Җирв, also known as allotment, is a method of selection by some form of lottery. It is used to have an equal chance to be selected for those that are involved. (For instance it is done by drawing coloured pebbles from a bag.) In the democracy of Athens in Ancient Greece sortition was the main method for appointing officials. People thought it was a system that was one of the principal characteristics of democracy.
"Democracy arose from the idea that those who are equal in any respect are equal absolutely. All are alike free, therefore they claim that all are free absolutely... The next is when the democrats, on the grounds that they are all equal, claim equal participation in everything." Aristotle Politics
- The Athenian democracy made much use of sortition, with nearly all government offices filled by lottery rather than by election.
- The Doge of Venice was appointed by a lengthy procedure using alternating rounds of sortition and election.
- The Signoria of Florence and other Italian city republics was elected by lot during the medieval period.