Paga Publishes Book on the Architecture of Democracy
The department celebrates the appearance of a new book by our colleague Jessica Paga, Building Democracy in Late Archaic Athens (Oxford University Press, 2020). In 508 BCE, the people of Athens put an end to a period of squabbling between aristocratic dynasts and would-be dynasts by instituting the first democratic government on European soil, a development that established a paradigm for later democracies in Europe, America, and around the world. Through a careful reconsideration of architecture and archaeological finds from the period, Professor Paga offers a new interpretation of the ways this change impacted the material culture of Athens, and how, in turn, evolution of Athens’ physical landscapes influenced the shape that the new democracy would take. This innovative study of a crucial period in Athens’ architectural history is particular timely in today’s world, where transitions from autocracy to democracy – and vice versa – are a burning topic.