Athenian Constitution

Topics: Ancient Greece, Plato, Aristotle Pages: 2 (520 words) Published: September 25, 2008
Aristotle - Athenian Politeia ( Constitution of the Athenians)

Written in the late 4th century BC by the philosopher Aristotle or maybe by a research student under his tutorship at Plato’s academy or at the Lyceum, a school he built in Athens around 336-323 BC. The Athenian Politeia was a treatise, which was practically reproduced of its old features to help the development of the Athenian democratic politics in its time. Aristotle’s outlook on democracy was that of a demoralizing downhill version of the politeia. Aristotle’s ideal of a perfect political government structurewas a mixture between democracy and oligarchy, but Athens had already been a democracy for a while now, however there was no ‘real’ democracy in Athens until the early 6th century.

When Aristotle was writing out the Athenian politeia, it was most likely that it was written via point of view of his own class. Aristotle was an upper middle class author who would unfairly draw conclusions to his own class of writers, even though he believed in equal opportunity. So, alot of his work would of been biased. In the constituion, he speaks of anyone in the whole citizen body in Athens are open to join the archai (office) by election, there were no strings attached, so any individual who was interested had the chance of gaining power, No office has soverignty over anything apart from the small insignificant things, as the Council (boulѐ) has the rule of authority over all the essential issues the office deals with, but the Assembly has soverignty over all affairs. This is one of the most genuine democratic attributes the Athenian Politeia takes account of, the common people are equal to the rich, the aristocrats etc, when it comes to power in government. There are no individuals who single handedly have soverign power, but it is all shared around the people in the political system.

Aristotle’s view towards Solon was very biased, since Solon’s rule in Athens was around a hundred...
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