The Student News Site of Cincinnati Country Day School

The Scroll

Lessons Learned From Ancient Greece


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






By Lila Joffe ’21, Contributor

Ninth-grade students started the year studying different forms of government in ancient civilizations in their history classes. One of the recent areas of focus in Dr. McCall’s Ancient World History class has been the Ancient Greek Polis. While at first glance, this form of government seems like a distant and irrelevant model, upon further study, there are many intriguing aspects of this ancient form of government. As we are constantly reminded of the current dysfunction of our political system and government, it is hard not to compare our system to those of the past.  We are bombarded with reminders of the divisions in our country and politicians’ inability to properly govern as a result. Perhaps looking to the past for inspiration is not such a bad idea.

According to Dr. McCall, an interesting feature of the Ancient Athenian Polis was the ability for all citizens to participate fully in their government. Citizens were invited to directly participate in the form of an assembly to aid in the improvement of government. They were also able to elect and review generals and, if necessary, even impeach and exile those generals.  Athenian citizens were required to be males born of two Athenian parents. Allowing all people to participate in these elections was very influential in other forms of government that have followed throughout history.

The Athenian citizens had a direct representation in their government. In the U.S. government, citizens elect representatives to participate in Congress and the Senate. Citizens have to trust that these politicians will represent their individual interests and beliefs. Politicians often spend more time and energy worrying about getting re-elected rather than truly fighting for the best interests of their voters.

With the current political system in the U.S., it is not difficult to contemplate how things would be different if citizens had the same rights as those of the Athenian Polis. If women were not excluded, the model of a polis would be similar to the United States. Part of the challenge in the United States is getting people to vote. If citizens were able to actually vote on laws, then government participation would skyrocket. Many Americans are frustrated and would welcome the idea of having a louder voice and a more direct impact on the rule of law.

 ** this information has been taken and interpreted from ancient sources, this article is using the information cautiously**

Leave a Comment

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • Lessons Learned From Ancient Greece

    Arts & Entertainment

    WALK THE MOON to Return With a New Album

  • Lessons Learned From Ancient Greece

    Home

    CCD Wraps Up Another Great Cross Country Season

  • Lessons Learned From Ancient Greece

    Home

    May Contain Content Inappropriate for Children: A Conversation of the Ethical Line that Video Games Cross (Part 1)

  • Lessons Learned From Ancient Greece

    Home

    Animal of the Week: The Platypus

  • Lessons Learned From Ancient Greece

    Arts & Entertainment

    The Most Expensive Painting in the World?

  • Lessons Learned From Ancient Greece

    Arts & Entertainment

    A Review of CCDS’s Fall Production You Can’t Take It With You

  • Lessons Learned From Ancient Greece

    Home

    Animal of the Week: The Hellbender Salamander

  • Lessons Learned From Ancient Greece

    Home

    Why the Bengals Aren’t As Bad As You Think

  • Lessons Learned From Ancient Greece

    Arts & Entertainment

    20 Best Black-Created Songs that Everyone Should Listen To (Part 2)

  • Lessons Learned From Ancient Greece

    Home

    Fall Nail Styles

The Student News Site of Cincinnati Country Day School
Lessons Learned From Ancient Greece