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Archaic Greece (800 BCE – 500 BCE) The rise of Athens, Sparta, Draco, Solon, and Lycurgus,

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Presentation on theme: "Archaic Greece (800 BCE – 500 BCE) The rise of Athens, Sparta, Draco, Solon, and Lycurgus,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Archaic Greece (800 BCE – 500 BCE) The rise of Athens, Sparta, Draco, Solon, and Lycurgus,

2 The Polis (city-state) The primary political structure of ancient Greece The primary political structure of ancient Greece Fiercely independent and sovereign entities Fiercely independent and sovereign entities Principal functions = Cult center, government, trade, defense Principal functions = Cult center, government, trade, defense Consequences = fractious politics in Greece; warfare endemic Consequences = fractious politics in Greece; warfare endemic

3 Aristotle ( BCE) writing about the Polis in his book Politics Foundation of civilized life: “Hence it is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that man is by nature a political animal. And he who by nature and not by mere accident is without a state, is either above humanity or below it;” Foundation of civilized life: “Hence it is evident that the state is a creation of nature, and that man is by nature a political animal. And he who by nature and not by mere accident is without a state, is either above humanity or below it;” Natural outgrowth of the family – several families come together into a village – several villages into a polis Natural outgrowth of the family – several families come together into a village – several villages into a polis The polis exists to facilitate not merely survival, but “the good life”: “When several villages are united into a single community, perfect and large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of the good life.” The polis exists to facilitate not merely survival, but “the good life”: “When several villages are united into a single community, perfect and large enough to be nearly or quite self-sufficing, the state comes into existence, originating in the bare needs of life, and continuing in existence for the sake of the good life.”

4 A World of Revolutions Political Life in the Dark Ages Universally Aristocratic (literally the Best have the power) Universally Aristocratic (literally the Best have the power) strongmen with power based on the being from the best families family strongmen with power based on the being from the best families family Free persons belonged to a genos (clan), each clan belonged to a phylos (tribe), and each tribe belonged to a phratry (brotherhood) Free persons belonged to a genos (clan), each clan belonged to a phylos (tribe), and each tribe belonged to a phratry (brotherhood) Aristocratic right to rule was arbitrary and not questioned Aristocratic right to rule was arbitrary and not questioned Constrained by nomos (custom) but the aristocrat decided what constituted nomos Constrained by nomos (custom) but the aristocrat decided what constituted nomos

5 Political Developments of the Archaic Age (750 – 500 BCE) Oligarchies Rule replace aristocracies Oligarchies Rule replace aristocracies Oligarchy means the few rule - those most successful in trade, wealth etc Oligarchy means the few rule - those most successful in trade, wealth etc Development of Law Codes Development of Law Codes to protect against arbitrary justice to protect against arbitrary justice Rise of Tyrants Rise of Tyrants Initially one strong, capable man ruling Initially one strong, capable man ruling Later as tyrants became cruel – the word meant cruel ruler Later as tyrants became cruel – the word meant cruel ruler The Emergence of Democracy The Emergence of Democracy The idea that people should make their own rules The idea that people should make their own rules not be ruled by hereditary rulers (kings, aristocrats) or strong bullies (oligarchs or tyrants) not be ruled by hereditary rulers (kings, aristocrats) or strong bullies (oligarchs or tyrants) NOTE: Oligarchy, Tyranny, Democracy, and Law-Codes did not evolve according to ideological precepts but as pragmatic responses to immediate problems NOTE: Oligarchy, Tyranny, Democracy, and Law-Codes did not evolve according to ideological precepts but as pragmatic responses to immediate problems

6 Principal Reasons for Political Change Aristocratic Competition amongst themselves Aristocratic Competition amongst themselves Oligarchic Competition amongst themselves Oligarchic Competition amongst themselves Increase in general economic prosperity Increase in general economic prosperity –Colonies were being established for trade from Italy to Asia minor –The was an emergence of a wealthy class Changes in the Nature of Warfare (Hoplite Revolution) Changes in the Nature of Warfare (Hoplite Revolution) Rise in the Importance of the People (Demos) Rise in the Importance of the People (Demos)

7 Sparta

8 Archaic Sparta Ruled by a Monarchy down to about 700 BCE Ruled by a Monarchy down to about 700 BCE Conquered neighbouring Messenia (730 BCE – 710 BCE) Conquered neighbouring Messenia (730 BCE – 710 BCE) Messenians reduced to semi-slave status (Helots) Messenians reduced to semi-slave status (Helots) Spartans solve internal strife through Spartans solve internal strife through –conquest of Messenia and –Appointing a Law-giver (Lycurgus) to develop a new law code

9 The Reforms of Lycurgus Social Divisions Spartan society totally transformed into 3 classes Spartan society totally transformed into 3 classes Spartan citizens; comprised of 9,000 families Spartan citizens; comprised of 9,000 families –given equal allotments of land to be worked by the Helots (slaves) –Spartan males trained exclusively for war –Spartan women trained to manage the home and produce soldiers “Those who dwell around”; “Those who dwell around”; –Free citizens of surrounding villages under direct Spartan control –must supply troops to Spartan army Helots = Semi-slave caste Helots = Semi-slave caste –comprised of conquered Messenians –tied to land owned by Spartiates –farmed land and surrendered portion to Spartan citizens; No rights

