Interesting Ancient Greece Government Facts That You Didn't Know | Kidadl


Interesting Ancient Greece Government Facts That You Didn't Know

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Democracy is generally a form of government that runs a state or a country.

In the history of humanity, Greeks have played a vital role. Their gift of democracy is perhaps the greatest gift that they have presented to us.

Democracy is followed by many countries all over the globe. However, with the passage of time, the types and forms of democracy have changed. Democracy brings the concept of including everyone in the government. This inclusive policy has given the right to the ordinary public to cast their votes.

Ancient Greece city-states followed the policy of direct democracy, which is different from today's representative democracy. Representative democracy means where individuals elect someone who, on behalf of the general public, helps in forming the assembly of the parliament. Direct democracy was different, as every citizen who was eligible played a vital role in choosing the assembly rather than electing someone who represented them.

If you find our article really informative and interesting, be sure to check out ancient Greek clothing facts and ancient Greek culture facts.

Ancient Greece Democracy

Democracy or a democratic government is one of the most common forms of government that can be seen in the political systems of the present day. So here we will venture deep into the roots of early democracy and its effect in the ancient world, that is ancient Greece, and how the Greek senate implemented it.

Among other things that Greece has given us, democracy is the most important gift to humankind that came from ancient Athens. The birth of democracy goes back thousands of years ago. In around 2000-1200 BC, all the city-states of Greece were under the control of the monarchy, and thus they were ruled by various kings. Towards the end of this archaic period, there were various forms of tyranny from cruel rulers, and thus in around 510 BC, the Greek society saw the slow shifting of powers from the monarchy, giving rise to fresh and different forms of political power in the political arena in the form of democracy. As it was in the major city of Athens, where for the first time, democracy was implemented as a primary form of government; hence, Athens is known as the birthplace of democracy.

Ancient Greeks created city-states in every big city, and thus every Greek city-state has its own rule sets and its own government. In the Greek world, most city-states often fought with one another based on their respective set of rules.

Greek Democracy Facts

The democracy of ancient Greece was different from today's world, and here we will check out some of the cool and interesting facts about the democracy of the ancient Greek people.

The Athenian democracy is much varied from the democracy that is seen in countries in the present day. The democracy in today's world is usually representative democracy, while for the ancient Greeks, Athenians, in this case, was a direct democracy.

In Athens, it was the active duty of every individual above the age of 20 years to take an active part in the formation of the government. Every citizen voted as an individual was a part of the assembly. However, it should be noted that not everyone was allowed to cast their vote. To be able to vote, one had to be a citizen of Athens. If you were an outsider, you could not vote.

In keeping with the traditions of that time, the democracy of the ancient Greek city-states was reserved for male citizens only. To be a citizen, one had to match certain criteria. Only men who had completed their military training effectively were counted as citizens of the assembly.

The ancient Greek government had three main bodies that functioned effectively. Those three parts were the assembly, the courts, and the council of 500.

The functioning of these three organs of the government was different from one another. The assembly consisted of every citizen who went to cast their vote. Every citizen of the state was allowed to be a part of the assembly. This wing of the government took decisions on making new laws and other important decisions of the state. The making of the council was interesting. By a system of lottery, names were drawn of the citizens. Those whose names were drawn had to be a part of the council for a year. The main functioning of the council was to oversee the proper day-to-day activity of the state.

Lastly came the courts. The courts conducted trials and lawsuits. Large juries were appointed who played a vital role in forming decisions for the court. In the case of public lawsuits, a jury of around 501 individuals was selected, while for private lawsuits, the count for the jury was comparably less and had 201 people.

Two city-states would often fight a war in ancient Greece.

Ancient Greek Politics

The Greeks have played a vital role in how the governments of the modern world run. Not only did it bring the then-unique concept of democracy, but it also brought about a change in the entire political system. Here we will take a look at some of the cool facts that were associated with the politics of ancient Greece.

The golden age of ancient Greece was said to have existed from around 480 - 404 BC, which is the fifth century BC. During this time, Greece saw a big change in terms of art and architecture, too along with its political systems.

Earlier, the laws were made by the rulers and kings, and only the head of the state had exclusive powers to add or change any law. With democracy, it brought about the inclusion of ordinary people who had no voice previously. The citizens were given the opportunity to participate in the assembly and also be a part of the council.

Previously under the rule of the kings, there was no effective government for the people, and the rule of the king was the rule of the land, whether in daily life or war. Things took a terrible turn when tyrants ruled the land. In order to ensure that no further tyrant ruled the land, the concept of inclusion of all was brought forward.

Types Of Government In Ancient Greece

Governments were of many types even during the golden period of the ancient Greeks, and here we will take a glance at the different types of governments that existed in ancient Greece.

There were actually four different types of government that were recorded in ancient Greece's history. Out of these four, there were essentially three main types of government. They were monarchy, oligarchy, and democracy. Apart from the three main forms of government, tyranny was the last form of government, but it had a close relation to monarchy.

In a monarchy, a king or a ruler rules his own state and is solely responsible for making and changing the laws. In an oligarchy, the power of the state was confined to a small group of people who effectively ran the state.

Athens previously had a tyrant king. After his reign, they introduced the concept of democracy, where citizens had the right to cast their vote and form an assembly where their voices were heard. This was a major breakthrough in the history of humanity.

Athens and Sparta were the two largest city-states that were on fighting terms with one another and fought many wars amongst themselves. Athens had democracy, while Sparta was ruled by two kings as it was an oligarchy. As previously mentioned, oligarchy is different from democracy. It essentially meant that a small group of people or individuals or retired warriors had the powers in their hands, and they ruled Sparta. As for Athens, they introduced the concept of democracy as means for a change.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for ancient Greek government facts then why not take a look at ancient Greek food facts or ancient Greek temples facts.

The Kidadl Team is made up of people from different walks of life, from different families and backgrounds, each with unique experiences and nuggets of wisdom to share with you. From lino cutting to surfing to children’s mental health, their hobbies and interests range far and wide. They are passionate about turning your everyday moments into memories and bringing you inspiring ideas to have fun with your family.

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