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November 15

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Victoria Wohl

CLA232 Lecture November 15, 2012  Solon responsible for radical democracy, but also for the problems that emerged  Solon mitigated extreme disparity of wealth  Didn’t redistribute land like poor people hoped; o But abolished debt slavery (shaking off of debts)-no longer can you be sol dinto slavery bc of poverty o Other end of spectrum: tried to mitigiate economic resentment caused by economic inequality but cutting back on conspicuous consumption (banning elaborate dowries, women cant hold baskets more than 18inches high, no fancy funerals etc.)  Citizen as an eleutheros- defined by tyrants and slave  Solon’s reforms establishing this def of citizen and contrast on an economic plane o One one side cits no matter how poor can not be slaves; on the other hand, no matter how rich a citizen gets, he can’t go around acting like a tyrant showing off his wealth  Economic reforms establish the principle of political equality  But ddn’t eliminate underline economic disparity  Doesn’t get rid of it, just mitigates its wrose symptoms o Treated the symptoms not the disease  So continues and erupts in serious outburst  In 4 and 5 century- there persisted an old elite that continued on bc solon didn’t get rid of them, or say what you can and can’t own o So elite can trace ancestry back to great aristocratic family of archaic oeriod o Some will trace it back to gods o One of these peoples is pericles- his ancestor Chilon- was a rival for tyrannical power  Beacon of democratic power, but from family that was trying to get tyranny power  Elite of birth*- born from normal families  Tension- talked about auchtonony- no matter how poor you are, youre a child of Athena so youre a kind of elite; but in this over arching ideal, some are more elite then others; difference th from jo blow farmer and pericles (whos father was the most powerful and rich man in 6 century) Have this paradox that all ahtenians think of themselves as superior by phusis but some are more rich then others  Didn’t redistribute wealth so have elite of wealth along side this elite of birth  So consolidate this wealth by intermarrying, investing, good use of money  Within Athens, although pol demo. Get an elite of wealth  Elite defined by birth, wealth but also EDUCATION Elitism works like this in democracies  Democracy is uncomfortable with entrenched elite bc principel of demo is everyone has equal opportunity CLA232 Lecture November 15, 2012  E.g. ffree public educ.  If doesn’t exist, then those who can afford to pay a tutor, etc. then they will have huge advatntage  So in Athens have situation that radical pol democracy, but within this equal cit body, theres unequal wealth and elite o Raises danger that those with better educ, will ave money, connections power etc. therefor ethe democracy will devolve in not the rule of everybody but the rule of the wealthy few-oligarchy or pleutocracy  So have these people better by birth, can trace ancestry to greatest warriors, more power, richer, so can see this as class issues  So causes 2 oligarchic coos  So have persisten danger going back to solon’s reforms, that economic inequality will undermine Athens political equality************************  Athenians well aware of this danger; mitigated it byt builing safe garuds into pol const’n  How democracy actually worked then Rotation of office offices rotate, revolve, held for short time then go to someone else Sortition offices were filled by lot and not by election; picking ames out of a hat basically;  Fundamental prinipcles of Athenian polis  Athenian emphasis on elutheria- free and master of himself; this logic if pushed to extreme might make them very hard to govern; bc if totally free, and someone says you cant park here, or pay your taxes, youc an’t tell me to do anything bc im an elutherias o Risk of anarchy  Athenians addressed this though rotation of office- no one held an office for more than one year  When name was chosen, they would undergo public scrutiny, where jury of citizens would make sure they were a citizen, go through audit etc.  Rotation of office: gaurentees that no one is every in charge of anyone lese on permanent basis  Aristotle: def of demoracy- constitution in which citizens are alternately ruled and ruling*  Never a situation where ruling is entrenched  Bc every office holder undergoes scrutiny at beginning and end of ruling, demos always holds control Sortition not based on abliyt, or ablity to campaign well, played into Athenian mentality that every citizen was capable of ruling; we’re all children of Athena, we’re all pol comittied, and all capable of holding office  Maintains equality then bw citzens  Politicians are only in office bc their unlucky or lucky; random what differentiates a politican from the people their governing  Wealthy and educated no more likely to have name picked then anyone else CLA232 Lecture November 15, 2012 Institutes law that anyone can arrest somoen, bc we’re all eqwulaly competent to do it In a civil war, everyone has to take a stance, can’t be neutral- every citizen has to have a stake in the city Not a full democracy yet then, as it will be under peracles, but seeds being planted; every cit has a right and responsibility to particiatep in running of this state Of the 700+ positions in politics, the most important are the Archons* Archon- oversaw th administration of the entire state; solon had this position; sort of like the P.M.; but 9 of them instaed of 1, and chosen by lot and served only for a year  9 would divide the functions between them  One in charge of religion, etc. Stategos: military leader; the general; two of them every year; they were elected; they were democrats but they weren’t idiots; don’t want to be led into battle by some guy whos name has been picked out of a hat; only elected position*** one position to actually consolidate a certain amount of political power bc you could hold it several times; Peracles held this position for 10 yrs and when he said the funeral oration; elected by the people, after the first year of the war, they thought they had lost so many of their brothers and sons that they voted him out of office, but then facing Spartans next year so voted him back in; even with strategos, power still rests with people cause can vote them in and out of office; only position with political continuity or consolidation can take place  Talking about magistrates, stragtegos etc. are the executive branch of gov’t; the gov’t that rules  Had a legislative branch as well-made the laws- called the *Boulé** o Council of 500 citizens, decided which issues would be presented to the assembled demos to vote on o They take the issues before voted on and do fact finding, research, matter of presenting people, shape the laws that will then be voted on by assembly  Shaping the issues gives them quitea bit of poers  Served for one year, and twice in your life; so almost every citizen has probably been called up to serve  Met 260 days a year; a lot of time- presidency in council was rotating; someone that stands up and says stop talking and lets vote  So chances of being on council were pretty good  Some scholars call the boule the polis in miniature- allowed a fundmental experience of governance to every citizen, l  The other body of legislature the ekklésia- met at least once a month, sometimes upt o 3, depending on how mnay laws/rulings the boule passed on to it  Arguments presented by boule, are we going to go to war or not, then this deciciosn will be brough to the 6000 people; method for getting people up to cnix, agora (?) where they would vote, hold big red rope and walked through, with paint, and if you don’t go up there youre robe will be ruined CLA232 Lecture November 15, 2012  Everything will start with swearing an oath (tyranny is bad etc.)  Then herald would go up and say who wants to speak, and anyone can speak if they want  So those who spoke are the ones with more confidence, more education a
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