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Democracy and Imperialism Discussion Forum 2013-4

Democracy and Imperialism Discussion Forum 2013-4 Student Reading & Lecture Presentation preparation

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  1. This topic is for use by all students in the run up to their *5 minute presentation in lectures on a book, article, or ancient text they have been reading linked to the course* (not seminar key text material). *In advance* of their in lecture presentation, all students should*post under this topic their responses and ideas, which should then be referred to and built on in the lecture presentation*. All students are also encouraged to comment with their own ideas in response to posts about the particular books, article and ancient texts.
  2. My presentation on Thursday will centre on Pericles' Funeral Oration in Thucydides'/Peloponnesian Wars./ I will use this source to explore Pericles' opinion of the Athenian government and the way in which Thucydides presents this oration. In addition I will try to compare Pericles’ views on Athenian democracy with his contemporaries or even other funeral orations. As a prestigious political figure it is likely that the opinions expressed in Pericles’ Funeral Oration are not representative of all Athenians. Also, Thucydides was an admirer of Pericles and his role in the Athenian government therefore his account of the funeral oration may be exaggerated.
  3. My presentation is going to be on the role of the Tyrranicides and what we can tell about them through the central sculptures depicting them. Their place in Athenian lore is a bizarre one as they became symbols of Democratic freedom despite having failed to actually kill their intended target. Their use as a tool of propoganda and as a study in the exemplary Athenian citizen and how he ought to operate is an interesting one for attitudes towards both public service in Athens and the role of aristocracy in a Democratic community - specifically raising the questions of what the duties and expectations of aristocratic figures ought to be. There are also facets of pedastric love in the pair, deliberately depicted one youthful and one old and bearded, exploring the bond of that relationship as an ideological as well as physical one.
  4. > '. . . governors [in the] cities or [ —The] Hellenotamiai [ – ] are to > make a record [ – ] of any of the cities; [the man who wishes shall > immediately] bring before the Heliaia of the [Thesmothetai those who have > acted against the law]. The Thesmothetai shall [institute proceedings for > the ] denouncers of each one within five days. If someone other than the > governors in the coities does not act according to what has been decreed, > whether citizen or alien, he shall lose his citizen rights and his property > shall be confiscated, the goddess Athena receiving the [tithe. If] there are > no Athenian governors, the chief magistrates of each city shall perform all > thatis in the decree. If they do not act in compliance with what has been > decreed, let there be directed against these magistrates prosecution at > Athens involving loss of citizen-rights. In the Mint, after receiving the > money, they shall mint no less than half and [ – ––] the cities. The fee > exacted [by the Superintendants of the Mint shall invariably be 3 ] drachmai > out of each mna. [ –––] They shall convert or be liable. Whatever is left > over of the money [that has been exacted shall be minted and handed over ] > either to the Generals [ or to –––]. When it has been handed over, { –––] > and to Hephais[tos –––If ] anyone proposes or puts to a vote regarding > [these matters, that it be permissible for foreign currency ] to be used or > loaned, [ an accusation shall immediately be lodged against him with ] The > Eleven. The Eleven are to punish him with death. If he disputes the charge, > let them bring him to court. Heralds shall be elected by the people [ –––] > one to the Islands, [ one to Ionia, one to the Hellespo]nt, and one to the > Thracian Region. { –––] they are to be subject to a fine of 10,000 drachmai. > This decree shall be set up by the governors in the cities, after having > inscribed it on a stele of marble, in the Agora of each city, and by the > Superintendants in front of the Mint. The Athenians shall do this if the > cities themselves are not willing. The herald making the journey shall > require them to do all that the Athenians demand. An addition shall be made > to the oath of the Boulé by the Secretary of the Boulé for the future, as > follows: > > >> If someone coins money of silver in the cities and does not use Athenian >> weights or coins or measures, but instead uses foreign coins and measures >> and weights, I shall exact vengeance and penalize him according to the >> former decree which Klearchos moved. >> >> > Anyone shall be allowed to turn in the foreign money [which he possesses > and to convert it in the same fashion ] whenever he chooses. The City [shall > give him in place of it our own coin.] Each individual shall bring his money > [to Athens and deposit] it at the Mint. The Superintendants, having recorded > [everything handed in by each person, are to] set up [ a marble stele in > front of ] the Mint for the scrutiny of whoever wishes . . . .' > > > > This is an inscription which talks about the Athenian Decree which > enforced the use of Athenian Coins, Weights, and Measures. In my > presentation, I will be studying this piece of evidence in terms of what it > meant for Athenian democracy, how Athens was enforcing its authority over > the empire, as well as the profit it then made from this authority. This > control over finance meant that Athens had a disposable income, allowing it > to develop in itself. Ultimately I will be arguing the point that without > the Empire (the finance it provided in this case) democracy may not have > been able to develop in the way which it did. > >
  5. My presentation tomorrow will explore the process of ostracism in Athens, focusing on some of the more relevant arguments in Sara Forsdyke's "Exile, Ostracism and Democracy: The Politics of Expulsion in Ancient Greece". I will try to examine, in relation to democracy, the procedure and purpose of ostracism, as well as the reasons for which it fell into disuse by looking at the political changes that took place in Athens and the debate that surrounds this issue.
