Founding Narratives: The Evolution of Ancient Athenian and Early American Democracy |
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Founding Narratives: The Evolution of Ancient Athenian and Early American Democracy

Roots of Democracy Series
Friday, March 5, 2021 - 6:00pm

The concept of democracy is constantly evolving. The framers of the U.S. Constitution had surprisingly diverse visions for American democracy, and found inspiration in multiple sources, including classical scholars from ancient Greece and the Roman Republic and the theoretical work of Enlightenment philosophers such as John Locke and Charles Montesquieu.

Hosted by the Wisconsin Academy, this Roots of Democracy Series discussion with historians Adriana Brook and John Kaminski provides viewers with an introduction to early Classical and Enlightenment experiments in democracy and the way ideas from these periods ultimately shaped the American Constitution.

View a transcript of the recording

Thanks to Academy donors, members, and the following Roots of Democracy series sponsors and partners:

The Roots of Democracy series is funded in part by a grant from Wisconsin Humanities, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Wisconsin Humanities strengthens the roots of community life through educational and cultural programs that inspire civic participation and individual imagination.
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Adriana Brook obtained her PhD in Classics from the University of Toronto in 2014. Her first book, Tragic Rites: Narrative and Ritual in Sophoclean Tragedy, was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in 2018.

John Kaminski founded and still directs the Center for the Study of the American Constitution in the Department of History at UW-Madison, where he has co-edited thirty-five volumes of The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution and has written, edited, or co-edited thirty other books on the Revolutionary era.

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