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Lecture 26

HISTORY 36B Lecture 26: History 36 B Lecture 26

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Professor Brusuelas
History 36 B
Poor and Rich
How did this relationship work?
Funding of government in athens
Funding and command of the army/navy
Funding of major civic religious festivals
Money paid by an aristocrat to the city of athens
The Greek Polis: what level of poverty is “acceptable”?
Athenians commission solon to solve this problem
Solon of Athens
7th/6th century bce
Known as a wise man
Fragments of his poetry are preserved
Defends his reforms
Decries the greed of the rich
Virtue is more important than wealth
Notes that many good people are poor
Defended the rights of the elite and their large control of public affairs
Debt Reforms
Sixth partners, perhaps they owed a sixth of their produce to the wealthy
landowners to pay debts, or pay this portion for protection
Debt was so bad that some had even sold members of their family
or even themselves to creditors
Debt slavery abolished
Solon freed anyone who was a slave as a result of debt
Tried to repatriate those sold into slavery outside of athens
Canceled debts of al hektemoroi
Illegal for loans to be secured by anyone’s property or person
Economic Reforms
Adopted the more common Euboeic system of weights and measures to facilitate
more trade/trade partners
Promoted olive cultivation for export of oil
Illegal to export grain (to be kept at home for citizens)
Offered citizenship to artisans exiled from other regions to grow production and
export of material goods
To those non-exiled living in attica, established them as metics (non-citizenship
All sons had to learn a trade
Council of Areopagus could inquire about a man’s ability to support himself, even
be punished if failed
Political Reform
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