GOVERNANCE IN ANCIENT GREECE
The emergence of democracy in Greece can be dated back to 4th century B.C. Athenian leader Cleisthenes introduced a system of political reform called demokratia or “rule of people”. Thus the origin of the word democracy can be credited to this word. Therefore Democracy can be defined as any type of a government where the government officials are elected by the people from the general public. The main function of the government officials is to represent the people and to work for their betterment and development. In a democracy the people are in full charge to elect or overthrow the government or anyone who is in a seat of power. Greece is the earliest example of democracy that exists.
According to Herodotus, “In democracy, there is, first, that most splendid of virtues, equality before law”. The idea of demokratia, according to Cleisthenes abolished the political distinction between the Athenian Aristocracy who monopolized the political decision making and the middle and working class who basically filled up the armed and the naval forces of the city states. But the only problem that existed was that notion of “equality” was only limited to a small proportion of the Athenian population. The only population that was allowed to elect or witness the political scenario were males who were above the age of 18. The “metoikoi” or the foreign residents and the women were not at any liberty to vote.
The system of government in Athens (which was the earliest city in Greece which started off with the idea of democracy) was divided into 3 tiers namely the ekklesia, the boule, and the dikasteria.
It is one of the major sovereign governing bodies of Athens. Any member of the voting demos was allowed to attend the meeting of the ekklesia that was held 40 times a year in a hillside auditorium called Pnyx. The ekklesia made decisions about war and foreign policies wrote and revised laws and approved or condemned the conduct of...