There has been recent discussion in France about the origins of modernity. There seems to be a great effort on the part of the French to give this honor to the Greeks. The main locus of their idea centers on the Greek polis, the Greek City, and how it was run, with diversity and focus on individuals.
Pshaw. (That seems to be a word that has fallen out of use. Too weak.)
The Greeks had the diversity found in cities. Found in nearly all cities worldwide where there is international commerce. They were still tribal and hierarchical based on family and heredity. I see no evidence of meritocracy except in athletics. Again, a near planetary universal.
No folks. Modernity comes from one thing and one thing alone: industrial commerce. Industrial commerce brings meritocracy to the diversity already found in cities. In the case of the United States, in its middle stages (1960's), meritocracy combined with industrial commerce destroyed the hereditary class.
Full blown modernity has still not arrived. We have Leftist parties all over the world and Islam, fighting it. We have unions staunchly opposing it. Modernity is the world of miracles. Abundant food, extraordinary pleasures, unique individual genius triumphant, the end to nearly all illness and disability and a daily vitally that is still unimaginable.
The Greeks made a modest contribution but the primary contributor has been the United States and more recently Japan and Israel.