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Lecture 27

HISTORY 36B Lecture 27: History 36 B Lecture 27

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Professor Brusuelas
History 36 B
Judicial Reforms
All citizens males could serve in Heliaia (court) as jurors
Any male citizens could bring an indictment if he believed a crime had
been committed
Left Draco’s laws pretty much untouched, but reduced penalties
Amnesty for those exiled for crimes other than homicide and attempted
tyranny (alcmaeonids likely returned as a result)
Men with no children could bequeath their property however they wished
(not just given to relatives)
This allowed for the possible creation of new wealthy families,
rather than wealthy staying with a few families
Social Reforms
Citizenship and the means to it via birth of great concern
Fathers could not sell their children into slavery, except an
unmarried daughter who turned out not to be a virgin
Women’s life was largely regulated to the household, except for
religious purposes (only slaves and poor women would regularly
go out in public to the market, etc)
Curbing ostentatious behavior of the wealthy focused on funerals
Laying out the body (prothesis) indoors only
Transporting the body (ekphora) before sunrise on the succeeding
day, men in front/women in back
Only women 60 years or related to the deal within degree of
second cousin could not participate
Women and the dead could wear no more than 3 cloaks (himatia)
Food and drink in the funeral procession must not be worth one
obol (laborer’s day wage was 6 obols)
Solon’s laws enshrined
Solon believed his laws were governed by the principle of governance by
good laws (eunomia)
In times of civil strife, every many must choose a side
Laws were inscribed on wood tablets called axones and displayed in the
Athenians agreed to keep laws in effect for 100 years
Each archon had to pledge to uphold the laws upon taking office
Solon’s legacy
Included in the list of the seven sages
Left athens after his reforms, supposedly so that no one would appeal for
more reforms/revisions
Later sources sometimes considered from the father of athenian
democracy, since he created a free lower class, and drew a line between
freedom and slavery in the context of athenian citizenship (N.B. Solon did
not oppose the institution of slavery)
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