Who Writes the Laws in Athenian Democracy

Solon replaced most of Draco`s legal code with a less strict and fairer code for all. “Laws that I have written, both for nobles and citizens, that directly do justice to all,” he said in a poem. The institutions described above – assembly, officials, council, courts – are incomplete without the figure that animates the whole system, Ho boulomenos (“he who wants” or “whoever wants”). This expression summed up the right of citizens to take the initiative to address the Assembly, to initiate a public complaint (i.e. a complaint affecting the political community as a whole), to propose legislation to legislators or to submit proposals to the Council. Unlike the incumbents, the citizen initiator was not elected before taking office or automatically selected after his resignation; After all, these institutions had no fixed mandate and could be an action that lasted only a moment. However, any step in the democratic spotlight was risky. If another initiating citizen voted, a public figure could be held accountable and punished for his or her actions. In situations involving a public figure, the initiator was called kategoros (“prosecutor”), a term also used in murder cases, rather than ho diokon (“one who persecutes”). [56] While more than half of the world`s countries consider themselves democracies, not all are fully democratic (Desilver, 2019). In the modern world, according to one scholar, a “genuine democracy” includes the following structures, without which a democratic system cannot exist: I did these things with my strength, I brought power and justice into harmony, and I ended them as I promised; and I have made laws equal to the poor and the powerful, which have inflicted impartial justice on all. This led to Hellenistic control of Athens, with the Macedonian king appointing a local agent as political governor in Athens. However, governors, such as Demetrius of Phalerum, appointed by Cassander, officially maintained some of the traditional institutions, although the Athenian public would only regard them as Macedonian puppet dictators.

After Demetrius Poliorcetes ended Cassandra`s reign over Athens, Demetrius of Phalerum went into exile and democracy was established in 307 BC. Restored. In the meantime, however, Athens has become “politically powerless.” [21] An example of this was that in 307, in order to ingratiate themselves with Macedonia and Egypt, three new tribes were created, two in honor of the Macedonian king and his son and the other in honor of the Egyptian king. The origins of democracy in ancient Athens invite us to examine how democracy and democratic government are evolving in today`s digital world, and to think about how smartphones, computers, and other interactive technologies could create new ways for citizens to interact democratically with political leaders, especially given the changes brought about by the 2020 pandemic. Participation in the meeting was not always voluntary. Im 5. In the nineteenth century, public slaves who formed a cordon with a red cord led citizens from the agora to the place of assembly (pnyx), with a fine imposed on those who had red on their clothes. [40] After the restoration of democracy in 403 BC. AD, the payment of participation in the assembly was introduced.

This has generated new enthusiasm for the assemblies. Only the first 6,000 arrivals were admitted and paid, with the red rope now being used to keep stragglers at bay. [41] Athens publicly displayed Solon`s Code of Law on rectangular wooden beams, each with four sides, so that the reader could rotate them. Solon`s laws remained in force for more than 100 years. In Athenian democracy, citizens not only participated in a direct democracy in which they themselves made the decisions by which they lived, but they also actively served in the institutions that governed them, thus directly controlling all parts of the political process. As the system evolved, the courts (i.e. citizens in a different guise) intervened in the power of the assembly. From 355 BC.

Political trials no longer take place in the assembly, but only in the courts. In 416 BC. AD, the graphē paranómōn (“accusation of unlawful measures”) is introduced.

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