Alternatives to Athens by Roger Brock, Stephen Hodkinson

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By Roger Brock, Stephen Hodkinson

This quantity comprises eighteen essays by means of confirmed and more youthful historians that study non-democratic replacement political structures and ideologies--oligarchies, monarchies, combined constitutions--along with various kinds of communal and local institutions akin to ethnoi, amphiktyonies, and confederacies. The papers, which span the size and breadth of the Hellenic international spotlight the massive political flexibility and variety of historical Greek civilization.

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We should adopt a similar approach to those not ‘fully enfranchised’ in poleis ruled by minority regimes. Such men are likely to have perceived themselves as embraced by ethnic self-definitions like ‘the Corinthians’ by virtue of descent, hereditary residence in and occupation of the land, privileged access to religious and judicial functions, and so on. It is perhaps not surprising For the contrast between ancient and modern views of politics see Murray (1988b) 440; for the essential antithesis between autocracy and self-government see Pope (1988) 281–3 (quotation from p.

And there is no mention of assemblies in the account in the Hellenica Oxyrhynchia (19. 395 bc. Some sort of probouleutic body was the norm for all Greek states, and the evidence is much too fragmentary to establish any general principle behind the (apparent) presence or absence of councils in documents: community size and expense may have been more significant factors than ideology (Rhodes with Lewis 1997: 475–8). Introduction: Alternatives to the Democratic Polis 21 den, within both democracy and oligarchy, as well as between them, and hence across a broad spectrum of constitutional options.

Even large oligarchic states tended to operate with small bodies: the council at Corinth numbered eighty (ten men per tribe), the gerousia at Sparta a mere thirty. It is a common and not unreasonable perception that smaller decision-making bodies are more e·ective. A willingness to serve without payment or profit was, as we have already noted, also an attraction (cf. Arist. Pol. 1308B31–1309A14); indeed, Aristotle counsels that oligarchic magistrates should be seen to incur expense (1321A33). In contrast, as noted above, the Athenian democratic system was expensive; hence the fact that in the straitened circumstances of the late Peloponnesian War restriction of pay for political activity was an important aspect of the oligarchic programme of 411 (Ath.

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