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Athens on Trial: The Antidemocratic Tradition in Western Thought

Athens on Trial: The Antidemocratic Tradition in Western Thought

The Classical Athenians were the first to articulate and implement the notion that ordinary citizens of no particular affluence or education could make responsible political decisions. For this reason, reactions to Athenian democracy have long provided a prime Rorschach test for political thought. Whether praising Athens's government as the legitimizing ancestor of modern democracies or condemning it as mob rule, commentators throughout history have revealed much about their own notions of politics and society. In this book, Jennifer Roberts charts responses to Athenian democracy from Athens itself through the twentieth century, exploring a debate that touches upon historiography, ethics, political science, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, gender studies, and educational theory.

Preface and Acknowledgments

Chapter 1. Introduction

Part One: Classical Greece

Chapter 2. The Athenian Experiment

Chapter 3. The First Attacks on Athenian Democracy

Chapter 4. Democracy and the Philosophers

Part Two: Playing with the Past

Chapter 5. Roman Adaptations

Chapter 6. Recovering the Greeks

Chapter 7. Monarchists and Republicans

Chapter 8. The Debate over Athens and Sparta

Chapter 9. Athenian Democracy in the Age of Revolutions

Chapter 10. A Shift in the Sands

Part Three: Modern Transformations

Chapter 11. The Turning of the Tide

Chapter 12. Athenians and Others

Epilogue: The Old and the New


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