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In his lectures on iTunesU (link), Steven B. Smith reports that Aristotle wrote about many different systems of government that predated the Athenians.


I'll differ with Anixx here. There's no evidence that democracy was the "most ancient" form of government. Anything about that is pure speculation. The origins of democracy are almost definitely in the council of kings. The Senate of the Roman Republic, for example, started out as a council of elders convened to advise the king. Elites in any situation ...


Its not in any way a given that the desirability of a government should coincide with the length of time it manages to stick around for. Never-the-less, ancient democracies had pretty good track records as far as governments go. Sparta lasted for 400 years, Athens for 250, the Roman Republic for almost 500 years. If you include states with even more limited ...

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