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I investigated the stability of Athenian democracy at the end of the 5th century. Direct democracy can give us a new perspective on the characteristics of the form that the elective republics of today cannot. Athenian dem. is often separated into ‘radical’ and ‘moderate’ periods by scholars, but I am not convinced that such a break exists. Conclusions. Athens said to have a break in 404/403 BC. Athenian democracy was changed institutionally, but its spirit remained. Secondary sources must be consulted.