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Unlike more modern societies, the political leaders in the city-states of the ancient Greek world lacked sophisticated methods of surveillance or security mechanisms to maintain themselves in power. The lack of effective surveillance systems helps explain why there were frequent changes in government in many city-states as one faction of the aristocracy replaced another with great regularity or as power shifted between more aristocratic types of government and the limited democratic forms of government that involved a somewhat wider group of citizens. Any understanding of these limited means of surveillance and other security measures that were available is complicated by the often fragmentary information in the historical records. It is generally known when changes occurred, but little is known about failed mechanisms for preventing ...

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