Monastiraki Square

February 7, 2018

If there is something that ancient Greeks are most famous about, is for the creation of the first democratic political system, close to what we know today as democracy. The word democracy comes from the Greek word 'demos', meaning the common people and 'kratos' meaning the strength or power. Around 508 BC, Athenians led by Cleisthenes, established the first democracy overthrowing aristocracy. The Athenian democracy was a direct democratic political system where all Athenian citizens were able to vote and speak in the legislative assembly.

Participation in democratic functions was considered for Athenians to be an ultimate duty and at the same time they contempt those that decided not to participate in politics. Greeks referred to them as 'idiotes' which means the private persons. Actually the modern word 'idiot' originates from the Greek word for people with no interest to politics. Pericles in one of his speech said that "we do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all" to declare the importance of participation in democratic functions.

Photo taken at Monastiraki Square

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