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Lecture 5

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University of Waterloo
Classical Studies
CLAS 201
Nicholas Maes

CLAS 201 Lecture 5 NotesReview of Solons ReformsSociety is not static it is constantly changingPreviously there has been a system in place based on birthrights there were four classes hektermoroi demiurgoi georgoi and eupatridsEssentially eupatrids are in power and making the most important decisionscalling the shotsWith the introduction of currency many people do not understand its concepts or how to handle it such as debt or interest rateoThe system took great deal of organization and national cooperationoPeople often felt that their salaries went downoBecause so many people fell into debt farms fell into the hands of various individuals oA lot of land owners typically who were wealthy eupatrids suddenly found themselves falling into slavery Eventually people start to value money and not blood which developed a new political systemoThis system has the following subdivisionsPentakosimedimnoi produced more than 500 bushels Hippeis meaning horse riders or cavalry produced between 300 and 500 bushels Zeugitae produced between 200 and 300 bushels Thetes produced less than 200 bushels oAs well Solon replaces the Areopagus council with the boul as the higher assemblyConsists of all populations except for the Thetes Consists of 400 people in total Compared to the Areopagus council it was much more democraticthere was an equal distribution of all three classes Archon basileus and polemarchus positions were occupied by the hippeis and pentakosimedimnoi oGeneral assembly Heliaea was created and was open to everyone even the thetesThe Heliaea made it possible for anyone can bring a lawsuit against anyone in the cityAthens still maintained a democratic representation because it is understood that by giving people a sense of power it would compel people to participate in the defense of the cityAfter Solons Reforms Stasis and TyrannyWhen Solon was finished implementing his reforms he decided to leave the city and goes to the city LydiaoOne of the reasons was that he did not want to be tempted to become a dictator in the cityoThe second reason is that he does not want anyone to approach him to ask him to make changes to the system and infrastructure he implementedHe believed that he had solved the problem present in society but this was not the caseEventually stasis civil war broke outoStasis was feared by anyone living in a polisoResulted from tension between people of different classesThe rich got richer and poorer got poorer or by extension more childrenRich people keep making more money and hold even more powerthey can then make rules that help them make even more moneyThis was very destabilizing for the economyoThe population was broken down into three groups differing in economically and geographically people of the coast people of the hill and people of the plain These groups determine what kind of money you havePedieisLycurgus led the Pedieis referring to the population that resided on the plains These landowners could grow grain giving them leverage during the food shortageParalioiParalioi referred to the population living along the coast Led by Megacles an accursed Alcmaeonid the Paralioi party was not as strong as the Pedieis primarily because they did not have the same ability to produce grain as did the plainsmen With the Megarans patrolling the sea much of the importexport possibilities were limitedHyperakrioiThe last group of people who were not previously represented by formal party dwelled primarily in the hills and were by far the poorest of the Athenian population Their only products that could be bartered were items like honey and wool Peisistratus organized them into the Hyperakrioi or hill dwellers This party was grossly outnumbered by the Plain party even when combined with the Coastal partyThis is when Athens receives its first tyrant by the name of PeisistratusoPeisistratus used his bodyguards to capture and hold the acropolis With this in his possession and the collusion of Megacles and his party he declared himself tyrant and had control of the stateIf someone had a problem with Peisistratus they would deal with his bodyguards one may not necessarily surviveoHe was exiled once from the city but returned to Athens and rode into the city in a golden chariot accompanied by a tall woman playing the role of Athena Many returned to his side believing that he had the favor of the goddessoHis rule lasted for approximately 25 years 546 to 527 BCE which ended when he died in bed of natural causesoHe understood how the citystate functioned very wellUnderstood that if you are going to be a successful tyrant you have to make sure that they citystates prosperity is not suffering as a result of your ruleHe gave people freedom and kept democratic system alive however he actually controlled everything from the backgroundHe also does wonders for the economy for example he takes silver from the mines and spends it on the populationLaurion silver mines was discovered during his rule
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