Leadership, Social Memory and Judean Discourse in the Fifth - Second Centuries BCE - Diana V. Edelman

Leadership, Social Memory and Judean Discourse in the Fifth - Second Centuries BCE - Diana V. Edelman

The Three Constitutions in Greek Political Thought

Leadership, Social Memory and Judean Discourse in the Fifth - Second Centuries BCE - Diana V. Edelman

Lynette Mitchell [+-]
University of Exeter
Lynette Mitchell is Professor of Greek History and Politics in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Exeter. She is the author of Greeks Bearing Gifts: The public use of private relationship 431-323 BC (CUP, 1997); Panhellenism and the Barbarian in Archaic and Classical Greece (Classical Press of Wales, 2007); and The Heroic Rulers of Archaic and Classical Greece (Bloomsbury, 2013). Her current project is on Cyrus the Great of Persia.

Description

Stemming from an interest in constitutionalism in the Greek world dating from the archaic period (ca. 800–500 BCE), this chapter is concerned with the development of the abstraction in Greek political thought of the three constitutions, the rule of the one, the rule of the few, and the rule of the many, which by the fifth century was formalized in terms on monarchy, oligarchy and democracy. It will then consider how this notion of three constitutions was taken forward in the fourth century BCE, in the first instance in terms of positive and negative types, but then in terms of the mixed constitution, in which various combinations of the three basic types were combined in order to create another form of ruling that could ensure social harmony. This chapter will also reflect upon the role of social and political memory to creating these idealized forms of political organization. It will conclude by arguing that the abstraction of constitutions played an important part in the ability (and need) to critique "governance" in the Greek world.

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Citation

Mitchell, Lynette. The Three Constitutions in Greek Political Thought. Leadership, Social Memory and Judean Discourse in the Fifth - Second Centuries BCE. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. 201-218 Dec 2016. ISBN 9781781792698. https://www.equinoxpub.com/home/view-chapter/?id=26815. Date accessed: 14 Aug 2020 doi: 10.1558/equinox.26815. Dec 2016

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