900 State Street
Salem, Oregon 97301
This course will examine the origins and development of the democratic constitution of Athens from the 6th through 4th centuries BCE. How did there come to be a democracy in Athens? How did it function as a system of government? Within this historical framework, close attention will be given not only to political institutions but also to the social and cultural values that shaped them. Through careful analysis of both primary sources (historical narratives, philosophical treatises, and inscriptions) and scholarly literature, students will be encouraged to take a multi-faceted approach to understanding the working and self-representation of the world's earliest democracy. Finally, while studying the historically specific circumstances of democracy in ancient Athens, we will have frequent opportunities to consider points of contact and contrast with modern democratic forms and ideology.