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Interpreting Herodotus.

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Democracy beyond Athens

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Democracy Beyond Athens: Popular Government in the Greek Classical Age

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At Kobo, we try to ensure that published reviews do not contain rude or profane language, spoilers, or any of our reviewer's personal information. In the previous book Robinson tried to isolate examples of popular, democratic governments [End Page ] outside Athens in the archaic age, and argued that the evolution towards democracy did not happen either exclusively or primarily in Athens.

Robinson succeeds in making a case for a less uniform view of ancient democracy, one which takes into account variations and local traditions, and which is based on a wide investigation of forms of popular government around the Greek world.

The Constitution of Athens

The first three chapters, the bulk of the volume 6— , contain the core analysis of fifty-four poleis or federal states, like Achaia and Thessaly that can be shown, with various degrees of certainty, to have enjoyed democratic government at some point during the classical age. Chapter 1 deals with democracies in mainland Greece and the Peloponnese; chapter 2 with those in Sicily, and Italy, and moreover with Cyrene, Corcyra, and Epidamnus; and chapter 3 with those in the eastern Mediterranean and in Asia Minor.

"Review of E. Robinson’s Democracy beyond Athens: Popular Government in" by Sydnor Roy

Robinson is understandably cautious and does not include cases for which the evidence is too scanty. And even among the fifty-four states he includes, sometimes the case for democracy rests on minimal and dubious information for example, for Gela, Himera, Ca-marina, Selinous, Heracleia, and Sicyon. The discussion duly recognizes this and judiciously distinguishes between states for which the case for democracy is solid, and others for which it is weaker.

The obvious comparison for this selection of democratic states is M. Hansen and T. Nielsen, Inventory of Archaic and Classical Poleis Oxford , which lists forty-four more democracies but fails to list nine that Robinson accepts as popularly governed. Adding more dubious examples would have contributed little, because of the paucity of the evidence, to what is most distinctive and impressive of these three chapters: they do not simply provide a list of states that are likely to have been democratically governed; they also provide extensive and thorough analyses of their institutions.

An astonishing number of volumes have been devoted to the well-attested Athenian case, while non-Athenian democracy - for which evidence is harder to come by - has received only fleeting attention. Nevertheless, there exists a scattered body of ancient material regarding democracy beyond Athens, from ancient literary authors and epigraphic documents to archaeological evidence, out of which one can build an understanding of the phenomenon. This book presents a detailed study of ancient Greek democracy in the Classical period BC , focusing on examples outside Athens.

It has three main goals: to identify where and when democratic governments established themselves in ancient Greek city-states; to explain why democracy spread to many parts of Greece in this period; and to further our understanding of the nature of ancient democracy by studying its practices beyond Athens.

Robinson has filled out the picture of ancient democracies, their origins, varied institutions, and crises, and the results should be of interest to all. Students of history and political science will find the book highly beneficial. Help Centre. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist. Ships in 10 to 15 business days. Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Table of Contents Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book!