How should we study the democracy of classical Athens? How, if at all, is it relevant to our own world with its different forms of democracy? Attitudes to Athenian democracy have always been affectd by the circumstances of those studying it; but, after a period in which scholars professed objectivity and impartiality as their ideal, the possibility of attaining that ideal has been questioned, and ideological commitment and relevance to contemporary circumstances have returned into fashion. This book traces developments in the study of Athenian democracy, examines the different approaches adopted in recent times, and argues that the conscious pursuit of relevance makes for bad history and that, although total objectivity is unattainable, studies which make that an ideal to be approached are likely to do more justice to the subject and also to be more useful in our world.
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