Dêmokratia, democratia, democracy. What did this term mean to the ancient Greeks who coined it, to the Romans who borrowed it, to the early modern Europeans who discussed it—and what does it mean today? Who or what was the original dêmos, how did it rule, and how different is the interpretation of “rule by the people” that now predominates? Starting with the first attestations of da-mo in the 12th century BC and ending with Iceland’s recent attempt to crowdsource its constitution, this course offers a chronological exploration of the idea and practice of democracy intended to broaden our imaginative horizons with respect to what democracy has been, is, and could become.
This course was originally listed as 116.