Democracy and the Arts: The Role of Participation

By Terri Lynn Cornwell | Go to book overview

5
Democracy and the Arts in Ancient Greece

Having set forth my theory of particpation in the arts, I chose to test my ideas by examining various historical periods most appropriate to an analysis involving democracy and the arts. For example, in his book After the Revolution? Robert Dahl described three great historical movements toward democratization involving ancient Greece and Rome, beginning about the end of the sixth century B.C.; the city-states of northern Italy in the tenth and eleventh centuries; and the United States and France in the eighteenth century.

The democracies of Greece and northern Italy fostered works of artistic excellence, particularly in the architecture of public places, and showed that "democracy is not inconsistent with beauty and magnificence in the public sector." 1 These two democratic movements were successful in part because they involved small city-states, not gigantic nation-states like those existing today. In particular, a discussion of the democratic model, like that found in ancient Greece, is most appropriate to help clarify the various principles of participation outlined in previous chapters.


GREEK DEMOCRACY: AN OVERVIEW

The first great historical movement toward democratizing the state corresponded with the first great theatrical age in the history of Western civilization: Athens in the fifth century B.C. had chosen to cultivate democracy as well as the arts.

The fate of the political system in Athens, one of history's best examples of a microdemocracy, may have been influenced, however, by factors beyond man's control. Dahl and Tufte speculated that the mountains of Greece may have kept families in isolated pockets,

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Democracy and the Arts: The Role of Participation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Figures vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Preface xi
  • Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - Democracy and the Arts: An American Perspective 1
  • Notes 9
  • 2 - Democratic Theory: General Considerations 11
  • Notes 28
  • 3 - Participation in the Arts: A Historical Perspective 31
  • Notes 45
  • 4 - Participatory Democracy and the Arts 49
  • Notes 76
  • 5 - Democracy and the Arts in Ancient Greece 83
  • Notes 89
  • 6 - Nineteenth-Century American Democracy and the Arts 93
  • Notes 103
  • 7 - Twentieth-Century American Democracy 107
  • Notes 119
  • 8 - Participation in the Arts: Mid-Twentieth Century America 123
  • Notes 158
  • 9 - The Role of Participation: Implications and Recommendations 165
  • Notes 185
  • Appendices 189
  • Bibliography 199
  • Index 209
  • About the Author *
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