Lecturer: Emeritus Prof Ronald Thomas Ridley.
The Athenian democracy of the fifth and fourth centuries BC is the most direct democracy the world has ever seen.
It evolved step by step over centuries, reaching its climax in the age of Perikles, in the context of Athenian cultural achievements which will forever constitute a golden age.
There were, however, paradoxes: how far was its functioning reliant on slavery and empire?
And its institutions are quite complex. How did the democracy actually work?
Ronald Ridley graduated from the University of Sydney in Classics and History, and after being the foundation Teaching Fellow in Ancient History for three years came to Melbourne in 1965 to join the School of History, in which he was promoted to a Personal Chair, retiring in 2005.
His main interests are the history of the Ancient World (Egypt to Rome), the history of archaeology, of autobiography, and of the University of Melbourne. He is a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries, the Royal Historical Society, and the Pontifical Academy of Archaeology in Rome.
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