ABSTRACT. Representation is the mechanism by which relatively free regimes are arranged and maintain themselves. The concept goes beyond the concept of democracy, but involves free regimes more broadly. This includes republics in the mold of Rome and Carthage, in which checks and balances rather than the rule of the people is paramount. It also includes decentralized empires usually viewed as authoritarian regimes by others. This includes the Hittite Empire. Also included are city-states, in this article not including the Greek city-states, but lesser-studied city-states such as Phoenician and Neo-Hittite states. These city-states had a variety of regime types, but all categorized by the development of representation. Representation develops into a variety of forms. In this article, I focus on formal representation such as in electoral and other deliberative institutions. However, representation ultimately goes beyond these institutions. In fact, the heart of representation is that divers groups are being given real power within the political community and governing system. This article makes the claim that the history of representation is best understood as a movement or transmission of ideas and institutions across state lines through inter-state contacts. More importantly, the transmission is not predominantly through Greece but from the ancient Near East, particularly modern-day Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon, to North Africa and finally to Italy. The modern-day Western model of representation traces itself most closely from the model of the Roman Republic.

Keywords: republic; regime; ancient history; formal representation

How to cite: Binetti, Christopher (2017). “Sprouts of the Ancients: The Ancient Roots of Representation in the Greater Mediterranean Region from the Hittites to Rome,” Geopolitics, History, and International Relations 9(2): 174–198.

Received 30 July 2017 • Received in revised form 1 September 2017
Accepted 25 September 2017 • Available online 15 October 2017


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