The topic of Athenian democracy is a popular one among scholars and students of the classical world, and books on the subject continue to appear. Thus far, however, none of them has devoted much attention to the origins and daily operations of the assembly. In this intriguing study, Chester Starr traces the growth of the assembly from its consolidation to its position as the central institution in the democratic government of Athens in the fifth century B.C. He examines the practical operation of the early assembly, and offers vivid descriptions of the role of ideology in Athenian politics, the evolution of voting requirements, and electoral participation. Noting the disenfranchisement of women and slaves, Starr draws several compelling parallels between Athenian and American democracy. Written in Starr's characteristically lively style, this is an invaluable guide to students and scholars, and an engaging introduction to the subject for general readers.
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