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Chapter 6

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Classical Studies
CLST 200

Chapter 6 Crisis in the Polis: Two solutions  Tyranny: the view from Corinth o Living under a very restricted aristocracy in these changing times brought many cities to a state of political crisis that ultimately led to a takeover by a strong-man or Tyrant  Term used to refer to any ruler who came to power by irregular means  In its archaic usage the word does not necessarily imply that ruler was tyrannical in modern sense.  Such men broke grip of aristocrats and opened the way for a revised political structure.  Made the Polis the focus of civic authority  People gained a greater share in their own government. o City of Corinth is best document of the archaic tyrannies  8 century – Corinth ruled by a singled clan in a closed aristocracy – The Bacchiads  Founded Corcyra and Syracuse in a single year  We know Corinth best through its pottery  Earliest form called protocorinthian o Characterized b motifs: stylized flowers and friezes of hybrid animals. o Used Black Figure, figures portrayed with black glaze and incised decoration  Vases were tiny.  Later vases show quantity production and Near Eastern Influences o This type of pottery is classified as Corinthian  Further distinguish between Early, Middle, and Late Corinthian  75 painters or groups are known. o Metic – free itinerant craftsmen  Enterprising man could attain status as a painter in Corinth o Not found elsewhere, looked down upon o They signed their names  Large tile and ceramics factory found in Corinth.  Imported large shipping amphorai – undecorated commercial pots used for shipping and storage  Lelantine War  Dispute over possession of Lelantine plain o Between Euboean Etreria and Chalcis  Corinth built a new type of warship, the trireme, for use by the Samians in this war  Chalcis ultimate victor  Corinth’s position weakened by growing power of Argos under its tyrant, Pheidon.  664 – war with own settlement of Corcyra o First sea battle known to Thucydides  Contributed to increased dissatisfaction with Bacchiad rule o Cypselus overthrew them.  Cypselus  Growing militarism in this time. o Significant rise in number of men who could equip themselves with armor.  Even sacrificed it to the God.  Portrayed as popular ruler.  Gained popularity through office of Polemarch (Army leader) o Refused to imprison those who failed to pay fines  Accepting security from debtors or providing it for them.  Killed the last Bacchiad king o Exiled remaining members and confiscated their property  Built settlements that safeguarded route to Italy and Sicily. o Also opened up trade with interior of Greece  Had a son named Periander  Periander  Built new ports  Built Diolkos – stone runway across the isthmus that enabled ships to be pulled across to avoid the dangerous sea voyage around the Peloponeesus.  Increased attention (possibly founded) cult of Demeter and Kore.  Became archetype of an evil tyrant.  Aristotle says that he did not tax the people as the state could live from its market and harbour dues. o Tyrants attested in cities of Megara, Sicyon, Epidauros, Mytilene, and somewhat later, Athens.  Deal with socioeconomic tensions by the actions of a strongman  Tyrants often popular rulers  Reward supporters by opening citizenship and offices to them. o Gave opportunities to wealthy middle class.  Sponsored useful public works.  Water supply and temple building were favourite projects .  Also sponsored elaborate and entertaining festivals and games that celebrated the gods of the whole polis rather than private cults of Aristocrats  By their patronage of poets they advertised their own fame and the glory of their polis, further increasing civic pride.  In most cases it was only 2 or 3 generation that personal rule began to become oppressive again.  The Spartan Solution o Sparta was universally acknowledged by Greeks to be preeminent military power. o Left no written records o Society closed to neighbours o Some scholars call the picture we have “the Spartan mirage” – an illusion not reality  Represents image created by Sparta to intimidate their enemies o Spartans were Dorians  As were Corinth, Argos, and Knossos.  Spoke Dorian dialect of Greek. o Command of best land in valley of Eurotas River. o Lay in the center of Lakonia, or Lakedaimonia  Position of security and isolation  Mountains to the East and West  Isolation a result of deliberate choices o Lakonia well-populated in the Bronze Age  Sparta home of Menelaus th  Mid 10 century a group of Dorians who had been expelled from their homeland a hundred years earlier returned to reclaim their heritage  Known as Heraklids (Sons of Heracles)  Ancestors of the Spartans  Aggressive and warlike people.  Turned inhabitants of the area into subservient people, helots.  Famous for instigating the “Dorian invasion” believed to have been responsible for destruction of Mycenaean palatial civilization o Helots  Somewhere between slave and free  Tied to the land and could not be sold  Not chattel slaves ( not someone’s property) o Property of the state o Family members could not be sold away.  Could form stable families  Agricultural labourers o Took care of land assigned to Spartan citizens  As distance increased they settled in larger groups and had less contact with Spartan masters.  Spartans institute the Krypteia, or Secret Service  Selected strongest of their young men under 30. o Took only knives and food into the countryside. o Hid by day and killed strong helots or helots with leadership by night.  Annual declaration of Formal War on Helots  Spartan could kill helots with impunity during this time. o No pollution  Accompanied Spartan hoplites in battle as servers  Drafted into hoplite corps as Neodamodes o Inferior status. o Perioikoi  “Those living round about”  Inferior status  Groups under Spartan control  May have voluntarily subjected themselves.  Others may have been coerced.  Relegated to craft production and trade.  Did not bring high status  Manufactured and repaired the arms and equipment of Spartan army o Sparta did not share its name with the outlying territory  Citizens called Spartiates or Spartans.  Territory called Lakonia or Lakedaimonia o Had large quantities of Murex  Lakonians and Taras were primary producers of this dye  Used to color the famous crimson cloaks worn by Spartan hoplite warriors  Conquest of Messenia and its Consequences o Spartans used too many resources  Looked to the fertile land of the Messenians on the other side of Mount Taygetus o 1 Messenian War – 740-720  Spartans were the victors  Messenians who lived in outlying towns became Perioikoi  Those in fertile areas became Helots  Conquest made Sparta wealthy  Built first temple of Artemis Orthia  Most of riches from the war and a continuing trade in slaves  Founding of Taras a consequence of this  During this war that men were sent back.  Systia – common meals that Spartans ate together.  Lived and fought together.  Land allotted to wealthy Spartans  Expected half of the crops  Required Helots to deliver the produce themselves  New helots lived in constant hope of regaining freedo
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