Draco – first legislator of Athens in Ancient Greece. He replaced the prevailing system of oral law and blood feud by a written code to be enforced only by a court. Draco's written law became known for its harshness, with the adjective "draconian" referring to similarly unforgiving rules or laws.
Draconian constitution – first written constitution of Athens. So that no one would be unaware of them, they were posted on wooden tablets (ἄξονες – axones), where they were preserved for almost two centuries, on steles of the shape of three-sided pyramids (κύρβεις – kyrbeis).
Solon – Athenian statesman and lawmaker, remembered for the Solonian Constitution.
Solonian Constitution – a code of laws embracing the whole of public and private life. It sought to revise or abolish the older laws of Draco.
Athenian democracy – democracy in the Greek city-state of Athens developed around the fifth century BC, making Athens one of the first known democracies in the world, comprising the city of Athens and the surrounding territory of Attica. It was a system of direct democracy, in which eligible citizens voted directly on legislation and executive bills.
Solon (c. 638 – c. 558 BC)– Athenian statesman, lawmaker, and poet. Legislated against political, economic, and moral decline in archaic Athens. His reforms failed in the short term, yet he is often credited with having laid the foundations for Athenian democracy.
Cleisthenes (born around 570 BC). – father of Athenian democracy. He reformed the constitution of ancient Athens and set it on a democratic footing in 508/7 BC.
Ephialtes (died 461 BC) – led the democratic revolution against the Athenian aristocracy, which exerted control through the Areopagus, the most powerful body in the state. Ephialtes proposed a reduction of the Areopagus' powers, and the Ecclesia (the Athenian Assembly) adopted Ephialtes' proposal without opposition. This reform signaled the beginning of a new era of "radical democracy" for which Athens would become famous.
Pericles – arguably the most prominent and influential Greek statesman. When Ephialtes was assassinated for overthrowing the elitist Council of the Aeropagus, his deputy Pericles stepped in. He was elected strategos (one of ten such posts) in 445 BCE, which he held continuously until his death in 429 BCE, always by election of the Athenian Assembly. The period during which he led Athens, roughly from 461 to 429 BC, is known as the "Age of Pericles".
Ostracism – procedure under the Athenian democracy in which any citizen could be expelled from the city-state of Athens for ten years.
Areopagus – council of elders of Athens, similar to the Roman Senate. Like the Senate, its membership was restricted to those who had held high public office, in this case that of Archon. In 594 BC, the Areopagus agreed to hand over its functions to Solon for reform.
Ecclesia – principal assembly of the democracy of ancient Athens during its "Golden Age" (480–404 BCE). It was the popular assembly, open to all male citizens with 2 years of military service. In 594 BC, Solon allowed all Athenian citizens to participate, regardless of class, even the thetes (manual laborers).