CLA237H5 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Ardi, Hursley, Ringfort

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18 May 2016
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Chapter 8- Archaic Greece, 800-480 BC: Economy, Society, Politics
-Living standards rose
-Equal male citizenship became the core principle of social organization
-Beliefs were systematized
-Intellectual revolution began
-Violent conflict within poleis for control of larger regions/ within poleis where individuals and factions among rich struggled for
power, while poor struggled against them
Government By Oligarchy
-“rule of the few”
-In bronze age greeks had kings called wanakes, weaker kings, basileis, replaced wanakes in Dark Age.
-Oligarchy – handful of men or a council of hundreds
-Rule by oligarchy sets archaic poleis apart from Greeces neighbours in western Asia were typical states were monarchies (“rule by
one man”)
-Rich oligarchs not elevated above ordinary citizens
-Across 6th/7th centuries, mire and more power came into poorer citizen’s hands
-As archaic period wore on, ordinary citizens increasingly challenged the right of any man, no matter how rich or talented, to make
decisions for the entire community
-By 525 BC we hear about the demos “the people as a whole making important decisions in several poleis
-Three main reasons why Archaic Greek agathoi (rich-“good ppl”) had relatively little power in the face of kakoi (poor-the “bad ppl”)
were economic, military and ideological
Wealth
-Land and labour were bases of wealth within Greece
-More land and labourmore goodsmore to trade (be it within community or across Mediterranean)
-Most houses had ¾ rooms around a small courtyard by 600 BC
-Narrow gap b/w rich and poor in Archaic Greece is an important reason why Greek aristocrats were weaker than in the developed
societies of the East
War
-Second reason why Archaic Greek aristocrats were relatively weak was military. The Greeks developed a peculiar way to fight,
devastatingly effective in the right conditions but leaving little scope for aristocrats as heroic leaders
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