What gave democracy its first history and in due course carried it far beyond the confines of the Hellenic world was the vicissitudes of a word. After its first hectic and crowded two centuries that word lingered on forlornly for almost two thousand years, waiting for history to catch up with it and turn it back into practical politics. Once re-appropriated, and quite fast, democracy picked up momentum and spread erratically across the globe for much of the next two centuries. Until history eventually did catch up with it again, democracy enjoyed a curious and relatively secluded, all but private, history of its own. But once history took it up in earnest, that dispersed and inconspicuous story merged rapidly and inextricably with the history of the world at large.