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Ancient Athens Pillars of Democracy
Council of 500
- Meetings every 8- 10 days
- Met at the top of Pnyx Hill
- All male citizens who had paid their taxes could
- All citizens could speak and vote
- Usually, at least 6000 citizens had to be present for a
vote to be legal
- Vote on issues, big and small
- Citizens could bring private concerns
- Voting usually done by a show of hands
- Speeches, debates, listening, discussions, voting
The Council of 500
- Full-time government of Athens
- Known as the Boule and met in Bouleuterion at the
- In charge of day-to-day operation of Athens,
including the agenda for the Assembly
- Assembly had final say in decisions
- 500 members chosen through lottery (each of the 10
tribes of Attica had 50 representatives)
- Council members had to be over 30 years old
- Council service lasted one year, the chairman
position lasted for one day
- Members were paid
The Court
- Justice system was run by magistrates (like a judge),
who were chosen by lottery
- Athenians brought complaints to the magistrate
- Trial by jury (over 500 people)
- Juries were also chosen by lottery and you had to be
a citizen over 30
- No lawyers
- Plaintiff (the accuser) and defendant (the accused
- Jury votes guilty or not and decides punishment
Important Places in Ancient Athens
Pnyx Hill
- Large, open hill
- Assembly met here
The Agora
Also known as the market
The heart of Ancient Athens where goods were sold
People exchanged news and opinions
People discussed Athenian politics
The Bouleuterion
- The Council of 500, or Boule (boo-lee), met here