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Debates About the Past: Greek Civilization, History, and Culture Week 5: Athens and Solon

by: Grace Elite Notetaker

Debates About the Past: Greek Civilization, History, and Culture Week 5: Athens and Solon CLA 2110

Marketplace > Florida State University > Classical Studies > CLA 2110 > Debates About the Past Greek Civilization History and Culture Week 5 Athens and Solon
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Notes describing Athens and Solon! Based off power points, lectures, and independent research. Follows format of power points
Debates About the Past: Greek Civilization, History and Culture
Deb Trusty
Class Notes
Debates About the Past: Greek Civilization, History and Culture, Ancient Greece, Classical Studies, Greece, Classics, Greek History, FSU
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Grace Elite Notetaker on Sunday February 7, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CLA 2110 at Florida State University taught by Deb Trusty in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Debates About the Past: Greek Civilization, History and Culture in Classical Studies at Florida State University.

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Date Created: 02/07/16
Debates About the Past: Greek Civilization, History and Culture (Based on PowerPoints/Class Lectures/Assigned th, Readings) January 6 2016) Athens and Solon Athens • Largest city in Greece • 40% of all Greeks live in Athens at this time Sources • These sources contained stories about how Athens was at this time • Most primary source accounts • Aristotle’s Athenian Constitution • Xenophon’s Athenian Constitution • Plutarch’s Life of Solon and Life of Theseus • Herodotus’ Histories • Thucydides’ History of the Peloponnesian War What you need to know about the Athenians Characteristics of Athenian society • Pro-democracy (rule of the people) • Anti-Persian • Atypical polis • Different than most polises • Didn’t colonize • Late emergence of tyranny • Emphasis on government, prevention of civil war • When tensions rise they are quick to diffuse it • Form of defense during Classical period: Navy • Oposite of Sparta which ruled the land with its army • Government as isonomia vs. Sparta’s eunomia • Isonomia means equal laws • Eunomia means good rule • (good = elite members) Mythology of Athens • “Autochthonous”- indigenous rather than descended from migrants or colonists. o Athens believed they have always been there and didn’t migrate there. o Spartans are the opposite. They believe they were the descendants of the Dorians. Mythological kings of Athens • Cecrops • Son of the earth • Had snake like features • This was to show he was “of earth” • Cecrops chose the name of Athens. He said that whoever offered the best gift, he would name the city after them. • Poseidon gave the city a salt water spring • Athena gave them an olive tree. (She won) • The previous explanation brings up the debate: What came first? Athena or Athens? • Theseus • Slayed the minotaur • He traveled to Athens and had battles with many people along his journey. • Once he arrived, they made him king. • Codros o Had a dream an enemy will attack Athens. o It was revealed that he could save Athens, but die o Or live and Athens will be destroyed o He died for Athens and everyone was so grateful they declared him as the last king of Athens. Dark Age Athens (1100-750 BC) • Stasis in Athens • Not much happening • Nice graves indicate that wealth was present • There was also nice pottery th • Ruled by kings until 7 C Early Archaic Period Athens (750-700 BC) • A slow start… • No colonies th • No tyrants until 6 C. • Poor trade, pottery market • Low population • Not a lot of graves or structures • There was not a decrease or an increase Middle Archaic Period Athens (700-600 BC) • Growth and unification of Attica • Opposite strategy as Sparta 2 • Attica grows 1000 m • One of the largest at its time • New political system (no kings) • 9 archons elected each year • Based on birth and wealth • Aristocratic • Aeropagus (served on the Hill of Ares) • Former archons • Elders • Ekklesia • Council of Athenian men • Makes legislation • Did not include the lower class of people As a result • Aristocracy vs. Demos • Aristocratic genos (a powerful Oikos) and everyone dependent on them (phratries) • Like workers, farmers, serfs, etc • As the genos gets stronger, the phraties gets stronger as well… this creates: • Political and economic tension • (Almost everyone was in a genos or phratries) • Debt bondage was also a result • If you were a farmer working for a genos, but your farm didn’t produce enough crops: you would ask your genos for a loan. • It would keep piling up and thus you are in debt • To get out of debt: • Work for them • Sell land • Sell kids into slavery • Sell self into slavery • Dracon and his reforms (between 632 and 594) • Laws on homicide (VERY STRICT) • Creation of Boule (400 citizens) • 400 citizens elected by the people • approved legislation • oversaw judicial systems • took some power away • Result: progress but still division and tension! 594 BC: Solon • Athenian • From an aristocratic family • Politician and poet • Rewrites Athenian constitution • Ancient sources: Herodotus and Plutarch • By 594 BC: • Elected chief archon • Made dramatic series of constitutional, economic, and and moral reforms • Something needed to happen to fix the extreme division between Athens Social reforms Division of Athenian citizens into 4 classes • Created census • Based on annual income and property • Clear statuses and upward mobility • You can bump yourself up • You can fall in status 1. Pentakosiomedimnoi (“500 medimnoi”) • Produced more than 500 medimnoi (bushels) per year • Could serve as generals • Major aristocrats • Can hold offices 2. Hippeis (“Knights” or “horsemen”) • 300 + medimnoi per year • Cavalry men (owned a horse, etc.) • Minor aristocrats • Can hold offices 3. Zeugitai (“The yoked ones”) • 200 + medimnoi per year • Hoplites • Can afford oxen • Can hold offices 4. Thetes (“Serfs”) • Less than 200 medimnoi per year • Too poor to have land • Auxiliary army • Can only sit on assembly • More about the Social Reforms: o Crops were most important (not lineage or wealth) o Men over 18 who lived in Attica were considered citizens o Everyone can sit on an assembly, however it is hard for all…. So more aristocratic men are on assemblies o Checks and Balances like system o Only Pentakosiomedimnoi can be archons o Everyone on assembly could be selected to serve on the jury Economic reforms • Abolished debt (everyone’s debt wiped clean) • (People were selling themselves into slavery- It had to stop) • Seisactheia =“shaking off” • No sale of citizens into slavery to cover a debt • Gave lower class more freedom • Emphasized export of olive oil • More money! • No export of grain • Designed to help the poor • Lowered the price so more people could buy it • Foreign tradesmen (metics and outsiders) granted citizenship • Now to be a citizen you needed to have some sort of value • This brought skilled men to Athens which led to an increase in exports and an increase in economic influence • Education of sons • Punishment of unemployed • Spartans were shocked by this Other Reforms • No more extravagant dowries • Any citizens could take legal action of behalf of another • “Personal modesty and frugality” • After laws in place: self-exile for 10 years o 594 BC is when the laws came into place


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