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Athenian Society

His rival was Cimon, leader of the aristocratic party. Once he was in politics, he only rarely appeared in public, and then only on the most important occasions. When he spoke to the people on these occasions, his words were like thunder and lightning, for he was the best orator of his day, both for style and content (based on Plutarch

One of the primary conditions for the development of political thought in Greece was a sense of the value of the individual, and this also meant that one of the issues that had to be addressed was the proper relationship between the individual and the collective, between the individual and the state:

That sense had its manifestation as much in practice as in theory; and it issued into action in the shape of a practical conception of free citizenship of a self-governing community--a conception which forms the essence of the Greek city-state. Whatever may be said of the "sacrifice" of the individual to the State in Greek politics or in Greek theory, the fact remains that in Greece, as contrasted with the rest of the ancient world, man was less sacrificed to the whole to which he belonged than he was elsewhere (Barker 2).

The classical features of Greek democratic tradition was an emphasis on disbursing political power among all citizens, and the participation of all citizens was seen as essential both to the well-being of the state and the citizen himself. This tradition is embodied in aspect


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Athenian Society. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 11:17, October 25, 2014, from
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