The Greeks had a word for it, and the word was demokratia, a compound of demos (`the people') and kratos (`power or rule'). But it is significant that the first occurrence of the word in surviving Greek literature is in Herodotus' History, which he was writing during the third quarter of the fifth century BC. It was perhaps coined in the period following the reforms of the last decade of the sixth, which later won fame for Cleisthenes as `the man who gave the Athenians their democracy'. In 431 BC Pericles could claim that the Athenian system of government was unique, and an example to every other society in Greece. It is the object of this book to explain to the modern reader what the institutions of the classical Athenian democracy were, how they worked, and what assumptions underlay them. It is principally concerned with the fully developed democracy of the post-Ephialtic period; but a chapter is devoted to tracing the broad development of the Athenian constitution from the reforms of Solon in the early sixth century to those of Ephialtes in the late 460s, so that the developed democracy can be seen in its proper historical context. Stockton incorporates recent important work by historians, epigraphists, and archaeologists into his study, which is easily accessible to the sixth-form and first-year undergraduate student as well as interested general readers since all Greek is translated, difficult terminology explained, and full suggestions for further reading made in endnotes to each chapter.