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,
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.
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
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
Creates Council of Five Hundred: provides legitimacy-setting function for
Aeropagus now serves as judiciary body, but by this point it is no longer very
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
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
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