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A Comparison of Ancient Greek Democracy and Roman Republic

A comparison of ancient Greek democracy and Roman republic

Even today, the ideals of government expressed and used by the ancient Greeks and Romans are well known. Although the Greek democracy and the Roman republic have many resemblances they also have many differences. Ancient Greek democracy and the ancient Roman republic may seem the same but they are actually both similar and different in three significant ways: how the system of a democracy and a republic work, how each government elected their officials, and how the hierarchy of each system was oriented.

First, democracies and republics are alike and unlike in the way that their general system works. Both systems give their power to the people. A republic is a "...form of state based on the concept that sovereignty resides in the people...” ("Republic” 1). A democracy is a "...political system in which the people of a country rule...” ("Democracy” 1). Additionally, both systems elect representatives. In both republics and democracies, power is given to representatives/officials ("Republic” 1/ "Democracy” 1). However, in a republic, elected representatives "...are expected to act on their own best judgment of the needs and interests of the country.” In a democracy, the representatives "...more generally and directly reflect the known or ascertained views of their constituents, sometimes subordinating their own judgment.” ("Democracy” 1). In conclusion, the systems of republics and democracies are similar yet different.

Second, ancient Greek democracies and ancient Roman republics' method of electing officials have both similarities and differences. Both ancient Greece (Athens) and Rome had citizens vote on who to elect to be an official. However, each culture's idea of a "citizen” was different. Greece only gave citizenship to native-born male Greeks; foreigners, women and slaves could not be citizens. However, Rome gave "half-citi


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