The Constitution of Athens

Follow by Email
Patreon: Website: T-Shirts: Donate: Twitter: Sources: "The Athenian Constitution," by Aristotle: "Politics," by Aristotle: "Parallel Lives: The Life of Solon," by Plutarch: "The Constitution of the Athenians," by Pseudo-Xenophon: "The Rise of Athens," by Anthony Everitt: "The Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes", by Mogens Herman Hansen: "Persian Fire," by Tom Holland: Music: "Direct to Video," by Chris Zabriskie "It's Always Too Late to Start Over," by Chris Zabriskie "Mario Bava Sleeps In a Little Later Than He Expected To," by Chris Zabriskie "Hallon," by Christian Bjoerklund We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.


Braderz1506 : 2:23 "Did you ever hear the tragedy of Darth Basileus the greek?"

Drew Insur : last time i was this early the spartans could field 10.000 citizen soldiers.

Jason Doe : It's worth mentioning that the "ostracised" person could keep all his property, and he and his family would suffer no other repercussions other than his forced physical absence from the city for 10 years. The goal was removal from the political life, not punishment of any sort. For the Athenians, it was inconceivable that a citizen would be physically present but not participate in politics – even implying that someone didn't want to engage in "the common" [public matters] would be a huge insult. The modern term "idiot" comes from their word "idiotes", meaning the person who only cares about his private matters.

Józef Bem : 18:45 Where is Sicily?

Nämen Hejsan : Thanks for making another video, I missed the squares.

mr id : This channel does a great job in making history accessible. I already love history, but often don't have the time to scroll through many many documents and then make a coherent story. You are absolutely great at this, it is often quite difficult to make history seem coherent and simple because it often isn't. Good job! Keep up the good work!

Joey Kevorkian : Are you ever gonna go back to the Caesar-Pompey War?

Austin Monreal : Last time I was this early the Romans had just thrown out their king!

oWallis : Those Ancient Athenians should feel proud. Imitation is the highest form of flattery.

Out Living : I'm a simple man, I see a historia civilis video I click

Gabriele Di Rubbo : This channel is my favourite thing to see in notifications. I legitimately get excited.

Ken MacMillan : Who in their right mind would allow children or foreigners to vote?

B : Only this man could get me to watch a full video about paperwork of a dead government over 2,000 year ago.

Strideo1 : It was pretty cool of John Carpenter to do the soundtrack for this episode.

Yeah Greek : As a greek it's weird to hear words like Βασιλεύς Στρατηγός and Βουλή with an English accent. Also we were taught this type of stuff (although not with so much detail) in school so this is a nice way of learning more. As always great video.

Alp Ugur : what happened to sicily????

Michalis Famelis : I'd love a similar one on the Old Swiss Confederacy.

oWallis : Perfect, I was just wondering what I was going to watch while eating dinner. Another masterpiece my dude <3

Paul Casey : That beat at the beginning of the video was pretty dope

Feynstein 100 : Watching the video in 4K. You can really see how sharp the edges of the tiny squares are. 10/10

Joe Copley : Ancient History student here and I just spent this term studying this exact topic. This video is a perfect summery of what I studied. This will be helpful later down the line when it comes to revise for the exam period. Thank you very much Historia Civilis; amazing and informative content as always!

Adriano Zonta : Athenians used to have a very funny myth explaining why women were not allowed to vote. (I don't remember where I read this, sadly). The first king of Athens, an half-human-half-snake called Cecropes, was asked by the gods Athena and Poseidon to choose which of the two was to protect the city. He preferred Athena, but he didn't want to get punishment by Poseidon because of his choice, so he asked a special council of Athenians to vote on the matter. He was sure that all women would have voted for Athena, hoping she would make sure they had power in the city; so he made sure there was one more woman in the council. All the men voted for Poseidon, but women still won, since they had the majority. After the vote, Poseidon told Athena that either women were not to ever have any power in the city, or he would flood Athens; and Athena, being the goddess of intelligence, decided the best solution was just to accept Poseidon's request. So basically women got the opposite of what they wanted because of a woman. :P

Harald Bönner : When are you going to make a video on Caesars march on Rome?

Mr Cocaine : freaking love this boy

Jacob Kang : Why do people dislike videos like this.

DoctuhD : 18:50 Where is Sicily?!?!? It's gone :o

mazin abdulrahman : SHIIEEEEEET

I Saw A Bear : So... Thessaly next?

Paul Aldrich : Please do a video on caesars pall labienus

Mandez : man today’s been amazing. shoes I ordered finally came, new update for Payday 2 and a vid from Historia Civilis

rafafr9 : O Just love when the ending song plays after a small pause, It is so satisfying

ReplyToThisOrYourMotherWillDieInHerSleepTonight : 16:30 And exactly zero care was taken that modern democracies fall into factionalism.

