What institutions do oligarchic regimes use to maintain power? How do they fend off the threat of democratic revolution? What happened to the many oligarchies of the ancient Mediterranean?
Hundreds of city-states in the ancient world experimented with democracy. Most of them experienced some kind of civil strife at some point. What caused these breakdowns of social order, and are we headed towards a similar fate?
When the Founding Fathers were drafting the US constitution, the world around them had been dominated by kingdoms and empires for almost two millennia.
World-renowned classicist Edith Hall joins us to discuss the relation between entertainment and politics in ancient Athens, particularly on the comic stage.
Historian Josiah Ober of Stanford University joins us for a discussion on ancient Athens, how the Athenian system compared to our own democracy, and what lessons, if any, we can take away from the Athenian experience.