Classical Athenian Democracy and Democracy Today: Culture, Knowledge, Power

Josiah Ober

in The Promotion of Knowledge

Published by British Academy

Published in print July 2004 | ISBN: 9780197263129
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734861 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Classical Athenian Democracy and Democracy Today: Culture, Knowledge, Power

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  • Social and Cultural History


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This chapter presents the text of a lecture on the growing popularity of Greek democracy as a topic in school and university curricula. It argues that that the modern penchant for reading the meaning of democracy through the lens of the authoritative institutions of government has had a substantial impact on the way ancient Greek democracy has been understood. It suggests that the study of the ancient Athenian democracy should be conducted with a cultural/ideological approach rather than a constitutional approach.

Keywords: Greek democracy; university curricula; authoritative government; cultural/ideological approach; Athenian democracy; British Academy; centenary celebration

Chapter.  6899 words. 

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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