For two centuries classical Athens enjoyed almost uninterrupted democratic government. This was not a parliamentary democracy of the modern sort but a direct democracy in which all citizens were free to participate in the business of government. Throughout this period Athens was the cultural centre of Greece and one of the major Greek powers. This book traces the development and operation of the political system and explores its underlying principles. Christopher Carey assesses the ancient sources of the history of Athenian democracy and evaluates criticisms of the system, ancient and modern. He also provides a virtual tour of the political cityscape of ancient Athens, describing the main political sites and structures, including the theatre.
With a new chapter covering religion in the democratic city, this second edition benefits from updates throughout that incorporate the latest research and recent archaeological findings in Athens. A clearer structure and layout make the book more accessible to students, as do extra images and maps along with a timeline of key events.