Class Notes (808,147)
Canada (493,093)
POLI 365 (15)

POLI 365 - Lecture: Athenian Political Institutions (Jan. 9)

4 Pages
Unlock Document

McGill University
Political Science
POLI 365
Jason Scott Ferrell

Athenian Democracy Earliest form of Greek governance was monarchy. Ruled in tandem with councils (aeropagus). Hereditary nobility; originally acted as magistrates. Highlights that the idea of deliberation, even from the very beginning, plays an important role (council advises monarch). Monarchy =/= divine, absolute rule. Over time, role of monarch declines; council's role begins to expand. Assembly is also first created. The former continues to strengthen; the latter two continues to decrease. Ability determined by wealth; wealth determined by landholding. th 6 century B.C. E.: Solon institutes reforms that tilts authority away from monarch and council, and to the assembly. This came as a result of a food shortage; many free men sold themselves into slavery for survival. Solon wanted to stop this. Solon also limited the amount of property one can hold, and how much can be spent on funerals/weddings. This is focusing on status and honour. Forbade export of grain, which was fuelling the food shortages. Encouraged immigration of foreigners. Loosened restrictions on membership to council and assembly; changed criteria from birth to wealth (hereditary -> oligarchy). These reforms pave the way for greater democratic participation. For one thing, immigration policy allows for greater opportunities to participate; one can participate politically, because one had immigrants/slaves to do their work for them. Overall, Solon's reforms emphasized one's ties to the city, and increase citizen participation. Next reforms came under Cleisthenes. Previously, the city is divided into four tribes; membership determined by birth (patrilineal). Cleisthenes changes the four tribes into ten tribes, as well as the composition; membership is no longer determined by birth, but by location. Furthermore, each tribe is composed of three different types of individuals: urban, rural, and coastal. This changes the concept of loyalty; it changes from kinship to land. This also changes participation and politics, as well as the composition of the military. Creates Council of Five Hundred: provides legitimacy-setting function for assembly. Aeropagus now serves as judiciary body, but by this point it is no longer very important. Introduces practice of ostracism. Ostracism does NOT deprive one of citizenship. Exile lasts for ten years; after the period, the individual is welcomed back. Ostracism serves as to limit ambitious individuals from seizing too much power. Here, one sees a concern for equality. Citizens (adult males): 50 000 Metics (immigrants): 10 000 Slaves: 100 000 Slaves played an important part of the Athenian state machinery. Slaves provided the labour that allowed citizens to participate in the democratic process. Women were confined to the home, and did not enjoy high status. However, they did play important social functions as overseers of rites in the home, and funeral rites. Altogether, Athenian women, slaves, and metics could not be enslaved, nor subject to corporal punishment. Citizenship, as mentioned, determi
More Less

Related notes for POLI 365

Log In


Don't have an account?

Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.