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CL101 - Oct 11, 2012.doc

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Nirmal Dass

OCTOBER 11, 2012 Thursday - 2 response assignment due, NOT TUESDAY Look atAthens and its rise and fall within context of certain ideas: Synoecism = amalgamation (process of uniting), in the particular region, village, cities or province of Greece agree to become a collective In province of Attica, the biggest city isAthens – so people called inAttica called themselves Athenians. -entered willingly, no force -easy, successful process Political system/structure in Greece: -Oligarchy (only a few or the elite own/control the city; elitism) (usually have a noble history) − set up colonies because of problem with class distinctions (have and have-not's) − ^vote people out to go colonize (elite vote them out – you must go or be put to death) − colonizers will get land, something they can't get in Greece (some are ready and eager to leave) − poor won't create problem for people still in the region because they're out to colonize -Timocracy (power belong to those who own property) (people can gain power by buying land) − power to people who “invested” in the city − brings in people who are not of noble history; they just need lots of money, don't need to be born into class − where most of Synoecism takes place -Aristocracy − means kingship − descendents of kings, gods, etc − not found in Greece (got rid of long ago) When we talk about the Greek world, we're talking about theAthenians because of their importance and contribution − not Oligarchy nor a Timocracy, and do not have colonies to separate rich and poor − does not mean they don't have social problems (they do, like the rich vs. poor) − Solon (594BC) becomes ruler ofAthens by election − his first priority is to negate the rising social problems ofAthens and he looks at other cities and doesn't want that to happen toAthens − Elites inAthens are kind of oligarchic but recognize the need to bring someone in, so they elect Solon − Solon: what debt you have, you do not owe money (don't have to pay back) “no more debt” − ^before, when they owed money = crime, sell themselves as slaves to pay off debt or go to prison (until you can pay the debt) − debt had interest (compounded interest) − debt adds further tension between have and have-not's − stop owing to the elites (because they have wealth) − how was debt incurred? − System of people renting and farming land − had to pay landowner a large portion of what they made − if they could not pay back portion, debt was incurred Lydia (a place) apx 600, maybe 620BC − Lydia invents an interesting process (money) that revolutionize trade − before was just barter system − a symbolic transaction (money = potential buying power) − tribute toAthens: what if we gave you this coin to represent some kind of wealth (coupon) – the equivalent in currency − Athens adopts it, so becauseAthens is the largest portion in Northern Greece, everywhere else starts using this currency − introduction of proper commercialism − middleman is created – enables/facilitates the trade/movement of goods − ^happens at a crucial time atAthens so it wants to retain the merchant class to keep commence − middle class is created − ^a lot ofAthen's wealth is held with the middle class − makes taxation easier (ie. Coins instead of 10chickens) – easy to moderate, control and to collect − influx of foreigners (gives people a chance to make a living inAthens) − ^ Metics (what they're called) − Port Piraeus where the ships
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