European culture in few questions
Briefly highlights the differences between Athenian democracy and Roman “republican” government.
In 508 BCE, Cleisthenian develop his reforms on Athens which consisted in the “deme”. In others terms, he created 30 districts and put them into 10 groups in order to gather people from different areas (polis, Paralia and mesogeia) to constituency, in order to take decisions together.
This reform broke the power of the healthy families = Aeropagus.
Both systems are very different.
In a democracy, citizens (free men over 20 years old born of Athenian parents) are divided into 3 parts, which are themselves subdivided in tribes, so that each category of the population is represented and have their voices for votes during assemblies. Each tribe elected 50 representatives to the Ecclesia; they were in charge of that for one year.
The Roman republican government revolves around three political entities: 1. The senate 2. The comitia 3. The client system.
The judges chose the law to the healthiest class. They were selected, and not elected, and stayed in place for life. It was a system manages by the patricians, the healthiest people of the roman society. The people, or the plebs, weren’t really represented in that corrupted system. The people who represent the people were chosen, it means not elected like in Athens.
That means political movement was extremely limited and circumscribed by a system whose roots were never attacked in the manner of the Cleisthenian reforms in Athens.
The main difference between these systems is that in Athens, you vote as a citizen. The voters participate on the organization of the city. Whereas in the roman political system all Romans men can vote. Nevertheless, they are inactive citizen because they don’t take part on decisions. Finally, we can notice that the roman vote is symbolic and the Athenian vote has got real impact.
Explain and illustrate the notions of