The shift from predominately competition for acclaim in 5th-century Athens to competition for attention in liberal democracies hasn’t been well-recognized.
Symbolic competition was central to classical Athens. About one-half of Athenian men citizens served at least one day as chairman of the Boule.
The classical Athenian City Dionysia and Lenaia were annual theatrical festival that emphasized the civic importance of the poetic competition.
Re-staging plays and acquiring texts of plays could have created among classical Athenian playwrights some competition for attention in play circulation.
Executions in early modern Europe were formally organized public events set on specific days and carried out with formal processions and public rituals.
Crowds at public executions in London from 1725 to 1825 probably varied in size from a few hundred to nearly 100,000.
Speakers at Speakers’ Corner act as if they are competing for public acclaim, but actually they are competing for public attention.
Sensational execution crime stories produced and marketed on broadsides were central to the development of competition for attention and the popular press
Execution sermons from prominent Puritan ministers, e.g. Increase and Cotton Mather, were among the most popular printed works in colonial New England.
Colonial printing was first centered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but by 1700 Boston had overtaken Cambridge as the leading colonial printing center.