This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Ancient Athens: The Prototype For Western Democracy

1546 words - 7 pages

Ancient Athens serves as a beacon within Western antiquity as the center for culture with its cultural advancements impacting the culture of today. Founded nearly 9,000 years ago, Athens formed itself as the center of Greek culture and education during the classical period. Considered the prototype for Western Democracy, it allowed for the rise of a citizenship of voters, something unique in the ancient world. The Athenian love of physical activity culminated in the Olympics, an event that though ended by the Roman Empire, inspired the Olympics of the modern era. Though Athens was later conquered by the Roman Empire, it still served as the center of culture until its ultimate collapse in the 6th century AD via the Eastern Roman Empire. Ultimately, Western Society owes a debt to ancient Athens as this small city-state provided the backdrop for the West to develop and grow. Everything today, from the West’s love of sports to appreciation of the arts to government structure all flows from an ancient hilltop in Greece.
The origins of early Athens can be traced back as early as 7000 B.C.E. It is unclear if the name is derived from the Greek goddess Athena, or if the goddess was named after the city itself. The center of the city is settled on the Acropolis, a high, rocky plateau overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. This site was most likely chosen for its natural defenses inland, surrounded by mountains, with the Acropolis protecting its inhabitants from sea side attacks. Because of the rocky terrain, no large-scale agriculture was possible. The smaller farms weren’t enough to support the expanding population and Athenians relied on fishing and trading with neighboring civilizations. The city differentiated itself from neighboring city-states by becoming an epicenter for the arts during the classical era. They praised individuality and prided themselves on political and intellectual superiority. Early politics and social structure provided the roots of a democracy that still dominates much of the world today.
The idea of a democracy was born from one man with idea of natural-born citizen involvement in politics, and a desire to end the strife in the majority of Athenian citizens. In 600 B.C.E. polis, also known as city-states were mostly ruled by a small group of wealthy land owners . An increasingly rough terrain and increased importing of goods pushed most small, independent farmers into debt, widening the gap between the minority of wealthy land owners and the majority of the poorer local farmers. Social dispute ensued as more and more farmers were forced to sell their farms to cover their mounting financial debt. A free-thinking statesman and land owner, Solon, was elected to create a reform of laws that would later set the stage for democracy. His reform included an assembly of 400 men, drawn by lottery, to vote on new laws and serve as a jury; abolishing the rule of the wealthy. Women and foreigners were excluded from this lottery, as...

Find Another Essay On Ancient Athens: The Prototype for Western Democracy

Account for the centrality of ancient sculpture to the canon of art in Western Europe between the Renaissance and the early nineteenth century

1240 words - 5 pages assumptions about theideals of classical art, which in turn "brought a significant development in taste and inthe concept of the canon" (B1, p48)In conclusion, this essay has selected only a few sources of evidence to account for thecentrality of ancient sculpture to the canon of art in Western Europe between theRenaissance and the early nineteenth century. The arrival of the Parthenon marblespresented a new approach to understanding classical art

The History Tells Us That The First Display Of European Democracy Begins, Arguably, Not In Athens But In SpartaThe History Tells Us That The First Display Of European Democracy Begins In Athens

2481 words - 10 pages changes, mainly in the court rather than in the assembly in the middle of the fourth century, the political life of the politicians could be destroyed by the serious accusation of treason. We can also think of what the development of democracy in ancient Athens made for political and social life of people. The answer is that it gave the new sources of inspiration, the fresh drop of the water for people in those days. Its political ideals

The cure for ills of Democracy is More Democracy

2850 words - 11 pages equality of political rights mean that every individual has the right to vote, run for office, serve on a jury, speak on public issues and carry out other public functions. Furthermore, political rights are a matter of degree because they have been evolving during the last century. But it is not possible to know how much political equality is enough for democracy, because it seems to change every time and under different circumstances. An important

Discusses Athens and Sparta in ancient times. Fights and government plus more. How both city-states resemble the US

578 words - 2 pages live in barracks and receive military training from older boys. Boys went barefoot, wore minimal clothing (even in winter), practiced all forms of athletics, and received military instruction. They married at age 20 but continued to live in the barracks. The Helots provided the necessary food and labor for Spartan males and females.The form of culture of democracy had its roots in the ancient Greek city-state of Athens. In the ancient Greek city

OAS And The Promotion For Democracy

2479 words - 10 pages international law. Resolution 1080 represents an important step toward the consolidation of democracy in the Western Hemisphere and uproots the classic non-intervention doctrine. In Haiti and Peru such meetings have convened and democratic rule was eventually restored. The effectiveness of these measures is debatable.The OAS has been increasingly active in building democratic institutions, particularly with the founding of the Unit for the

