Dēmos · Classical Athenian Democracy · a Stoa Publication

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General Principles.

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Scrutiny of Councilors.

The Bouleutic Oath.

Presidents and Chairman.

Rewards for Service.

Times and Places of Meetings.

Agenda for Meetings.

Procedure for Meetings.

Council Decrees.

Independent Action.

Introduction to Probouleumata.

Exceptional Decrees.

Probouleumata Voted Down.

Open and Closed Probouleumata.

Expiration of Probouleumata.



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Secondary Works Cited.

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The Council 

Christopher W. Blackwell, edition of January 23, 2003

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· Summary ·

Plot on a Map

The Council of 500 ( βουλὴ οἱ πεντακόσιοι) represented the full-time government of Athens. It consisted of 500 citizens, 50 from each of the ten tribes, who served for one year. The Council could issue decrees on its own regarding certain matters, but its main function was to prepare the agenda for meetings of the Assembly. The Council would meet to discuss and vote on “Preliminary decrees” (προβουλεύματα), and any of these that passed the Council’s vote went on for discussion and voting in the Assembly.

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