The Long Walls of Ancient Athens

Part of Themistocles’s wall in Kerameikos / Wikimedia Commons Built in several phases, they provided a secure connection to the sea even during times of siege. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 11.08.2018 Public Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Introduction Although long walls were built at several locations in ancient Greece, notably Corinth and Megara,[1] the term Long Walls (Greek: Μακρὰ Τείχη) generally refers to[…]

Voting and Civic Participation in Ancient Athens

The Acropolis of Athens. Dominating the acropolis is the Parthenon, built between 447 and 432 BCE in the Age of Pericles, and dedicated to the city’s patron deity Athena. / Photo by Mark Cartwright, Creative Commons Ancient Athenians actively served in the institutions that governed them, and so they directly controlled all parts of the political process. By Mark Cartwright / 04.03.2018 Historian[…]

A Brief Overview of Law and Courts in Ancient Athens

The Athens Acropolis as seen from the Court of Cassation (Areopagus, i.e. the “Stone, or Hill, of Ares”) / Photo by Tilemahos Efthimiadis, Wikimedia Commons Focusing on Athenian law in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. Introduction When we investigate how the law and the courts of Classical Greece worked, the law of ancient Athens provides most of[…]

Social Norms in the Courts of Ancient Athens

Ancient Athens was a remarkably peaceful and well-ordered society by both ancient and contemporary standards. By Adriaan Lanni, J.D. Touroff-Glueck Professor of Law Harvard Law School Abstract Ancient Athens was a remarkably peaceful and well-ordered society by both ancient and contemporary standards. Scholars typically attribute Athens’ success to internalized norms and purely informal enforcement mechanisms.[…]

The Concept of Ethical Business in Ancient Athens

Athens agora / Photo by Andreas Trepte, Wikimedia Commons Ethics was a function of being and, as the guiding principle for dealings with others, it naturally applied as well to the sensitive areas of money and commerce. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 09.11.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief It would be hard to overstate the influence[…]

Solon the Lawgiver: A Constitution of Property

The Aristotelian Constitution of the Athenians / British Library (Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 131), Wikimedia Commons Solon’s new constitution was based on ownership of property. Introduction By the early 6th century B.C. social tensions in Athens had become acute, pitting the poorer citizens against rich and powerful landowners. Many citizens were reduced to the status of share[…]

Athens: Hellenistic Hegemony

The Erechtheum, western side, Acropolis, Athens, Greece / Photo by Jebulon, Wikimedia Commons Athens attained its Golden Age under Pericles in the 5th century BCE, and flourished culturally as the hegemonic power of the Hellenic world. Edited by Matthew A. McIntosh / 08.04.2018 Historian Brewminate Editor-in-Chief Emergence and Growth The Rise of Athens (508-448 BCE) In 514[…]

Ancient Athens and the Art of Exiling One’s Political Enemies

Ostraka from classical Athens nominating the persons of Kallias and Megakles. Cycladic Art Museum, Athens, Greece/Wikimedia Commons For the first time in recent memory the possibility of imprisoning political rivals has entered the political discourse of a modern western election. But ostracism is an ancient democratic tradition that offers an alternative approach. By Dr. Chris Mackie / 11.22.2016 Professor of Classics La Trobe University Throwing one’s political opponent in jail has[…]