Supporting your high street Find out how »
Basket Image


Literacy and Democracy in Fifth-Century Athens, Hardback Book

Literacy and Democracy in Fifth-Century Athens Hardback


Who wrote the administrative documents of Athens? Was literacy extensive in ancient Attika? Were inscriptions, those on stone or pieces of pottery (ostraka), written, read and comprehended by common people?

In this book Anna Missiou gives full consideration to these questions of crucial importance for understanding the quality of Athenian democracy and culture.

She explores how the Kleisthenic reforms provided new contexts and new subject matter for writing.

It promoted the exchange of reliable information between the demes, the tribes and the urban centre on particular important issues, including the mobilization of the army and the political organization of the citizen body.

Through a close analysis of the process through which Athenian politicians were ostracized and a fresh examination of the involvement of common citizens in the Council of 500, Missiou undermines the current orthodoxy that literacy was not widespread among Athenians.

Literacy underwrote the effective functioning of Athenian democracy.


  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 228 pages, 2 Tables, black and white; 22 Plates, black and white; 3 Maps
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Literacy
  • ISBN: 9780521111409



Free Home Delivery

on all orders

Pick up orders

from local bookshops