the superiority of the Athenian community

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Senior Member

The effect of Cleisthenes’ reforms was to establish the superiority of the Athenian community as a whole over local institutions without destroying them. National politics rather than local or deme politics became the focal point. At the same time, entry into national politics began at the deme level and gave local loyalty a new focus: Athens itself. Over the next two centuries the implications of Cleisthenes’ reforms were fully exploited.

(This comes from a TOEFL reading comprehension about Ancient Athens on a Chinese website.)

Does the blue part mean "establish the Athenian community (which is superior) as a whole over local institutions"?

Thanks in advance!
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    This is not superiority in the usual sense of being better, but a political priority, as in a modern country when a national Supreme Court has supremacy or overriding power over state or provincial institutions. Cleisthenes made the national government of Athens (the country of Attica, rather than just the city proper) supreme over the traditional local authorities. And as it was a democratic government, that meant the people or community of Athens as a whole had this superiority.
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