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Description - The Greek Discovery of Politics by Christian Meier

Why the Greeks? How did it happen that these people-out of all Mediterranean societies-developed democratic systems of government? The outstanding German historian of the ancient world, Christian Meier, reconstructs the process of political thinking in Greek culture that led to democracy. He demonstrates that the civic identity of the Athenians was a direct precondition for the practical reality of this form of government.

Meier shows how the structure of Greek communal life gave individuals a civic role and discusses a crucial reform that institutionalized the idea of equality before the law. In Greek drama-specifically Aeschylus' Oresteia-he finds reflections of the ascendancy of civil law and of a politicizing of life in the city-state. He examines the role of the leader as well as citizen participation in Athenian democracy and describes an ancient equivalent of the idea of social progress. He also contrasts the fifth-century Greek political world with today's world, drawing revealing comparisons.

The Greek Discovery of Politics is important reading for ancient historians, classicists, political scientists, and anyone interested in the history of political thought or in the culture of ancient Greece.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674362321
ISBN-10: 0674362322
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 156mm x mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 23-Aug-1990
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Christian Meier

Christian Meier is Professor of Ancient History, Emeritus, at the University of Munich, and the author of several books, including Athens: A Portrait of the City in Its Golden Age and Caesar: A Biography.

Books By Christian Meier

Caesar by Christian Meier
Hardback, August 1995
Political Art of Greek Tragedy by Christian Meier
Hardback, July 1993
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Athens by Christian Meier
Paperback / softback, April 2000
Culture of Freedom by Christian Meier
Hardback, November 2011