By Christian Meier
Why the Greeks? How did it ensue that those people―out of all Mediterranean societies―developed democratic structures of presidency? the exceptional German historian of the traditional international, Christian Meier, reconstructs the method of political considering in Greek tradition that resulted in democracy. He demonstrates that the civic id of the Athenians was once an instantaneous precondition for the sensible truth of this type of government.
Meier indicates how the constitution of Greek communal lifestyles gave participants a civic function and discusses a very important reform that institutionalized the belief of equality prior to the legislations. In Greek drama―specifically Aeschylus' Oresteia―he reveals reflections of the ascendancy of civil legislation and of a politicizing of existence within the city-state. He examines the position of the chief in addition to citizen participation in Athenian democracy and describes an old an identical of the assumption of social growth. He additionally contrasts the fifth-century Greek political global with brand new international, drawing revealing comparisons.
The Greek Discovery of Politics is necessary analyzing for historical historians, classicists, political scientists, and somebody attracted to the heritage of political suggestion or within the tradition of old Greece.
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Additional info for The Greek discovery of politics
Their disillusion gave fresh momentum to the process, which may at the same time have been furthered by many Greeks belonging to cities that were not in the least democratic. Moreover, a mechanism of gradual change developed as countless attempts were made, in different city-states, to solve basically similar but never identical problems. This or that solution might be tried and the effects carefully noted. Solutions would at times be simply copied, at others adopted with modifications. " In view of the unstable power relations, this must have occurred quite often.
The time was past when superior insight was required to pronounce on the just order and discern it in existing conditions-when it could be realized only by expert authorities through the modification of existing conditions. It was now possible for a new order to be arbitrarily created by the decision of broad sections of the people. 5 f), they nevertheless proceeded to breach the traditional order at one decisive point, namely where the mutual relations of the citizens were concerned. The problem no longer lay in the structure of society: what was at issue was the political order.
However influential the ties within these subgroups may have been, a mere redistribution could certainly not countervail real existing dependencies. If, therefore, the old ties-and therefore the old noble factions-were still powerful, how were they to be prevented from continuing to make themselves felt, perhaps after some regrouping? When Hans Schaefer speaks of Cleisthenes' destroying the "foundations of aristocratic influence that were taken tor granted and had never been interfered with," is he not presuming that Attic society could be manipulated to a degree that is quite inconceivable in the polities of the ancient world, which were rooted directly in their civic communities?
The Greek discovery of politics by Christian Meier