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Macroculture, Athletics and Democracy in ancient Greece

  • Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros
  • Kyriazis, Nicholas

In the present essay we examine whether and how sports affected the emergence of democracy as a political phenomenon in Classical Greece. To achieve this we introduce in a model the concept of macroculture as a complex of mutually supporting values, norms and beliefs in various areas of human activity, like athletics, war, politics, etc. Then, we proceed through a historical review on the history of sports in Ancient Greece and we investigate various aspects of how and under which terms athletics performed during classical Greece, predominantly, in ancient Athens. We found that the values that gradually emerged through sports during an extended period that goes back as far as the Bronze Age times, led to the development of an environment of mutually supporting norms and values such as equality and trust, that by being correlated and coordinated each other, led to the creation of new values and norms, as the theory of macroculture proposes. We also found that these new values were “diffused” from athletics to the field of politics and played a key role to the emergence of democracy.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 45903.

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Date of creation: 08 May 2012
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:45903
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  1. Acemoglu, Daron & Robinson, James A, 1998. "Why did the West Extend the Franchise? Democracy, Inequality and Growth in Historical Perspective," CEPR Discussion Papers 1797, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Fleck, Robert K & Hanssen, F Andrew, 2006. "The Origins of Democracy: A Model with Application to Ancient Greece," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 49(1), pages 115-46, April.
  3. Vromen, Jack J., 2011. "Routines as multilevel mechanisms," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 175-196, June.
  4. Lazaric, Nathalie, 2011. "Organizational routines and cognition: an introduction to empirical and analytical contributions," Journal of Institutional Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(02), pages 147-156, June.
  5. Nicholas Kyriazis & Michel Zouboulakis, 2004. "Democracy, Sea Power and Institutional Change: An Economic Analysis of the Athenian Naval Law," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 17(1), pages 117-132, January.
  6. George Tridimas, 2011. "A political economy perspective of direct democracy in ancient Athens," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 58-82, March.
  7. Editors, 2003. "Editor's Introduction," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(2), pages 315-318, 04.
  8. Kyriazis, Nicholas & Economou, Emmanouel/Marios/Lazaros, 2012. "Property rights and democratic values in Bronze Age and Archaic Greece," MPRA Paper 42399, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  9. Carl Hampus Lyttkens, 1997. "A Rational-Actor Perspective on the Origin of Liturgies in Ancient Greece," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 153(3), pages 462-, September.
  10. Nicholas Kyriazis, 2009. "Financing the Athenian state: public choice in the age of Demosthenes," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 27(2), pages 109-127, April.
  11. Editors, 2003. "Editor's Introduction," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 645-648, October.
  12. George Halkos & Nickolas Kyriazis, 2010. "The Athenian economy in the age of Demosthenes: path dependence and change," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 29(3), pages 255-277, June.
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