SharpLight : Great video, I just have some observations: *First* : What Athens did was not inventing democracy out of thin air, tribal people live in a similar condition, although without formal voting, they just physically follow the leader they like and tribal affinity keeps the tribe together when a majority follows a certain leader (or decision). I would recommend reading the great _Lewis Henry Morgan_ book _Ancient Society_, I myself come from an Arab society that had tribes (real nomadic tribes) until just over 70 years ago and Morgan's observations are uncannily accurate (even though he was studying Native American tribes). Even the idea of 3 leaders: religious, civil and military comes from tribal society, you can find examples in _Ancient Society_ but I'll give you one from the Bible: the Israelite had a prophet (religious), a judge per tribe (civil) and one king to lead their army (military). The ancient Semites, who _invented_ civilization, did it so gradually and in such a limited and inhospitable place under constant threat of invasion from the great deserts, that the kings tended to dominate over their structures, while the Greeks obtaining the latest and greatest science & technology (thus jumping over thousands of years of slow development) and then developing further in close urban centers without the danger of constant invasion by tribes they quickly (counted in generations not years!) transformed from tribes to cities and were able take their tribal ideas and put them into institutions. I could go on and on, but the point is: the democratic mechanism of majority rule exist informally in _all_ tribal societies. *Second* : Athens was the name of the city, but everyone in Attica (the region) was a citizen, this is what was different and unique about Athens compared to the other Greek city-states. It combined urban and countryside into one political unit. The modern administrative structures derived mainly from European development separates city and countryside as they were in medieval times, when cities were ruled by a council and answered to the King and the countryside was part of the local feudal domain. In imperial China the administrative division combines the city and the surrounding countryside into a single unit and both were ruled by a single magistrate residing the city. In the last 40 years or so modern China has slowly returned to this model and gradually abandoning the European model, Now China is divided into: Sub-provincial cities, prefecture-level city, County-level cities, etc Where all are combinations of a city & its surrounding countryside into a single administrative unit. *Third* : Athens did not exist in a vacuum, cities and city states were growing all over the Greek world and setting up governments and constitutions with democratic mechanism (even Sparta used majority rule in its highest counsel). Athens was the one with the widest franchise and the largest citizen body (because it included all of Attica) which might have helped it create the most democratic of those governments. --------- I have lots of ideas about democracy and urbanization, I reflect on these ideas quite a lot to maybe better understand why settled urban Arab societies (from ancient times to today) lack democratic mechanisms while clearly originating from tribes that were _de facto_ democratic—famous Arab generosity is nothing more than informal social welfare to gain popularity with the "voters" (the more you give the higher your tribe will regard and follow you), something that every democratic government practices (specially when the poor have the right to vote)—but I think this comment has gone way too long. Keep up the good work 👍👍

Dat History lad : Boule nowdays in modern greek means parliament


Jonas Drøjdahl : Well, this was illuminating. I knew of the Athenian Democracy before, and understood some of the peculiarities, but this was more complex than I had expected, with more thought put into it than I had realised. I guess I was a bit coloured by the story of the ostracism of Aristides, which made the Athenian Democracy seem so chaotic and foolish.

RW3ints : Reupload this so I can get first.

hognigk96 : My man got some sick new intro-beats

Jay Peebles : Can u please do a video on when the Romans invaded Briton in 52 AD (I think that's the year) cheers

D Snodgrass : Great video! An underappreciated part of Solon's genius (and democracy's genius) was that a tremendous lot of new people not only got a measure of power; but with it a commensurate *stake* in the well-being and success of the nation-state. No monarchy or despotism can avail itself of so much freely given effort; born of the citizen's identifying the health of the state with his/her own so closely. This shouldn't be forgotten.

ShogunBit : No more Romans... ;(

Jackjohn12 : YOU'RE BACK! I missed you...

Bayek Of Siwa : Ive learned more history on youtube than in history class

Mr. Morningstar : Dank Demes are where it's at yo.


Mehmed Sejdinovic : Dude, I love what you do and your videos are awesome.I watched every single one of them.Please make some more!!!

Pope Guilty XIII : "Congratulations, my dude/fellow politician! They just elected you mayor!" "Uh... greeeaaaat..." "... of ancient Athens!" "Wait what?! WOOOOOOO!!!"

Shade : Average rich dude :”Nuts to the poor” Leader of the rich dudes : “ I already did”

Καρολος σεβαστός : Thank God, I've scoured youtube and this is the first video to go over the Athenian system in detail.