By Josiah Ober
This ebook asks a tremendous query usually overlooked by means of historical historians and political scientists alike: Why did Athenian democracy paintings to boot and for so long as it did? Josiah Ober seeks the reply by way of reading the sociology of Athenian politics and the character of communique among elite and nonelite voters. After a initial survey of the advance of the Athenian "constitution," he makes a speciality of the position of political and criminal rhetoric. As jurymen and Assemblymen, the citizen lots of Athens retained very important powers, and elite Athenian politicians and litigants had to deal with those huge our bodies of standard voters in phrases comprehensible and appropriate to the viewers. This publication probes the social ideas at the back of the rhetorical strategies hired by way of elite speakers.A shut interpreting of the speeches exposes either egalitarian and elitist parts in Athenian renowned ideology. Ober demonstrates that the vocabulary of public speech constituted a democratic discourse that allowed the Athenians to solve contradictions among the best of political equality and the truth of social inequality. His radical reevaluation of management and political energy in classical Athens restores key parts of the social and ideological context of the 1st western democracy.
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Additional resources for Mass and Elite in Democratic Athens: Rhetoric, Ideology, and the Power of the People
Morgan, American Slavery—American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia (New York, 1975), esp. 363-87, emphasizes the importance to republicanism of political solidarity between upper- and lower-class free white males in Virginia and argues that the exploitation of slave labor by the upper class made this solidarity possible. The parallel, if fully developed, might yield important insights into the role played by slaveholding among the rich in the development among Athenian citizens of an ideological consensus which transcended class lines.
84—85, Demosthenes. " Finley, DAM, esp. 3-37; Davies, WPW, esp. 1-2; and Starr, Individual and Community, esp. 89-93, are also very sensitive to the interplay of mass and elite in Athenian political development. 22 Cf. w. Finley, PAW, 2, considers these to be class terms. While wealth was often a common denominator between elites, this oversimplifies the situation. 2). The dominant egalitarian ideology discouraged Athenian elites from most forms of public display. 3-4) notes that in conformity to contemporary Athenian taste the wealthy citizens led lives that were as much as possible like the lives of the ordinary people.
Hansen, "Demographic Reflections," argues that the fourth-century population was quite stable; cf. idem, Demography and Democracy, esp. 9-13, 65. Barry S. C. Athens" (Paper delivered at the Annual Meeting of the American Philological Association, December 30, 1986), has argued for a rather steeper rise in population. For the argument that lower population after the Peloponnesian War had major political consequences, see Strauss, AAPW, esp. 81. Cf. 1. PROBLEMS A N D METHOD 29 Furthermore, the taxpaying contingent of the fourth-century population was much smaller than Jones assumed.