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Lecture 5

Clas 201: Lecture 5 Notes

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Classical Studies
CLAS 201
Nicholas Maes

Based on your status/blood, determines how much power you have in the state (Eupatrid, etc.) When currency is first introduced, it upsets the balance of things -people that were poor see that they might be able to do well for themselves Solon gets rid of the old categories (based on status) and makes new categories based on wealth Tamias = the assessor -he determines what rank you belong to (goes to your farm/business and determines what financial category you belong to) A term of 10 years has to pass before you run again (each year it changes); this prevents people from having too much power (prevents corrupt government) Axonas = spinning wheel in which new law codes were placed -ignorance of the law would now be no excuse As soon as Solon goes to jail, the people of the hill (poor), the coast (middle-class), and the plain (rich) have conflict/begin to fight -athens is on the verge of stasis (civil war) Solon felt that if he stayed in Athens, people wanted him to change the system (he didn’t want to be corrupted) -in his absence, you have this turbulence and Athens is on the verge of stasis -Peisistratus takes over the state (he is a tyrant: ceased power unconstitutionally) -as tyrant, he has to make sure he looks after the main interest of the Athenian population (otherwise, he’d be thrown out of office/power) -he is allowing the democratic apparatus that solon set run smoothly -“bubo” nickname for currency and had an owl on it (the higher the concentration of silver, the higher the value) -athens currency is now the currency of Greece -Peisistratus is encouraging trade of oil and wine (exported in containers) -athens is becoming more and more of an economic player  Peisistratus establishes 2 very major festivals (entertainment) o Panathenaia = population gathers together and visit one of the temples belonging to Athena and present Athena with a peplos (gown)  Elgin marbles (a long line of figures who are carrying objects to offer to Athena)  There were minor athletic games and Homeric competition  Had people known as Rhapsodes who memorized large segments of Homer and compete with each other by reciting Homer  Peisistratus had a standard text of Homer’s iliad and odyssey that everyone would study/read from  Oxen were slaughtered (people would eat meat at public expense in honour of the goddess); this put people in a good mood (they wouldn’t have to work and they’d get meat in their diet) o Dionysia = it marked the start of Greek drama  It is a festival that is dedicated to the god Dionysus (the god of theatre/wine)  Was honoured with dramatic production  Plays were designed for 1 performance (not over and over again)  Once the dionysia was over, these pays would disappear and people would wait for the next season of plays to come  These plays were only staged for a day, but everyone wanted to see them so there’d be 20,000-30,000 people that went to see them  Festivals became so popular, that it wasn’t just Athenians that attended these festivals (others from outside came to see and participate)  Peisistratus dies in office and his 2 sons Hippias and Hippacchus take over from him o No one complains b/c Peisistratus did such a good job, and they think his sons will continue all the good stuff (only for 6-7 years) o The Greeks who accepted homosexuality as a normal condition, this always tended to embarrass the Victorian population that looked up to the Greeks (their military, etc.) o The Greeks never shy away from things that seem to be part of the natural world o The bulk of the population could “swing in both directions”; would be considered fairly normal  Aristogeiton and harmodius are both male and are connected to each other  Gay marriage would strike the ancient Greek as rediculous  Marriage is for the production of offspring and transition of property rights  Athenians would say yes to homosexuality; the passive member of this relationship could not be an adult male; therefore if you are a passive member of this relationship, you are behaving in a way that is not expected of your role as a male (and you may lose your rights, etc.); you can be an active member, but yo ucannot be the passive member when you are an adult  Erastes = active member  Would teach the eromenos a wide array of activities (literature, trade, etc.); he acts as a guide and teacher for the young eromenos  Eromenos = passive member  Would have to be someone who is under the age of 18 (12-18)  Greeks accept homosexuality openly, but is very different than society now  We say yes to gay marriage, they say no  We say no to relationship with minors, but they say yes  Gay relationships take place between an older man and a younger man/boy o Athenian women are there to produce heirs (sole purpose)  Since this is the primary function, she spends much of her life being monitored by a kyrios (lord); could be a father, brother, uncle (male relative)  Once the woman is married, she exchanges her father/brother/uncle as her kyrios as her husband as her kyrios  If she is not controlled and is let out of the house, she may be seduced by other men and may have illegitimate children o Men are not looking for sexual gratification and companionship from their wives (alone), but seek this through other options (ex. eromenos) o Aristogeiton was the erastes and harmodius is the eromenos o Hippacchus likes harmodius, but harmodius turns down hippacchus  Hippachus then says that harmodius’ sister will no longer mark in the festival (which is shameful for the family)  Aristogeiton and harmodius get together and assassinate hippacchus due to the love triangle  The 2 are then punished (put to death?) o Hippias changes the way he rules when Hippacchus dies  In 510, he is kicked out of office  The period of tyranny ended in Athens  He fled Athens when he realized he was no longer a welcome leader o There is no longer any strongmen when Hippias so the peple of the hill, plain, and coast start to fight again (stasis)  Cleisthenes comes along and brings a couple of reforms o He modifies solon’s reforms o He keeps the old catagories (people are still separated according to wealth) o He further divides the population and athe population is divided into 10 tribes o If you are a male, you are a member of one of the 10 tribes o Each tribe consists of a trittyes (each tribe consists of 3 trittyes) o This hill, coast, and plain: takes 1 trittyes from the coast, 1 from the plain, and 1 from the hill and that makes 1 tribe o Each tribe will have political responsibilities and each will do the best job they can do, so they must get along with their neighbours (people are expected to overcome their conflicts with each other to cooperate to do the best job) o This reduces conflict among the 3 areas (coast, hill, plain)  Boule sinsists of 500 people elected o 50 people from each tribe o People don’t sit in government all at once o For a 36 day period, each tribe does all of the business for the Boule (they are making crucial decisions; like the American senate)  Prytanis acts as a consultative body  You cannot be an archon, polemarchos, etc. year after year after year (only 1 year term)  If you were an ambitious politician, you would aim for the strategoi b/c you can occupy that position for a long stretch of time (can be continually elected for that position if people want you to)  Hitler was a dictator, not a tyrant (he was voted into power)  Greeks came up with a system called ostracism = if a certain part of the population feel that there is a politician that keeps running for office and he is going to be bad news, you can collect 6000 votes against him and that is enough to send him into exile for 10 years o Votes took place on something called an ostrax (pottery shard) o Guy could not run for office, could not live in Athens, and could not have the benefits of a citizen for 10 years  Athen
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