10 The Reforms of Lycurgus Political Lycurgus credited with the established a “mixed constitution” Lycurgus credited with the established a “mixed constitution” –2 kings (Religious/Military Functions) –Gerousia = council of elders of kings –Spartiates = 9,000 male citizens –Ephors = executive/administrative board of 5 (Policed magistrates/Judicial functions)

11 Spartan Discipline Sole aim of the Spartan state is warfare Sole aim of the Spartan state is warfare All Spartans free from providing for themselves (i.e. live off Helot labor) All Spartans free from providing for themselves (i.e. live off Helot labor) Children inspected at birth – the weak were exposed to die Children inspected at birth – the weak were exposed to die From 7 to 18 years boys sent to agoge to be schooled in hardship and discipline From 7 to 18 years boys sent to agoge to be schooled in hardship and discipline Between 18 and 20 years, boys were assigned to military camps for training Between 18 and 20 years, boys were assigned to military camps for training Between 20 and 30 young men were assigned to barracks to continue military training and could not return home (even if married) Between 20 and 30 young men were assigned to barracks to continue military training and could not return home (even if married) At 30 years one became a man and a citizen (Homoioi) and was assigned to a mess (syssitia) At 30 years one became a man and a citizen (Homoioi) and was assigned to a mess (syssitia) Women were schooled in gymnastics and physical disciplined Women were schooled in gymnastics and physical disciplined Women were expected to give birth to and raise good soldiers Women were expected to give birth to and raise good soldiers

12 Xenophon writing of Spartans in the 5 th century Spartan Eugenics Spartan Eugenics “A father had not the right of bringing up his offspring but had to carry it to a place called Lesche where the elders of the tribes sat in judgment upon the child. If they thought it well-built and strong, they ordered the father to rear it…but if it was mean-looking or misshapen, they sent it away to the place called Exposure, a glen at the foot of Mount Taygetus, for they considered that a child that did not start out healthy and strong would be handicapped in his own life and of no value to the state….” (Xenophon, Const. Lac. 14. Lim & Bailkey, 2002) “A father had not the right of bringing up his offspring but had to carry it to a place called Lesche where the elders of the tribes sat in judgment upon the child. If they thought it well-built and strong, they ordered the father to rear it…but if it was mean-looking or misshapen, they sent it away to the place called Exposure, a glen at the foot of Mount Taygetus, for they considered that a child that did not start out healthy and strong would be handicapped in his own life and of no value to the state….” (Xenophon, Const. Lac. 14. Lim & Bailkey, 2002) Educating Spartan Boys Educating Spartan Boys “ Nor was each man allowed to bring up and educate his son as he chose, but as soon as the boys were seven years old Lycurgus took them from their parents and enrolled them in companies. Here they lived and ate in common and shared their play and work…The older men watched them at their play, and by instituting fights and trials of strength, accurately learned which were the bravest and the strongest…As they grew older their training became more severe…They were taught to steal…if one is caught, he is severely whipped for stealing carelessly and clumsily…The boys steal with such earnestness that there is a story of one who had taken a fox’s cub and hidden it under his cloak, and, though his entrails were being torn out by the claws and teeth of the beast, persevered in concealing it until he died…” (Xenophon, Const. Lac Lim & Bailkey, 2002 “ Nor was each man allowed to bring up and educate his son as he chose, but as soon as the boys were seven years old Lycurgus took them from their parents and enrolled them in companies. Here they lived and ate in common and shared their play and work…The older men watched them at their play, and by instituting fights and trials of strength, accurately learned which were the bravest and the strongest…As they grew older their training became more severe…They were taught to steal…if one is caught, he is severely whipped for stealing carelessly and clumsily…The boys steal with such earnestness that there is a story of one who had taken a fox’s cub and hidden it under his cloak, and, though his entrails were being torn out by the claws and teeth of the beast, persevered in concealing it until he died…” (Xenophon, Const. Lac Lim & Bailkey, 2002 Educating Spartan Girls Educating Spartan Girls Considering education to be the most important and noblest work of a law-giver, he began at the very beginning by regulating marriages and the birth of children…He strengthened the bodies of the girls by exercise in running, wrestling, and hurling the discus or the javelin, in order that their children might spring from a healthy source and grow up strong, and that they themselves might have strength to easily endure the pains of childbirth. He did away with all seclusion and retirement of women, and ordained that girls, no less than boys, should go naked in processions, and dance and sing at festivals in the presence of young men…This nakedness of the maidens had in it nothing disgraceful. It was done modestly, not licentiously, and it produced habits of simplicity and taught them to desire good health and beauty of body, and to love honor and courage no less than the men.” (Xenophon, Const. Lac. 14. Lim & Bailkey, 2002) Considering education to be the most important and noblest work of a law-giver, he began at the very beginning by regulating marriages and the birth of children…He strengthened the bodies of the girls by exercise in running, wrestling, and hurling the discus or the javelin, in order that their children might spring from a healthy source and grow up strong, and that they themselves might have strength to easily endure the pains of childbirth. He did away with all seclusion and retirement of women, and ordained that girls, no less than boys, should go naked in processions, and dance and sing at festivals in the presence of young men…This nakedness of the maidens had in it nothing disgraceful. It was done modestly, not licentiously, and it produced habits of simplicity and taught them to desire good health and beauty of body, and to love honor and courage no less than the men.” (Xenophon, Const. Lac. 14. Lim & Bailkey, 2002)


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