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.Continue Reading
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
The first recorded ancient Olympic Games were held in 776 B.C. in Athens, continuing every four years until 393 A.D., when the Roman emperor Theodosius I abolished them because of their pagan roots. The modern Olympic games began in 1896.Full Answer >
Socrates' enemies charged him with impiety because they saw him as a political liability; his philosophy contradicted the foundations of Athenian democracy, and two of his disciples were the primary instigators of revolts against the democracy in 411 and 404 B.C. Many of the notable men of the city detested Socrates because his manner of dialectical conversation caused them public embarrassment. Socrates also held religious views unorthodox for the time.Full Answer >
Historical evidence only gives the name Spartacus as the name of the 1st century B.C. Thracian slave and gladiator who led an uprising against Rome known as the Gladiatorial War. He was born around 109 B.C. in what is now the modern-day Balkan region.Full Answer >
Historians and archaeologists have placed the Trojan war some time in the 13th century B.C. Because there are so many different accounts of the Trojan War, it is difficult to determine the exact dates on which it took place.Full Answer >