Keywords: Athens, democracy, reception studies, political theory, tradition
The reception of Athenian democracy is the subject of many studies and of a recent Companion. It is a key topic in the field of the reception studies and a main aspect in the history of democratic ideas. In this essay, we raise some general questions about it, related to why and how Athenian democracy is remembered from Middle-Ages until now. A better understanding of the reception of Athenian democracy can be reached only when non-democratic Athens or other ancient (and primitive) democracies are adequately considered. The reception of the Athenian democracy should be seen from the perspective of our appropriation of the ancient political vocabulary, without ignoring the competitive views on the origins of our multiple «democratic» traditions.