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An interview with Paul Cartledge, author of Democracy: A Life

Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions, Paul.

Can we start with your motivation for writing this book?  Was it your knowledge of the ancient world and Greece’s political systems, or concerns about the modern world?

A combination. I think I’m a kind of ‘natural’ democrat in the sense of being (an) anti-elitist egalitarian, but it wasn’t until I was a student first at the University of California and then Oxford that I got a chance to show my true democratic colours

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An excerpt from Paul Cartledge’s entry, Democracy: A Life

Every schoolchild knows that it was the ancient Greeks who invented democracy. But first it must always be remembered that there were some one thousand ancient Greek political entities, often very different, always radically self-differentiated, in the extended and diverse ancient Greek world of Hellas between say 500 and 300 BCE, when demokratia emerged, rose, peaked, and declined or was destroyed.

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