13 January 2010

Book: Democracy and anti-democracy in ancient Greece

Those who have access to books published in Italy and/or speak/read Italian, may be interested in "Democrazia e antidemocrazia nel mondo greco: atti del convegno internazionale di studi, Chieti 9-11 aprile 2003", ed. Umberto Bultrighini (Edizioni dell'Orso, 2005).

The proceedings of a scientific conference, this volume contains
Italian-, French-, and English-language articles such as: "Was all Criticism of Athenian Democracy Necessarily Anti-Democratic?" (Edward M. Harris, Durham University); "Timonieri e dottori, padri e servitor: il linguaggio figurato politico nell'ideologia democratica e antidemocratica" (Roger W. Brock, University of Leeds); "Democrazia e antidemocrazia nella Mileto del V secolo" (Clara Talamo, Università degli Studi di Salerno); "An Alternative Democracy and an Alternative to Democracy in Aristophanic Comedy" (Alan H. Sommerstein, University of Nottingham); "Democrazia e antidemocrazia a Siracusa: isotes e ges anadasmos nelle lotte sociali del IV secolo" (Sebastiana Nerina Consolo Langher); "Democracy and its Opponents in Fourth-Century Athens" (P.J. Rhodes, Durham University); "Problemi rodii: democrazia e antidemocrazia nel IV secolo" (A. Coppola)

Review: "[W]e do possess many antidemocratic theoretical testimonies, from the anonymous The Constitution of Athenians to Plato's and Xenophon's writings. Although modern scholars have often tended to defend the Athenian democracy without taking seriously their charges, a more accurate and less prejudiced scrutiny shows that the Athenians themselves did sometimes accept these criticisms, by passing laws to minimize the problems they pinpointed. [...] We can explain such a responsiveness to criticisms because democracy, at its beginnings, was not born as a stiff procedural system: its practice came before its conceptualization." (Maria Chiara Pievatolo, "Bryn Mawr Classical Review")

The full review and a complete table of contents are to be found here:


Another recent Italian article I happened across (but can't find an abstract of): Marco Santucci, "Democrazia e antidemocrazia nel mondo greco", Rivista di cultura classica e medioevale, 46 (1), 2004: pp. 85-105. May or may not be linked to the conference preceding the above volume.

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