  6. My presentation will look at Plato's Republic Book VIII and shall examine how Plato views democracy, taking into account the context in which Plato was writing.
  7. My presentation will focus on the importance of the Battle of Marathon to the progress of Athenian democracy. I will also briefly discuss Panaenus' wallpainting, depicting Marathon, in the agora's Stoa Poikile.
  8. For my presentation I will be looking at Aristophanes and the portrayal of democracy in his comedies, whilst also briefly touching upon Cratinos and Eupolis and their existing fragments of text.
  9. In this post <> Julia Wessels wrote: > For my presentation I will be looking at Aristophanes and the portrayal of > democracy in his comedies, whilst also briefly touching upon Cratinos and > Eupolis and their existing fragments of text. > > Here are some of the extracts I will be looking at: ‘Look at this! Main Meeting of the Assembly due to start at dawn and not a soul here on the Pynx. They’re all down in the Marketplace gossiping, or dodging the red rope. Even the prytaneis haven’t arrived. They’ll arrive late, then they’ll come pouring in and push and shove each other to get on the front row…But me, I’m always first to get here to the Assembly. I sit myself down, and then when I see I’m still on my own I sigh and I yawn, then I have a sketch and a fart, and then I don’t know what to do; so I scribble a bit, pull a few hairs out, tot up my debts, but my mind is on the fields out there, and I’m longing for peace. I hate the city and I’m longing for my village.’/(Aristophanes, Acharnians 19-33/) ‘Men of rounded education and of sterling worth, we scorn. Aye, a gentleman, a sportsman, and the cream of Athens’ crop, we reject for something trashy, for a half-breed carrot top! In the old days we were chary of preferment for a scamp, nor would rashly put in office persons of a shabby stamp; and not even as a scapegoat did we use a common tramp!’ (/ Aristophanes, Frogs/) ‘Is there anything more fortunate or more blessed than a dikast? Is there anybody more pampered or more powerful, even when he is an old man? I’ve just crept out of bed in the morning, and there are these big, six-foot tall men waiting for me at the court entrance, and as I approach one of them slips his hand, the very hand that was stolen from public funds, delicately into mine. They bow and scrape, with a torrent of wheedling words…When I’ve listened to their pleas I go inside…..and then there’s no limit to the flattery you hear as a dikast! Some weep about their poverty, and really pile on the agony, until they make out they’re as poor as I am! They even bring in their children, little boys and girls, by the hand…and then the father, trembling, begs me as if I were a god to think of his little children and to acquit him and pass his accounts.’ (/Aristophanes, Wasps, 550-71/) 'Boy: Well then, father, if the arkhon is not holding a court today, how shall we buy any lunch? Do you have some good plan for us? Chorus: Oh dear, Oh dear! No, I don’t have any idea where our next meal is coming from.' (/Aristophanes, Wasps, 303-11/) ‘Here comes Pericles, our onion headed Zeus, with a hat the size of the Concert Hall on his head, now that we’ve held the ostracism’ (/Cratinos, Fragment in Oxford Book of Greek Verse, 298/) ‘Whenever he came to the front he was like a top-class runner, giving the others a ten-foot start but then overtaking them all. He spoke quickly, but along with the speed there was persuasion on his lips. This was how he charmed you, and he was the only speaker who used to leave his sting embedded in the audience.’ (/Eupolis, Fragment in Oxford Book of Greek Verse, 440/)
