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Ancient and modern

Would the Athenians have held a second referendum?

28 September 2019

9:00 AM

28 September 2019

9:00 AM

The Athenians invented the referendum: after debate in the citizens’ assembly, they voted through all political decisions by a show of hands. They could also demand a revote, as happened on a famous occasion in 427 bc, after Athens put down the revolt of the city-state of Mytilene. Does this justify the proposed second Brexit referendum?

The Athenian assembly, angered by the revolt, initially voted to execute all adult males and sell the women and children into slavery.

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