1st Edition

Athens
The City as University





ISBN 9780367864675
Published December 19, 2019 by Routledge
124 Pages

USD $47.95

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Book Description

The citizens of ancient Athens were directly responsible for the development and power of its democracy; but how did they learn about politics and what their roles were within it? In this volume Livingstone argues that learning about political praxis (how to be a citizen) was an integral part of the everyday life of ancient Athenians. In the streets, shops and other meeting-places of the city people from all levels of society, from slaves to the very wealthy, exchanged knowledge and competed for power and status. The City as University explores the spaces and occasions where Athenians practised the arts of citizenship for which they and their city became famous.



In the agora and on the pnyx, Athenian democracy was about performance and oratory; but the written word opened the way to ever-increasing sophistication in both the practice and theory of politics. As the arts of spin proliferated, spontaneous live debate in which the speaker’s authority came from being one of the many remained a core democratic value. Livingstone explores how ideas of democratic leadership evolved from the poetry of the legendary law-giver Solon to the writings of the sophist Alcidamas of Elaia. The volume offers a new approach to the study of ancient education and will be an invaluable tool to students of ancient politics and culture, and to all those studying the history of democracy.

Table of Contents

About this book



Acknowledgements





PART 1: SETTING THE STAGE FOR CITIZENS



Introduction: Democratic Knowledge



Citizens Modern and Ancient



Democracies



Intellectual Attainment and Democratic Ideals



Myth and Mousikē



Heroic Politics



Hesiod’s Poetics of Struggle



Solon: Accommodating Athens to the Muse





PART 2: CITIZEN SPACES



Knowing Where It Happens



Democratic Citizenship: Staging and Rehearsal



What Did Citizens Learn?



Learning at Home



Places of Learning



The Agora



The View beyond the City



In and Out of the Barber’s Shop





PART 3: THE CITIZEN PERFORMER



Writing the City



Suspicion of Writing in Athens



On Writers (People Who Write Written Speeches, or Sophists)



The Argument of ‘On Writers’



A Misdirected Attack on Writing?



The Two Faces of the Writer



Stylish Spontaneity





Conclusion: the City as University





Bibliography

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Author(s)

Biography

Niall Livingstone is a Senior Lecturer in Classics, Ancient History, and Archaeology at the University of Birmingham.