  10. Recently I have read a very interesting chapter about the Panathenaic procession and its realtionship with democracy and civic ideology, so I will talk about that. If anyone wants to read it, I attach a scan: L. Mauricio „The Panathenaic Procession: Athens’ Participatory Democracy on Display?” in/Democracy, Empire and the Arts in fifth-century Athens/, ed. D. Boedeker and K. A. Raaflaub (London: Harvard University Press: 1998)

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  11. 'Citizens of Athens! As you now try this first case of Bloodshed, hear the constitution of your court. From this day forward this judicial council shall For Aegus' race hear every trial of homicide... This rock is named Aeropagus. Here, day and night, Shall Awe, and Fear, check my citizens From all misdoing, while they keep my laws unchanged... So, do not taint pure laws with new expediency. Guard well and reverence that form of government Which will eschew alike license and slavery... Hold fast such upright fear of the law's sanctity And you will have a bulwark of your city's strngth, A rampart round your soil such as no other race Posesses between Scythia and the Peloponnese.' 'During the last three speeches a procession has been gathering, with music and ligthed torches, to escort the Chorus from the stage; as they go, all sing together.'
  12. My presentation will deal with the Athena Parthenos and it's political and religious importance. Here are links to some images of Roman reproductions of the extant statue: The Varvakeion Athena: The Boston Parthenos:
  13. In my presentation I’m going to look at the social composition of the jury courts. I will use several different sources to examine the different arguments: • CHORUS: From this pittance I must buy Meal and wood and fish for three, and you ask me now for figs! BOY: Tell me, father, if the Arkhon Doesn't now hold any sitting of the law court for today, what can we then buy dinner with? Have you something we can hope for, Any 'sacred way of Helle'? (Wasps 305-9) • “Democracy is when those who do not own much property, but are poor (aporoi), have authority in the system of government” (Aristotle pol. 1279b18-20) • “they declared in their public programme that no one ought to receive pay who was not on military service.” (Thucydides 8.65.3) • “Neither is poverty a bar, but a man may benefit his country whatever be the obscurity of his condition.” (Thucydides 2.37.1) • “Call also Straton, the victim of his persecution, for no doubt he will be allowed to stand up in court. This man, Athenians is a poor man perhaps but certainly is not a bad man. He was once a citizen and served at the proper age in all campaigns; he has done nothing reprehensible, yet there he stands silent, stripped not only of our common privileges, but also of the right to speak or complain.” (Demosthenes against Meidia 21.95)
  14. My presentation will be discussing the Erechtheion and the Caryatids, and examining its religious signifance and importance in context.
  15. Sorry, tried to post an image but it didn't work! Here's the link:
  16. For my presentation I will be looking at the Athenian treasury at Delphi and how it relates to Athenian democracy, with reference to the arguments put forward by Richard Neer in the article ‘The Athenian Treasury at Delphi and the Material of Politics.’
