I’m looking for good sources on governance in the ancient world. Specifically, I’m trying to find sources that can help me from the development of a new city (ie something like the foundation of a greek colony during archaic period, or foundation of colonies through the roman period) but it could be from the development of cities in the Neolithic or bronze age periods, and it doesn’t necessarily have to be Greek/Roman, in fact, the more variety of cultures the better.
Specifically, I’m trying to look at this from a more human perspective. Everything I’ve read are either historical accounts of major events in the ancient world (ie somebody like Livy gives you general outlines of the foundations of Rome, and then during the actual Republic/Empire period they give you major events, but not what the government did, and the issues it dealt with, and how it dealt with them, on a day to day basis.
There are the 3-4 types of governance I’m interested in.
Monarchy: Throughout much of the Bronze Age/Dark Age/Archaic/Classical and beyond period (including the Roman Empire which is a defacto complex monarchy), there were always monarchies, so this is quite relevant in understanding what/why/how government worked from a day in day out basis.
Aristocracy: From the Carthaginians, to the early romans, many societies were run by the powerful, as a group. How this was organized and examples of the what/why/how of day to day governance in an Aristocracy.
Democracy: Obviously we know the Athenians during the Classical period were run as a democracy ( and I mean a true democracy) we can follow the historical events that were from decisions of governance, but how was Athens and it’s empire governed/run on a day to day basis? We know that there were councilors who were chosen by lots who ran certain districts/held certain positions, but what did these people do on a day to day basis? How did they do it?
Republic: The roman republic is what I’m thinking here, and many of the above can largely answer how, and as Polybius says, the Roman republic was synthesis of all 3 of the above governments. But still, what/why/how was the governance done on a daily basis?
And by governance on a daily basis, mean from the how from kings, aristocrats, down through every layer of bureaucracy till you get to your local tax collector, what/why/how these people ran the government administration on a day to day basis, from dealing with a rival city who recently stole one of your citizens crops, to pirates interfering with trade on the Mediterranean, to drought, city administration, what to do with tax money, neighborly disputes, superstition, weather, crime, theft, laws and battles of ideology, to political rivalries and infighting, to a foreigner spreading strange religious ideas in the city (or dealing with somebody accused of a crime they claim they did not commit), I mean everything and everything these officials may have dealt with, daily, and how they changed over time.
Obviously this is a pretty broad question, and I don’t care if these are primary sources, to collaborative works by modern historians, to historical fictions (as I’m sure much of this detail will be left to the imagination as not much evidence will remain), but I’m looking for how humans ran societies, and the issue they dealt with, on a day to day basis, because people live on a day to day basis, and don’t, like historians, summarize a decade in a couple of pages of writing.
I’m sure that no one work will answer any of the above focuses, but any source that can clue me into any of the above would be appreciated. Feel free to ask me any clarification questions if you don’t understand what I’m asking.
PS: If there are works on the medieval period, or even the colonial period in the United States that seems like it could be relevant here, that is fine too, and as I’m sure many of the issues will overlap.
PPS: Maybe much of what the government did was basically just sitting around waiting for something to happen, which is fine, but I’m still curious how an early Village would evolve into a polis city state, and what governance issues they had to deal with from a human perspective, ie daily.