Literacy and Democracy in Fifth-Century Athens
Who wrote the administrative documents of Athens? Was literacy extensive in ancient Attika? Were inscriptions, those on stone or pieces of pottery (ostraka), written, read and comprehended by common people? In this book Anna Missiou gives full consideration to these questions of crucial importance for understanding the quality of Athenian democracy and culture. She explores how the Kleisthenic reforms provided new contexts and new subject matter for writing. It promoted the exchange of reliable information between the demes, the tribes and the urban centre on particular important issues, including the mobilization of the army and the political organization of the citizen body. Through a close analysis of the process through which Athenian politicians were ostracised and a fresh examination of the involvement of common citizens in the Council of 500, Missiou undermines the current orthodoxy that literacy was not widespread among Athenians. Literacy underwrote the effective functioning of Athenian democracy.
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chapter 1 The geography of literacy
chapter 2 Literacy and political ethos
chapter 3 Literacy through intermediaries
chapter 4 Literacy through intermediaries
chapter 5 Athenian literacy in its sociopolitical context
A.O. ostraka abecedarium Agora ostraka Akropolis ostraka Alkmeonidou alphabet archons argued Arist Aristeides Assembly assigned asty Athenaion Politeia Athenian citizens Athenian democracy Athens attested Attic Attika ballots Brenne Broneer candidates Chapter communication Council councillors counting D.M. Lewis dated decree Deiokes demarchs demes democratic demosios demotic evidence example fifth century fifth-century Athens Figure Greek hands Harris Hedrick Hippokrates IG I3 illiterate Immerwahr 1990 important inscribed Ionic Jeffery kaŠ Kallias Kerameikos Kerameikos ostraka Kleisthenic reforms kylix large number lines literacy literate tasks Marathon Megakles Meiggs officials organization of Attika ostracism ostraka bearing ostrakon ostrakophoria patronymic Peisistratid Plut political prytaneis read and write records remote demes Rhamnous Rhodes script secretary sherds single name sixth social stela stone inscriptions taxiarkhos texts Themistokles theta Threatte Thuc Traill trans tribal organization tribe trittys urban centre Vanderpool Vanderpool 1973 vases vote voters wooden tablets