  17. For my presentation I will be discussing the provisions made by the Athenian state for the orphans of men who died whilst serving in the city's military, and the effects that these measures may have had on the political climate of Athens. I'm also going to try to fit these actions into a broader context of Athen's provisions for those in need. For so exactly did they gauge the actions by which human beings incur the worst odium that they passed a decree to divide the surplus of the funds derived from the tributes of the allies into talents and to bring it on the stage, when the theatre was full, at the festival of Dionysus; and not only was this done but at the same time they led in upon the stage the sons of those who had lost their lives in the war, seeking thus to display to our allies, on the one hand, the value of their own property which was brought in by hirelings, and to the rest of the Hellenes, on the other, the multitude of the fatherless and the misfortunes which result from this policy of aggression. - Isocrates, "On the Peace" 82 For what Greek, nurtured in freedom, would not mourn as he sat in the theater and recalled this, if nothing more, that once on this day, when as now the tragedies were about to be performed, in a time when the city had better customs and followed better leaders, the herald would come forward and place before you the orphans whose fathers had died in battle, young men clad in the panoply of war; and he would utter that proclamation so honorable and so incentive to valor; "These young men, whose fathers showed themselves brave men and died in war, have been supported by the state until they have come of age and now, clad thus in full armour by their fellow citizens, they are sent out with the prayers of the city, to go each his way and they are invited to seats of honor in the theater." - Aeschines, "Against Ctesiphon" 154
  18. Hey all. My presentation will be on two passages from Thucydides - 1.70 and 2.43 - and the analysis of two words in these passages done by Steven Forde in his article "Thucydides on the Causes of Athenian Imperialism" and book "The Ambition to Rule". These two words are called by Forde as "daring" and "eros". In the translation from Perseus, these are called things like "bold" and "valour" for daring, and "enamoured" for eros. I'll put that text below. 1.70:* "Besides, if there be any that may challenge to exprobate his neighbour, we think ourselves may best do it, especially on so great quarrels as these whereof you neither seem to have any feeling nor to consider what manner of men and how different from you in every kind the Athenians be that you are to contend withal. [2] For they love innovation and are swift to devise and also to execute what they resolve on. But you on the contrary are only apt to save your own, not devise anything new, nor scarce to attain what is necessary. [3] They again are bold beyond their strength, adventurous above their own reason, and in danger hope still the best. Whereas your actions are ever beneath your power, and you distrust even what your judgment assures, and being in a danger never think to be delivered. They are stirrers, you studies; they love to be abroad, and you at home the most of any. [4] For they make account by being abroad to add to their estate; you, if you should go forth against the state of another, would think to impair your own. [5] They, when they overcome their enemies, advance the farthest and, when they are overcome by their enemies, fall off the least; [6] and as for their bodies, they use them in the service of the commonwealth as if they were none of their own; but their minds, when they would serve the state, are right their own. [7] Unless they take in hand what they have once advised on, they account so much lost of their own. And when they take it in hand, if they obtain anything, they think lightly of it in respect of what they look to win by their prosecution. If they fail in any attempt, they do what is necessary for the present and enter presently into other hopes. [8] For they alone both have and hope for at once whatsoever they conceive through their celerity in execution of what they once resolve on. And in this manner they labour and toil all the days of their lives. What they have, they have no leisure to enjoy for continual getting of more; nor holiday esteem they any, but whereon they effect some matter profitable; [9] nor think they ease with nothing to do, a less torment than laborious business. So that, in a word, to say they are men born neither to rest themselves nor suffer others is to say the truth."* 2.43: *"Such were these men, worthy of their country. And for you that remain, you may pray for a safer fortune, but you ought not to be less venturously minded against the enemy, not weighing the profit by an oration only, which any man amplifying may recount to you that know as well as he the many commodities that arise by fighting valiantly against your enemies, but contemplating the power of the city in the actions of the same from day to day performed and thereby becoming enamoured of it. And when this power of the city shall seem great to you, consider then that the same was purchased by valiant men, and by men that knew their duty, and by men that were sensible of dishonour when they were in fight, and by such men as, though they failed of their attempt, yet would not be wanting to the city with their virtue but made unto it a most honourable contribution. [2] For having everyone given his body to the commonwealth, they receive in place thereof an undecaying commendation and a most remarkable sepulchre not wherein they are buried so much as wherein their glory is laid up upon all occasions both of speech and action to be remembered forever. [3] For to famous men all the earth is a sepulchre; and their virtues shall be testified not only by the inscription in stone at home but by an unwritten record of the mind, which more than of any monument will remain with everyone forever. [4] In imitation therefore of these men and placing happiness in liberty and liberty in valour, be forward to encounter the dangers of war. [5] For the miserable and desperate men are not they that have the most reason to be prodigal of their lives, but rather such men as, if they live, may expect a change of fortune and whose losses are greatest if they miscarry in aught. [6] For to a man of any spirit death, which is without sense, arriving whilst he is in vigour and common hope, is nothing so bitter as after a tender life to be brought into misery.*
  19. Hello, I will be doing my presentation on the similarities between the Parthenon frieze and the Apadana reliefs at Persepolis.
  20. I will be doing my presentation on the Orphics in Greece and Athens and to what degree we can see them as a society outside of the religious and political life of the polis.

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