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Ancient Athenian Democracy (Research Paper Sample)

Paper Instructions: 1. What was the relationship between warfare and democracy in Athens? How did warfare shape the history of Athens, especially in its own political and social contexts? 2. Why did the old Hellenic ideal of participation in the polis as the highest ideal in life decline, and in what ways did the various philosophies reflect this shift? The paper answered the above questions. source..
Student’s Name Instructor’s Name Course Date Ancient Athenian Democracy The democracy that existed in Athens roughly from the middle of the fifth century was a remarkable system, unprecedented and unparalleled in world history. It was exhilarating, capable of mobilizing extraordinary citizen involvement, enthusiasm, and achievement, enormously and at the same time potentially greatly destructive (Kendrick, 6). Athens contemporary military revolution is not broadly known. Athens discovered and perfected new and unpopular forms of warfare, military organization and strategy and bore the responsibility of advancing the intensity of Greek warfare to a far much different level. This revolution directly followed the famous 508 BCE uprising and coincided with the emergence of the Athenian culture that was to a larger extent caused by democracy. This contemporary nature of Athens military revolutions raises the possibility that popular government or democracy was one of the major causes of the Athenian military success (Kendrick, 9). The classical Athenian democracy was founded and nourished on the corporate identity of the citizens, which found expression and support in a wide variety of collective activities in which the free population, or at least males with civic rights participated as equals. On the political level, venues for such communal action included the assembly and the courts. Militarily, the citizens were united as soldiers and sailors although there were important distinctions among the classes of cavalry. It was drawn from the richest stratum, hoplites or heavy armed fighters who had to have sufficient wealth to provide their own armor. The poorer citizens manned the fleets and served as light-armed infantry (Mifsud, 44). In the 5th century (Kendrick, 11), Athens intensified, amplified, and widened its wars frequently attacking other democratic states. It caused massive damages to property and deaths among the Greeks. By its military innovativeness and destructiveness, Athenian demos overcame popular beliefs that had tried to underestimate military creations and inventions elsewhere. At the time of the consolidation of its demokratia, Athens had grown to be the military super power in the eastern Mediterranean with its forces hundreds of kilometers off in the neighboring states (Mifsud, 46). War was now the dominating factor in the politics of the state. War ruled over the lives of many lower-class and upper-class citizens. Political debates often talked about foreign policies with prytany assembly meetings dominated by war and peace agendas. Athens was waging war in every three to four years, and a big chunk of the public funds was being committed to war expeditions. As a result, public amenities were decaying, and more families suffered in the absence of breadwinners who were constantly dying in wars (Kendrick, 13). The ideal of the polis demanded that all individuals were to directly participate in social, spiritual, economic, and political affairs of the city-state (Mifsud, 47). However, this responsibility proved to be impossible to the citizens. To apply the virtue of participation in matters of life affecting the citizens...
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