Democracy had its beginnings in certain of the city-states of ancient Greece in which the whole citizen body formed the legislature; such a system was possible because a city-state's population rarely exceeded 10,000 people, and women and slaves had no political rights. Citizens were eligible for a variety of executive and judicial offices, some of which were filled by elections, while others were assigned by lot. There was no separation of powers, and all officials were fully responsible to the popular assembly, which was qualified to act in executive and judicial as well as legislative matters. Greek democracy was a brief historical episode that had little direct influence on the development of modern democratic practices. Two millennia separated the fall of the Greek city-state and the rise of modern constitutional democracy.
Modern concepts of democratic government were shaped to a large extent by ideas and institutions of medieval Europe, notably the concept of divine, natural,