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Lecture 2

HISTORY 36B Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Debt Bondage, Homicide, Hippeis


Department
History
Course Code
HISTORY 36B
Professor
Brusuelas
Lecture
2

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Professor Brusuelas
History Department
History 36 B
History of Ancient Greece
Course Code: 26580
Course Code: 26581
4 units
No Pre-Reqs
Location: HG 1800
Notes
Draco
Either a man or possibly a group of priests on the Acropolis that worshipped a
sacred snake (drakon = snake in Greek)
Laws
Replace family/kin with the state in matters of intentional and
unintentional homicide
Before Draco’s revisions, family had to settle matters of murder, usually
via vengeance or monetary compensation
Now next of kin could still prosecute, but matter decided upon by
officials
Little is know about Draco’s full revisions, but he used the death penalty
frequently
Call for revision suggests some kind of unrest
Attempt to established fixed principles of justice, remove older
cultural/customary law
Solon
A problem of Land
The formation of the athenian polis
Driven by aristocratic families who took over the majority of land
How?
Those with smaller amount of land faced the problem of inheritance
Could be divided so many times over generations
Result
Families with barely enough land or no land
Politics and Economy in the 6th Century BCE
Aristocrats controlled public offices
Aristocrats main employer for those without land or in need of more
Debt slavery
“Renting” land to those in need, but with any bad harvest,
slippery slope to large amounts of debt
Critical point reached
Number of poor increasing vs. small number of wealthy families
Poor and Rich
How did this relationship work?
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