Originally an unexceptional city among many, Athens grew to become a leading center of cultural, political, and economic development by the fifth century BC. But it was far from being a linear path, and John Lewis traces a history of the unprecedented intellectual and social changes that the Athenians had to contend with to build the Athens we know today. This lecture explores the pioneering ideas of leaders such as Solon and Drakon that slowly brought a new legal and democratic order to the Greek polis, as well as the crises (both foreign and domestic) by which political power was challenged and rethought.

PDF • 2.12 MB