Professor Paul Cartledge conducted a webinar on “Ten Things You Should Know About Democracy in Ancient Greece” on Tuesday 17 November as part of HAL’s Rhodes Online webinar series.

Professor Paul Cartledge FSA, FRSA, is a Senior Research Fellow of Clare College Cambridge and the recently retired inaugural A.G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at Cambridge University.

He has provided a summary of his webinar presentation:

“The past is a foreign country – the ancient Athenians did democratic justice differently there. As regards the law and governance, they had no truck with our cherished notion of the separation of powers. As regards litigation, they dispensed with a State Prosecutor, didn’t distinguish between criminal and civil cases, and believed in the efficacy and validity of mass juries of at least 201 citizens aged over 30, all selected by lot and paid a small compensation for their days of – democratic, political – service. Sometimes the law was an ass, sometimes the Athenian popular juries were asses. But by and large the system worked well enough – for them – for almost two centuries. What can we – or should – we learn from them?”

Professor Cartledge is an Honorary Citizen of Sparta, Greece, and holds the Gold Cross of the Order of Honour awarded by the President of Greece.

Professor Cartledge has single-authored some 15 books, most recently ‘Democracy: A Life’ (OUP, New York & Oxford), which was shortlisted for the Runciman Award and the London Hellenic Prize.

He has co-authored, edited and co-edited altogether some 30 books. He sits on the editorial boards of several scholarly journals and co-edits the ‘Key Themes in Ancient History’ monograph series for the Cambridge University Press (28 volumes so far), which he co-founded and to which he contributed his own ‘Ancient Greek Political Thought in Practice’ (2009).