Athenian Society and Government

Loren J. Samons II

in What's Wrong with Democracy?

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2004 | ISBN: 9780520236608
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520940901 | DOI:
Athenian Society and Government

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This chapter discusses the basic structure of Athenian government. It also describes how it resembled the governments of other Greek city-states, and reviews the intricate relationship between “society” and “government” in ancient Athens. It first introduces a conservative reconstruction of Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. Not long after the period of Solon's reforms, Athens fell under the control of the tyrant Peisistratus and his sons. The important trends that began under Peisistratus are reported. In addition, Athenian history in the classical period is elaborated upon. The Lamian War (323–322) ended in Athenian failure. In 322, classical Athenian democracy and independent Athenian government both ended.

Keywords: Athenian government; Athenian society; Greek city-states; Solon; Peisistratus; Lamian War; Athenian democracy

Chapter.  9176 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

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