February 14 , 2014
5 Century BC:
There is no sign of politics in the preclassical Greek cities; everything was ordained
hierarchically until the later 5 century BC. Politics provides a way of incorporating individual
views into the policies and laws, as well as elected officials and offices; and the beginning of
laws being written down. There is also an emergence of individual participation in the political
sphere. In the Greek polis, the interaction between the individual and the state provided the basis
for modern politics.
One’s individuality and status was determined by the judgment of others, it is action orientated –
competence is stressed and the values are amoral. It is a contest of the strong versus the weak.
Kalos kai agathos: beautiful and good – the Greeks believed that if you were beautiful, you were
a good person. The contest system is a shame culture, if you lost you were shamed by the city.
The guilt culture is aimed towards intent “he means well” – used when you screwed up.
Alcibiades is the best documented example of the contest system.
Xenos: “guest friend.” Metics referred to a resident alien, one who did not have citizen rights in
his or her Greek citystate (polis) of residence.
Kurios means “lord” or “master.” A woman could not enter into a contract herself and
arrangements were made by her guardian or Kurios. For an unmarried woman the Kurios would
be her father, and if dead, brothers an uncle or relative would be the Kurios. Women were seen as
their only purpose was for the procreation of children and the survival of the oikos. The kurios
stands for the protection of the family.
Marriage took place when the man was 30, after he was finished military training and was able to
form a household. Women were married around the age of 15. There was no particular ceremony
for marriage; it was simply the act of living together. The dowry offered was an act of
respectability. Virginity was essential