Athens on the Way to Democracy: VIII–V centuries BCE
This book examines the process of the formation of Athenian democracy in Archaic and Classical periods (VIII — mid-V century BCE). What Athenian democracy was, when it arose and what role the aristocracy and demos played in its emergence, it remains debatable for a long time. The book shows that one of the significant stimuli for the emergence of democracy was the struggle for power and influence among the aristocratic families, in which common people was often involved. In this process the equal conditions for the «best» (eunomia, isonomia) were created and expanded the political rights of the common people. It resulted in the state structure in which collegial political institutions played a significant role, i.e. the people›s assembly, where the officials elected, and the people›s court, which had a control over the annually elected magistrates. However the Athenian democracy cannot be considered as a people’s rule. The Athenians themselves characterized it as collective rule or the rule of the «majority» — those who possessed the political rights.
The book is addressed to specialists and researchers, as well as a wide range of readers who interested in Greek history.