Athens : The Best Form Of Politics

891 Words Aug 20th, 2015 4 Pages
During the fifth-century BCE, Athens was one of the most powerful Greek city-states around. Before its demise during the Peloponnesian War, Athenians strongly believed their government was the superior of all and should have been emulated by any state that wanted to be considered a successful society. However, Athenian democracy was not able to withstand the test of time and eventually crumbled as a city. During the height of its success, Athens exemplifies a political paradigm for other societies to imitate. Both Plato and Thucydides argue democracy is the best attainable form of politics for a society.
In Thucydides’ Funeral Oration, Pericles argues that everyone should look to Athens as an example of being a perfect state with the best institution. He describes Athens as a unified philosophical city that does not make its neighbors envious because Athenians strive towards excellence not extravagance, despite the amount of wealth Athens has obtained. Since Athens has been so successful during this time, Pericles argues one of the reasons why Athens is so superior is because their democracy is the best form of politics.
He even argues that the citizens of Athens live the best life possible because of the city’s democratic government. Pericles’ says: “Our constitution is called a democracy because power is in the hands not of a minority but of the whole people… everyone is equal before the law;” (11.37, Thucydides). Athens’ form of government is so great based on the fact…
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