The Struggle For Democracy In China

1891 words - 8 pages Democracy has been the objective in controversial struggles for a multitude of nations. Though the meaning of democracy changes each time it translates into a different language, and might not propose the same idea to everyone everywhere. For example, democracy translated into Chinese is "minzhu", or "people-as-masters". This ideology is not a concept deep-seated in Chinese culture or it's political philosophy. It actually goes completely

The Importance of Family for Ancient Greeks

966 words - 4 pages Family is extremely important to Greeks and is based on social structure (Greece - Cultural Studies). The ancient Greeks believed in many gods and each of the gods signified a certain characteristic in life. Zeus being the main God (Galens and Spampinato). Greek families are very loving and caring for each other. Although, once one member of the family does something dishonorable it puts the whole family to shame. “Greece has the highest

Democracy - " A System of Government for the Ages"

716 words - 3 pages over. From corner to corner of the globe examples of democracy can be found more and more each day. Many foundations of democracy originated from Ancient Greece as well as the word democracy. The Greek roots of the word democracy are “demos and Kratein” which mean “ The people and To Rule”. History accounts that Athens 5th Century (b.c.e.) was the earliest and purest form of democracy where all Athens policies were decided by an assembly of people

Hoping for a Peaceful Democracy in the Middle East

1154 words - 5 pages Synthesis Essay: of “Hoping for a peaceful democracy in the middle east” The protest in the Middle East have garnered a great attention from people all over the world. The images of a revolution that would open the doors for democracy was in the majority heads. However, the cost of democracy has been and still is bloody faces and lost innocent lives. Since the so called Arab spring started, thousands of civilian have lost their lives. In Syria

The Ironic Battle for Democracy in Europe During WW I

2703 words - 11 pages As President Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany on April 2, 1917 because “The world must be made safe for democracy” (War Messages, 65th Cong., 1st Sess.), the United States joined forces with the allies very soon in a crucial time of the war; Germany made an armistice with Russia in December the same year, so Germany was able to mobilize all its troops to the Western Front. Back in the U.S, due to the separate but equal policy

Thailand's Social Movement, The United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship

1958 words - 8 pages Introduction The United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship, or most commonly known to the international community as the Red Shirts, is a social movement formed to protest against the 2006 coup d'état by the military in Thailand, and subsequently the People’s Alliance for Democracy, or the Yellow Shirts. They believe in a political and judicial system that ensures their universal human rights and justice that in currently lacking in

Similar Essays

Ancient Democracy Athens: Citizenship And Governance "Selection And Representation In Athenian Democracy"

1448 words - 6 pages unfairness and manipulation of invisible representation within private realm of Athens. However, even with these critical issues, Athens managed itself nearly for two hundred years to be the most prosperous, most powerful, most stable, and most peaceful internally and culturally by far the richest state in the entire Greek world. And without a question, Athenian democracy brought tremendous impact to our modern democracy.Bibliography1.Dahl, Robert A. 1989

Compare And Contrast The Economic, Political, And Social Structures Of Ancient Athens To Modern Day Iraq To See If Democracy Can Work In Iraq

1152 words - 5 pages Democracy does not work. This is the case in some countries. However in others democracy can thrive and work like no other government. By comparing the political, economic, and social structures of ancient Athens and Iraq it can determine what the conditions are for democracy to work in Iraq. Before democracy is able to work in Iraq, the Iraqi people must learn to coexist with one another, pay off their debt, and Athens went through

Ancient Greek: The Birthplace Of Western Civilization

838 words - 4 pages Ancient geek was the birthplace of western civilization about 4000 years ago. Ancient Greece produced many magnificent achievements in areas of government, science, philosophy and the fine arts that still influenced our lives. Old Greece influenced western progress in governmental issues. Greece had the first known popular government. In Greece Athens was the support of majority rules system in the western human advancement. The Greek had a

Athens Vs. Sparta Compare And Contrast The Two Cities Of Ancient Greece

685 words - 3 pages were his home for most of his life. Soldiers ate and slept in their barracks. There lives were there with their brotherhood.Athens was a city-state based on knowledge and learning. The schooling of the two city-states greatly differed. Schooling in Athens started at about the same age as in Sparta, but the curriculums were greatly different. In Athens, students were taught to be more peaceful, but to be prepared for war. The only war training that