These collected papers construct a distinctive view of classical Athens and of Athenian democracy, a view which takes seriously the evidence of settlement archaeology and of art history. This evidence both casts new light on traditional questions and enables new questions to be asked, questions concerning the experience of being an Athenian citizen, how the institutions of democracy affected the Athenian economy, and how the rituals of religion related to the rituals of democratic politics. Unlike books on Athenian democracy which focus on the Assembly and Council, this book gives full weight to women as well as men, slave as well as free, and the rural worker as well as the leisured man about town. Robin Osborne's work has been in the forefront of the resurgence of interest in Athenian law and Athenian religion; these essays are each placed in their scholarly context, and point the direction for future research.
Robin Osborne is Professor of Ancient History and a Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. He has written and edited numerous works on ancient history, including Greek History (2004); Rethinking Revolutions through Classical Greece (co-edited with Simon Goldhill, Cambridge, 2006); and Debating the Athenian Cultural Revolution: Art, Literature, Philosophy and Politics 430-380 BC (Cambridge, 2007).
Preface; 1. Changing visions of democracy; Part I. Making Athenian Democracy Work: 2. Athenian democracy: something to celebrate?; 3. The demos and its divisions in Classical Athens; 4. Inscribing performance; Part II. Athenian Democracy and the Athenian Economy: 5. The economics and politics of slavery at Athens; 6. Pride and prejudice, sense and subsistence: exchange and society in the Greek city; 7. 'Is it a farm?' The definition of agricultural sites and settlements in ancient Greece; 8. The potential mobility of human populations; Part III. Athenian Democracy and the Athenian Legal System: 9. Law in action in classical Athens; 10. Vexatious litigation in classical Athens: sykophancy and the sycophant; 11. Religion, imperial politics, and the offering of freedom to slaves; 12. Law, the democratic citizen, and the representation of women in classical Athens; 13. Changing the discourse; Part IV. Athenian Democracy on Display: 14. The viewing and obscuring of the Parthenon frieze; 15. Democracy and imperialism in the Panathenaic procession: the Parthenon frieze in its context; Part V. Athenian Democracy and the Gods: 16. Competitive festivals and the polis: a context for dramatic festivals at Athens; 17. The erection and mutilation of the hermai; 18. The ecstasy and the tragedy: varieties of religious experience in art, drama, and society; Coda: from ritual to politics, and back again.