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CLCV 1002A - Oct. 2, 2012.rtf

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Classical Civilization
CLCV 1002
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CLCV 1002AOct 2 2012Athens Sparta and the Persian WarsCityStatesCity states were quite small numbering only in the hundreds and thousandsOnly two had major historical influence Athens cultural capital and Sparta military cityOthers were of very little importance in comparison Corinth Rhodes Syracuse etcIndividuals were somewhat loyal to their citystates but frequently betrayed their cities if it suited their ambitions for powerSubsets ie clans phratries tribes etc ruled themselves rather than taking orders from the stateClans controlled land individual ownership did not exist until much laterMilitaryoOriginally consisted of soldiers guarding aristocrats who led them to warthoIn the 7 century this form changed to that of a phalanx a small group of hoplites armed with spears and shields who moved as a unitoTheir success depended on three factors a size of unit b disciplinetraining c and the soldiers ability to move together affected by the presence of a military band which kept rhythmAthens capital of the state of AtticaVery large citystate centre of culture and learning in the ancient worldChanged political system multiple times aristocracyoligarchytyrannydemocracyAthens had a political assembly called the Ecclesia which created the legislation leaders were chosen by lotthUntil the 6 century there was no written code of law since individuals were typically illiterateAristocracy originally held all power in state with ordinary citizens depending on it to maintain the justice systemthIn the mid7 century the first elections were held to decide the nine rulers archons of the stateoEponymous archon main magistrate of city serving as the head of state and later as leader of the Ecclesia and BouleoBasileus king the main priest in the citystate dealing with all religious matters of ritual cultsoPolemarch military leader of the stateoThesmothetai six Judicial OfficersCivil unrestdue to various tensions and apparent downsides political system and constitution of Athens had to be changed multiple times to forms lessening the control of aristocratsAlthough land was controlled by clans due to the growing population increase in birthsimmigration marginal land was also founded in areas of povertyThe separation of the rich and poor eventually became significant creating public resentment of the elite and their justice systemNo laws existed for protecting immigrants and foreigners eg artisans arriving into the cityGreek tradition of democracy was not communitarian the party in power did whatever suited its interests rather than necessarily serving to improve the statePlight of citizen farmersoThe important of cheap grain from the Black Sea was a problem created difficulties for small farmers in AthensoOlive trees were an important cash crop but were often unproductiveoPoor farmers who couldnt pay off loans very high interest rates either a became sharecroppers owing much of their produce to their creditors or b were sold into slaveryThe Conspiracy of Cylon failed coup by man named Cylon who attempted to overthrow archons and become tyrant of Athens
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