Athens Government

The roles of government in Athens are very similar to the roles that are used in Democracies today. There are three parts of the government. The first are the elected officials which are ten generals and magistrates. The second is the council of five hundred who implemented decisions made by the assembly. The assembly is open to all citizens to speak their mind. The assembly was responsible for passing laws and making decisions. According to document two Pericles once said “It is true that we are called a democracy, for the administration is in the hands of the many hand not of the few… Neither is poverty an obstacle, but a man may benefit his country whatever the wealth of his condition.” This quote shows how firmly they believed in this form of government.

The people were very involved in this democracy. As stated in Document one “ All citizens had the right to propose anything they wanted, but usually they accepted or rejected the proposals brought in by the members of the council, which was an executive body of five hundred.” The people believed participation in government was there responsibility. Adult males were able to vote, even if they did not have any property. As part of daily life many Athenian men went to the agora to learn and discuss the greatest news. They did this to be ready to become informed about what was going on in their country and to be prepared for the assembly. Those who were not involved were referred to as idiotes, which translates to idiot in English.