Peasant-Citizen and Slave: The Foundations of Athenian Democracy

  title={Peasant-Citizen and Slave: The Foundations of Athenian Democracy},
  author={Harald A. T. Reiche and Ellen Meiksins Wood},
The controversial thesis at the center of this study is that, despite the importance of slavery in Athenian society, the most distinctive characteristic of Athenian democracy was the unprecedented prominence it gave to free labor. Wood argues that the emergence of the peasant as citizen, juridically and politically independent, accounts for much that is remarkable in Athenian political institutions and culture. From a survey of historical writings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the… CONTINUE READING