Ancient Greece, in particular Athens, is rightfully credited as the birthplace of democracy. Democracy is “rule by the people” and rule by the majority is implied. Up to this time, in most societies, rule was by kings, pharaohs, emperors, chiefs, warlords- powerful men (usually) who had become accepted as leaders because of their superior skills or force of personality. Usually their position then became a hereditary one, passed down to the eldest (or strongest) son. Kinship played an important role with powerful families and clans supporting the right of the king to rule. In some societies, the king was also the High Priest and had the additional power of religion to back his claim. The idea that common people had the ability to govern was a new and radical one.