Q:

What were some of the important characteristics of Athenian democracy?

A:

Quick Answer

The system of democratic government that began to develop in the first decade of the 5th century B.C. in the Ancient Greek city-state of Athens was a direct, rather than representative, democracy, and every adult male citizen could participate. An assembly of citizens and a council, or boule, met on an almost weekly basis and was responsible for deciding upon the civic and foreign policy affairs of the city-state. Not only were Athens' citizens encouraged to participate in the assembly meetings, those who did not participate were often ridiculed for their lack of involvement.

Know More

Full Answer

The democracy that developed in Ancient Athens is the first known system of democratic government in the world. In addition to the formation of a citizens' assembly, Athenian democracy put an end to debt slavery, gave citizens the right to appeal the verdicts of magistrates and enabled citizens to seek remedies to personal disputes in a manner somewhat similar to modern tort laws.

Property ownership was not a requirement to hold office in the Athenian government. Elections were held for offices that required a certain degree of professional expertise. Around 462 B.C., payment for participation in a civic service, such as jury duty, was implemented.

Because any citizen could speak before the gathered assembly and council members, the skill of rhetoric, or persuasive oratory, was a valued personal asset in Athenian politics. In the Athenian courts, neither lawyers nor judges were involved and litigants were also expected to speak for themselves.

Learn more about Ancient Greece

Related Questions

  • Q:

    How did geography influence Greek development?

    A:

    Because of the agricultural advantages of living by the sea, many Greeks chose to develop their farms there. In addition, the mild climate allowed for many Greeks to become traders and pirates, which made ancient Greek society cosmopolitan.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do we need democracy?

    A:

    Democracy is important because it give citizens equal opportunities to help make laws, vote for leaders and be protected by laws and rights that are in place. Democracy is a governmental structure that focuses on the rights of the citizens rather than the rights that the government has to control the citizens.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some pros and cons of a representative democracy?

    A:

    Pros of a representative democracy include efficiency, and officials that are democratically elected; cons include elected officials not being held accountable for their actions and citizens cannot participate in this type of democracy. The United Kingdom and the United States both have a representative democracy.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are characteristics of culture?

    A:

    According to PreserveArticles.com, culture is shared, social, transmitted through learning, dependent upon language, cumulative, gratifying to participate in, dynamic and variable between different societies. All human societies have their own cultures.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore