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Lecture

CLA - Solon and Athenian citizens shall be equal.docx

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Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA232H1
Professor
Victoria Wohl

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 Since all he Athenian citizens were equal, you couldn’t just assault another citizen.  If you attacked a slave, he couldn’t do anything about it. o But it was like assaulting another citizen’s property. Almost like sleeping with his wife.  Slave COULD grow to some sort of ‘authority’. If they were literate and their master liked them. The slave could be ‘in charge’ of the estate.  But ultimately slaves were tools, not people. No power or Freedom. o Tyrant – who monipalizes all power and freedom. Opposite of a slave  In Athens a citizen is between these two extreme.  Athens associated tyrants to Barbarian.  During the Arcaic period, most of the Greek city states were ruled by tyrants, until the tyrant is overthrown. th  In the 6 century, there were lots of factions. Ultimately, __________ Takes over Athens.  Well ultimately others unite, and he is overthrown, but then he uses the Athena “beautiful women” trick.  Then he is exiled again. Finally he gathers an army, and fully takes over Athens. This takes place in mid 6 century.  His sons are Hippias and Hipparchus. Hippias appears to be a good leader. But Hipparchus was NOT. He was indulgent, etc.  He fell in love with Harmodius. But Harmodius belonged? To Aristogeiton. And after Hipparchus takes Harmodius against his will, Aristogeiton kills him  This is the end of the tyranny.  This is important, because this story defines Athenians as Tyrant haters from the very start.  Hipparchus tries to take Harmodies against his will, and is punished by death for trying to take a citizen’s right.  When Xerxes invaded the Acropolis and Athens, he STOLE this statue of Harmodius and Aristogeiton. This statue was VERY important.  At symposium they sang thng aboth these two people, AND their descendents received tax breaks all throughout 4 and 5 century. This is how important these people were thought. Solon (590’s BCE)  An archon, a chief magistrate of Athens. He wrote laws that were the foundation for the Athenian laws.  He was a founding figure, and the Athenians projected back the best qualities of Athenian onto Solon.  Solon ‘embodies’ Greek values, like in his conversation with Creosus.  Plutart tells us. That he was perceived by both the poor and the rich as great.  He criticizes tyranny. Says it’s a great place to be in, but a very difficult road out.  His poem show his moderation, and median position.  He says he gave people as much as they deserved.  Instituted Medan Agan. A balance between the rich and the poor. Between different factions.  Constitution – created sharing of power between different groups, so that there could be no tyranny.  Plutart tells us how Solon came to power. Athens had been at war with _____, but after winning? They gave up the possession? o Because Solon dressed up as a slave, and said a poem that it is necessary to continue this battle.  He is then made leader of the forces as they go back to war for the island. o This is important, because just like Pasistratus, he DOESN’t get to power constitutionally. He also tricks the people.  Solon was actually before Pasistratus and he tries to prevent the rise of Pasistratus and beraves at his people for embracing him as a leader.  Plutart tells us, even though he was very old, he harang at the citizens in the market place “not to surrender their liberty”, that a tyrant would make all of them into slaves.  At the beginning Pasistratus and Solon were friends… and maybe even lovers.  Even at the end when Solon was raving against Tyranny. Pasistratus didn’t exile him. But instead invited him into his house, and even used him as an advisor.  Athenians define tyranty as the opposite of democracy. YET Solon was advisor and maybe even lover of the tyrant.  This is similar to how Athenians think about t
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