Enrico Ferri

The «Hellenikon», the origins of the West and democratic citizenship

  • Abstract

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Keywords: Hellenikon; Democracy; The West; Citizenship; Ethnic Community.

Reflecting on some recent books, the author carries out a critical analysis of some aspects related to three main issues, namely (1) the distinctive features of Greek identity, (2) the relation they bear to the birth of the West, and (3) what characterizes a community of citizens within a democracy and on what elements their citizenship is based. The author proposes a critical study of the idea of citizenship in the context of «race», based on ethnic «purity», and analyses different types of citizenship and the ways in which it was allocated, by birth or by «merit», both to individuals and communities in the 5th and 4th centuries BC. He also examines howpeople could be deprived of their citizenship. Thus, certain features of the political, social and economic dynamics of citizenship come to light, all of which are related to the historical background and political necessities of ancient Athens.

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