The Greek Polis and the Invention of Democracy A Politico-cultural Transformation and Its Interpretations

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2013-05-06
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
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The Greek Polis and the Invention of Democracy presents a series of essays that trace the Greeks' path to democracy and examine the connection between the Greek polis as a citizen state and democracy from a comparative historical perspective, and with reference to recent debates on the Axial Age and its impact on world history. Presents an original combination of a close synchronic and long diachronic examination of the Greek polis - city-states that gave rise to the first democratic system of government Offers a detailed study of the close interactionbetween democracy, society, and the arts in ancient Greece Places the invention of democracy in fifth-century bce Athens both in its broad social and cultural context and in the context of the re-emergence of democracy in the modern world Reveals the role Greek democracy played in the political and intellectual traditions that shaped modern democracy, and in the debates about democracy in modern social, political, and philosophical thought Written collaboratively by an international team of leading scholars in classics, ancient history, sociology, and political science

Author Biography

Johann P. Arnason is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University, Melbourne and visiting professor at the Charles University in Prague. His previous works include Domains and Divisions of European History (with N. Doyle, 2010), The Roman Empire in Context: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (with K. Raaflaub, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), and Nordic Paths to Modernity (with B. Wittrock, 2012).

Kurt A. Raaflaub is the David Herlihy University Professor and Professor of Classics and History Emeritus at Brown University. His previous works include Geography and Ethnography: Perceptions of the World in Pre-Modern Societies (with R. J. A. Talbert, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), Epic and History (with D. Konstan, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010), and The Roman Empire in Context: Historical and Comparative Perspectives (with J. Arnason, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011).

Peter Wagner is ICREA Research Professor of Sociological Theory, Philosophy of Law, and Methodology of the Social Sciences, at the University of Barcelona. His previous works include Theorizing Modernity: Inescapability and Attainability in Social Theory (2001), Modernity as Experience and Interpretation (2008), and Modernity: Understanding the Present (2012).

Table of Contents

Series Editor’s Preface

Notes on Contributors

List of Abbreviations


Johann P. Arnason, Kurt A. Raaflaub, and Peter Wagner

Part I: The Greek Experience in Long-term Perspective

Chapter 1

Exploring the Greek Needle's Eye: Civilizational and Political Transformations

Johann P. Arnason

Chapter 2

Transformations of Democracy: Towards a History of Political Thought and Practice in Long-term Perspective

Peter Wagner

Part II: Ways of Polis-making: Grasping the Novelty of the Political

Chapter 3

To Act with Good Advice: Greek Tragedy and the Democratic Political Sphere

Egon Flaig

Chapter 4

Democracy and Dissent: The Case of Comedy

Lucio Bertelli

Chapter 5

Democracy, Oratory, and the Rise of Historiography in Fifth-century Greece

Jonas Grethlein

Chapter 6

Political Uses of Rhetoric in Democratic Athens

Harvey Yunis

Chapter 7

Law and Democracy in Classical Athens

Adriaan Lanni

Chapter 8

Democracy and Political Philosophy: Influences, Tensions, Rapprochement

Ryan Balot

Chapter 9

Inscriptions and the City in Democratic Athens

Elizabeth Meyer

Part III: Changing a Way of Life: Democracy’s Impact on polis-Society

Chapter 10

The Impact of Democracy on Communal Life

Sara Forsdyke

Chapter 11

The Participation of the demos in Decision-Making: Principles and Reality

Claude Mossé

Chapter 12

Democracy and Religion in Classical Greece

Robin Osborne

Chapter 13

Democracy and War

Lawrence A. Tritle

Part IV: Political Concepts and Commitments

Chapter 14

Perfecting the Political Creature (z?ion politikon): Equality and “the Political” in the Evolution of Greek Democracy

Kurt A. Raaflaub

Chapter 15

Tyranny and Tragedy in Nietzsche’s Understanding of the Greek polis

Tracy Strong

Chapter 16

The Liberty of the Moderns Compared to the Liberty of the Ancients

Nathalie Karagiannis and Peter Wagner


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