Democracy and Religion in Ancient Athens
Publication Year: 2010
Published by: University of California Press
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Title Page, Copyright Page
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List of Illustrations
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...worked on the manuscript for this book, America faced two ongoing wars,crises in major financial and industrial institutions, and growing awarenessof changes in the earth’s global climate. We also saw the election of thefirst African American president. In the meantime, rapid developments inwhat is called information technology modified how we communicate with...
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Introduction: The City of Pericles and Socrates
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...imagine the greek mediterranean, just over 2,400 years ago. A sur-prisingly strong spring sun warms the limestone buildings in the AthenianAgora, the commercial and communal center of the city. High above onthe Acropolis marble monuments and a great bronze statue of the armedgoddess Athena glint in the sunlight. In the city streets brightly colored red...
One Cleisthenes: The Family Curse behind Athenian Democracy
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...the athenians who tried socrates for impiety in 399 bce and foundhim guilty were heirs to a set of demo cratic practices that had been in ex-istence for a little over a century. The breakthrough to what we would rec-ognize today as a demo cratic form of government had come around theyear 507, when an Athenian aristocrat named Cleisthenes suddenly emerged...
Two Athena: Religion and the Demo cratic Polis
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...smell of grilled meat wafts across neatly clipped lawns. While childrensnack on hot dogs and hamburgers and romp in the backyard, adults sit onthe patio sipping drinks. Wisps of smoke rise in the eve ning dusk. Perhapsthe grown- ups are chatting about a recent movie, or party politics, or per-haps they trade neighborhood gossip before they consume their charbroiled...
Three Pericles: Empire and War in the City of Athena
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...cleisthenes briefly assumed a leading role in Athens in the latesixth century when he led the polis following the expulsion of the Pysis-tratid tyrants. The reforms he advanced drew on an inherited under-standing among the Athenians that their government was charged withfunding and maintaining the civic rites of its citizens: at festivals and...
Four Demeter: Civic Worship, Women’s Rites, and the Eleusinian Mysteries
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...athens was sacred to athena, goddess of the olive, of handcrafts, andof wisdom, but Athenians were of course polytheistic, and for many gen-erations they had also worshipped Demeter, the goddess whose power wasmanifest in abundant sheaves of wheat. The plains of Attica could provideonly a limited supply of wheat, barley, and rye— certainly not enough to...
Five Alcibiades: Politics, Religion, and the Cult of Personality
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...thucydides’ last reported speech of Pericles in book 2 depicts thedynamic Athenian leader encouraging the people of Athens to be patientand maintain their naval empire. Above all Pericles warned against ex-panding the empire while at war. This plan might well have worked, hadthe Athenians stuck to it. But Thucydides’ narrative clearly states that af-...
Six Dionysus: Civic Rituals of Wine, Theater, and Transformation
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...all things are in flux. Plato famously attributed this aphorism to theIonian phi los o pher Heraclitus (Cratylus 402a). Alcibiades’ twists and turns,from Athens to Sparta to Persia to Athens, certainly illustrated the flux ofpower and personality, and Athenians who during one de cade suffered twocoups, two counterrevolutions, and a general amnesty could speak directly...
Seven Socrates: Impiety Trials in the Restored Democracy
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Dionysian festivals. They voted in their demes, and in the Assembly onthe Pnyx. In a law court a jury voted to convict Socrates. This finalchapter will return to episodes presented in earlier chapters to reflect onelast time on the historical evidence, its cultural context, and most impor-tantly its connection to the trial of Socrates. Four pivotal moments had...
Epilogue: The City after Socrates
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...after the year 399 the Athenians experienced no more drama for awhile, as Athenian democracy returned to its full function. The fourthcentury was a time of relative stability for the demo cratic institutions thathad been put in place by Ephialtes and Pericles following the Persian Warsand then revived in 403. The Athenian demos during the fourth century...
Glossary of Terms
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Suggested Further Readings by Chapter
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References to inscriptions are given according to item numbers in Fornara’stranslated sourcebook: Archaic Times to the End of the Peloponnesian War (1983).The literary sources for studying Athens (and Greece in general) before the fifthcentury are notoriously scanty. The Greek historians Herodotus and Thucy-dides, too, were interested in this era, and they provide accounts for some of the...
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Page Count: 296
Publication Year: 2010