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Lecture 8

CLA 101-Lecture 8 - Oct 27th.docx

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Andrew Graham

Lecture 8 - Oct 27th Lecture Title: Periclean Athens The Athenian polis - common components that typical polis had (throughout the 8th and 9th century): 1. Assembly of adult males 2. Aristocratic council 3. Annually elected Magistrates Physical Characteristics: Acropolis: religious focus Agora: open space for judicial and government Fortification wall: constructed in a very intricate design, connecting Athens to the sea, allowing for prolonged sieges Community Cemeteries Political Organization: -Originally Monarchy -Paramount Basileus (king) replaced by 3 Archons (c. 683 BCE) aka Law givers, split duties of king amongst themselves: Archon Basileus-> judge over religious matters, presided over cults of polis Archon Polemarchos-> judge over non-citizen matters, leader of the army Archon Eponymos-> judge over the council and assembly and non- religious cases, overall supervision of public affairs -would mark year by who was Eponymous Archon (the archonship of Solon, etc.) - 6 additional archons added to the mix: Thesmothetai to assist with judicial affairs of the growing pop. Thesmothetai-> layer down of the rules Eupatrids-> well-fathered ones -9 Archons elected annually from aristocratic families Eupatrids well-fathered ones -As pop grew, polis was able to adjust to changes and to adjust effectively (A characteristic of Athenian polis was flexibility) -Areopagus- Aristocratic council that would pass the directives of the Archons-had control -Average citizens' role probably not large -Social stresses within society increased -aristocracy controlled the area and encouraged debt-slavery on the poor -non aristocrats becoming richer (farmers) than aristocrats (the middle class began to develop) -middle class wanted more control - input -Main textual source for understanding of this time comes from Aristotle's "Athenian Constitution" Laws of Draco (620 BC) -Tenant of democracy-openness and transparency -First major event in democratization of polis-writing down of laws The importance of these laws can be summarized by the following: -Dealt with transgressions severely - death, a common punishment -Laws were to be written down (earlier laws were oral and could be easily manipulated) -Laws were not restricted to any one class within society > theoretically to be applied equally to all classes -Laws placed in area where people could see (the agora) by Draco -Only certain people can be in the agora- marked by boundary stones ("Horos") -Draconian laws were important because society was more organized when laws made public -to make Athens a polis ruled by laws and not by men, or groups of men -Laws didnt go far enough to help the poor class in terms of 'debt slavery' (obligation to who you owe to) Constitution of Solon 594 BCE, Solon was appointed Eponymous Archon with dictatorial powers -to relive social stresses -Draconian laws not working enough to make things equal -not a tyranny -Solon implemented some reforms Four Main Results of Solon's Reform 1. Emancipation of the peasantry -all previous debts were canceled -personal bondage (debt slavery) abolished -land was not redistributed across the pop., but limits were put in place to control the size of land holdings any one individual could directly control 2. Curtailment of Aristocratic Power -citizens divided into 4 classes: 1. Pentakosiomedimnoi: Owned land producing at least 500 bushels of grain/yr 2. Hippeis: Owned land producing 300-500 bushels of grain/yr 3. Zuegitai: Served in the army (hoplites) 4. Thetes: Owned nothing (majority of population) -'timocracy' = rule by those who owned property 3. Economic reform and stimulus package -revised weights and measures to facilitate trade-common mechanism of exchange -encouraged domestic production of grain, and prohibited export to ensure they had enough (self-sufficient) -offered citizenship to artisans to encourage immigration -encouraged citizens to acquire a trade and punished those who were not self-sufficient 4. Codification of the Law -each citizen entitled to bring his case publicly to court (aeropagus) Two Basic Principles of Solon's Reform 1. Emancipation of the individual -kinship/clan ties no longer valid-be a member of the polis -allowed childless men to name an heir who was not necessarily a blood relation 2. Promotion of trade and crafts -economic engine on level above agriculture -Popular assembly elected Archons and Keeper of Treasury--but only
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