Athenian Democracy

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     The political system of ancient Athens was a democracy, which involved all of its citizens and not merely their representatives by giving them daily access to civic affairs and political power. Both decision-making and decision-enforcing were the duty of every citizen, and not just of those elected by them or of their leaders. The citizens of Athens were directly involved not only in government matters but also in matters of justice, as there was no separation of powers in ancient Athens.
     Although not all persons living in Athens had these political rights, no other democracy in human history provided such a magnificent level of participation. This political system, quite innovative for its times, shaped a society of a distinct character, of great sensibility and of unusual cultural achievements.
     Government functions were assigned to two bodies:
    The Assembly which focused on policy decision-making.
    The Council which concentrated on policy implementation and administrative matters.
     Justice was the responsibility of the Eliaea, and in certain instances of the Areopagos.
     A comparison with contemporary functions is very revealing:
     Non executive head of state
    The closest to this function was the epistates, chairman of the 50 prytaneis. The epistates was selected by drawn lot from the prytaneis, with a mandate of one day. Having once served as epistates, he was excluded from ever doing so again. The epistates summoned the prytaneis and the Council and was chairman of the Assembly. He held the key to the state treasury, together with the city seal.

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    Athenian Democracy
    The political system of ancient Athens was a democracy, which involved all of its citizens and not merely their representatives by giving them daily access to civic affairs and political power. Both decision-making and decision-enforcing were the duty of every citizen, and not just of those elected by them or of their leaders. The citizens of Athens were directly involved not only in government matters but also in matters of justice, as there was no separation of powers in anc..

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