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What did democracy really mean in Athens? - Melissa Schwartzberg

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While we might consider elections to be the cornerstone of democracy, the Athenians who coined the term actually employed a lottery system to choose most of their politicians. Melissa Schwartzberg describes the ins and outs of the Athenian democracy, and addresses some ways in which a lottery system might benefit us today.

Who could attend the Athenian assembly, or ekklesia?

About TED-Ed Animations

TED-Ed Animations feature the words and ideas of educators brought to life by professional animators. Are you an educator or animator interested in creating a TED-Ed Animation? Nominate yourself here »

Meet The Creators

  • Director Jeremiah Dickey
  • Educator Melissa Schwartzberg
  • Script Editor Alex Gendler
  • Narrator Addison Anderson

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