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Literacy and Democracy in Fifth-Century Athens


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Table of Contents

Introduction: background, concepts and issues; 1. The geography of literacy; 2. Literacy and political ethos: the institution of ostracism; 3. Literacy through intermediaries: I. the ostraka; 4. Literacy through intermediaries: II. stone inscriptions; 5. Athenian literacy in its sociopolitical context; Conclusions: literacy and Athenian democracy; Appendix I: studying the ostraka: technical difficulties and personal assumptions; Appendix II: for an early date for the institution of the prytaneis; Appendix III: literacy beyond the urban centre: councillors-prytaneis from remote demes.

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The first full study of the relationship between literacy and democracy in fifth-century Athens.

About the Author

Anna Missiou is Associate Professor of Ancient Greek History at the University of Crete. Her previous publications include The Subversive Oratory of Andokides: Politics, Ideology and Decision-Making in Democratic Athens (1992).


'Missiou argues for the existence of extensive literacy among Athenian citizens due to their involvement in democratic administration ... she succeeds in bringing new considerations to a lengthy debate about Athenian literacy and showing how intimately it was connected with Athenian public life ... the book is very much worthy of reading.' Pavel Nylt, Eirene: Studia Graeca et Latina

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