typically towards much less, Athens would by no means once more be fully free in home and overseas coverage, and would by no means once more be dominated by the desire of the Demos, assembly in its Meeting.

(The story of the top of Athenian democracy, which is sadly lacking from many normal descriptions of Greek historical past, is effectively informed in D.L. Schneider, trans., Christan Habicht, Athens from Alexander to Antony [Harvard University Press, 1997].)


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