Ancient Republics and Radical Democracy: Athens and Sparta

  • Everett Carl Dolman


Perhaps the most eloquent praise of democracy ever made, Pericles’s Funeral Oration as set down by Thucydides some 2,500 years ago still evokes intense passion.1 Pericles described the character, values, and activities of his people and his beloved city. He contended that the most cherished possession of Athenian citizens was not their wealth or happiness, as might be the case in other states, but rather their political and economic freedoms. He fully understood the inextricable link between citizens, soldiers, and government. And he insisted that Athenian laws, which established the world’s first civilized democracy, were worth the many deaths his city had come together to mourn.


Military Service Military Organization Athenian Democracy Radical Democracy Military Structure 
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© Everett Carl Dolman 2004

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  • Everett Carl Dolman

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