Athenian Democracy Timeline

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  • 594 BCE - 593 BCE
    In Athens the archon Solon lays the foundations for democracy.
  • c. 508 BCE
    Reforms by Cleisthenes establishes democracy in Athens.
  • c. 508 BCE
    According to Aristotle, the institution of ostracism is introduced in Athens under Cleisthenes.
  • c. 487 BCE
    The first ostracism vote takes place in Athens and Hipparchus is exiled.
  • 482 BCE
    Aristides is voted in an ostracism in Athens and exiled from the city.
  • c. 471 BCE
    The general and statesman Themistocles is voted in an ostracism and exiled from Athens.
  • 463 BCE
    Pericles leads a prosecution of Cimon on charges of corruption but he is acquitted.
  • c. 462 BCE - 458 BCE
    Pericles introduces democratic institutions in Athens.
  • 462 BCE - 461 BCE
    Radicalisation of democracy in Athens; Cimon exiled, Pericles comes to exercise influence.
  • 461 BCE
    Cimon is voted in an ostracism in Athens and exiled from the city.
  • c. 460 BCE - c. 320 CE
    Period of full and direct citizen democracy in Athens.
  • c. 417 BCE
    In the last recorded ostracism the demagogue Hyperbolos is exiled from Athens.
  • 411 BCE
    The oligarchy of the 400 take over the democracy in Athens and in a matter of months is replaced by an oligarchy of 5000.
  • 406 BCE
    The Athenian demos decides to execute six generals even after they have won the battle of Arginousai.
  • 403 BCE
    Restoration of the democracy in Athens, death of the tyrant Critias.
  • 399 BCE
    The Athenian demos pass the death sentence on Socrates.
  • 355 BCE
    Demosthenes begins to deliver speeches in the Athenian assembly.