“People's Power” and Egalitarian Trends in Archaic Greece

Kurt A. Raaflaub and Robert W. Wallace

in Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780520245624
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520932173 | DOI:
“People's Power” and Egalitarian Trends in Archaic Greece

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Greek and Roman Archaeology


Show Summary Details


Democracy is signified through institutions, practices, mentalities, and ultimately ideologies. These different components of democracy in Greece reached their fullest development in the fifth and fourth centuries. Democracy means that all citizens, the whole demos, determine policies and exercise control through assembly, council, and courts, and that political leaders, attempting to shape public opinion, are subordinate to the demos. With certainty, the first democracy was that of Athens from the 460s, emerging as a result of historically specific and even contingent factors. The contributors to this book agree that democratic institutions had a long prehistory, and that their underlying mentalities and practices can be traced to centuries earlier. Popular assemblies, a measure of free speech, a strong sense of community, and mentalities including egalitarianism, personal independence, self-worth, and a refusal to be cowed by the rich, powerful, or wellborn are reflected already in the earliest literary documents from archaic Greece.

Keywords: Greece; demos; courts; council; egalitarianism

Chapter.  12783 words. 

Subjects: Greek and Roman Archaeology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.