It is commonplace to speak of the ancient Greek (or, more exactly, Athenian) democracy, or less commonly nowadays of the Roman Republic, as the ancestor of our modern parliementary democracies. This view corresponds well with a larger interpretation, seeing the ancient world as a beacon of light which we have recovered, as opposed to the “dark” ages of mediaeval theocracies. Even if the latter interpretation seems to be more contested today, at least in the academic sphere, the idea that we are somehow the direct inheritors of the ancient democractic system is still very much alive.