A revised analysis of the tradition about the 'reforms of Ephialtes' in Athens (ca. 461 B. C.), focusing on the many inconsistencies regarding their contents, author, and context. The paper argues that the reforms as we know them were invented, essentially, by a fourth-century tradition that belongs to the history of ideas and to the biased debate about the democracy, rather than to constitutional history. While the reforms cannot be regarded as a pivotal enactment and cannot contribute to reconstructing the historical phases of the Athenian constitution, they shed light on how the ongoing criticism of the democracy retrospectively shaped the portrayal of the Athenian past.
- Ancient Greece
- Ancient History
- political institutions (Europe)
- Athenian democracy
- history of ideas