The Ancient City Essay Research Paper The

7 July 2017

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The Ancient City Essay, Research Paper

The Ancient City Pompeii

How democratic was Pompeian political relations?

In order to reply the above inquiry, it is first necessary to see the exact significance of the term democracy. Whilst it is hard to give an exact definition of the word, it is surely possible to make a list of the deductions of democratic authorities for a society and its citizens. Possibly the most obvious of these deductions, surely when considered from a modern point of view, would be that every full member of a society would be considered as being equal, and therefore would hold an equal say in the running and appointing of a authorities. Second, genuinely democratic authorities would besides connote that every member of society would hold an equal chance to be elected to a governmental place. Such an chance should at least, in theory anyhow, non be reliant on societal category or place, nor fiscal support. Finally, the being of a genuinely democratic system of authorities would besides connote that authoritiess be sporadically elected, and during any given term of authorities, politicians would be to the full employed by the province in the running of the state.

Given such deductions of democracy, Pompeian political relations would look at first assessment to barely be democratic at all. Surely, it

can be said that the politics of Pompeii in particular and by extension the politics of Roman society as a whole do not meet the modern, Western ideas of a relatively liberal, democratic society. However, such a modern, Western idea of democracy was one that was entirely alien to the citizens of Pompeii and to the citizens of many ancient civilizations. Therefore, the nature of Pompeian politics must be considered not only from a modern political standpoint, but also from a standpoint more relative to the political ideals of Pompeian society and the Roman Empire, where a very different form of democracy was in existence. Whilst such a form of democracy is very different to that of today, it is certainly accurate to say that there was at least some element of democracy in Pompeian politics. Without such an element of democracy, however small, Pompeii would have been run almost entirely by dictatorship, which would have resulted in an entirely autocratic system of government, or alternatively the reverse situation might have arisen with the arrival of anarchy. Since Pompeii was never entirely run by one individual autocrat or dictator, and never descended into complete anarchy, it must be true to say that in Pompeian politics there was always some small element of democracy, even if such democracy bares hardly any resemblance to today s ideas of democracy.

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