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Paving the road to democracy-Religion and Politics- important figures

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1 Paving the road to democracy-Religion and Politics- important figures
Solon Peisistratus Cleisthenes

2 From 6th to 5th century- Towards Democracy
594 Solon was appointed archon, with powers to inaugurate reforms. - He cancelled all land debts (seisachtheia), freed all debt slaves, instituted a milder code of laws, reformed earlier criminal code (known as Draco’s laws, known to be strict) redistributed political powers. He divided the citizens into four property classes, each of which was eligible for certain political offices. Set up the Council of 400 and increased the powers of the assembly. He established a new ruling body, the boule or council, composed of 400 members. It was claimed its function was to hold the balance between the areopagus (Council of Elders) and the ecclesia (Assembly of Citizens). He created four new classes that were based on wealth and not on birth (timocracy?)

3 AREOPAGUS The areopagus with the Solonian Reforms had its power reduced since the boule (COUNDIL of 400) took over the role of preparing the legislation for the ecclesia (assembly of citizens). The Aregopagus could forbid any legislation that was unconstitutional, It consisted of the archons who were now elected by all citizens.

4 COURTS The courts were made up from all citizens, and the panels of judges were selected by lot (i.e. their names were chosen from an urn or piece of pottery). This meant all classes of citizens had a chance to act as judges. As these courts overviewed the conduct of all officials (magistrates), they were, at least in theory, in complete control of the state.

5 Radical Democracy and Oligarchy
So Athens under Solon had many elements that would later be a part of the radical democracy— democratic juries, an Assembly A Council, selection of officials by lot rather than by vote —while retaining many oligarchic elements in the form of property qualifications and a powerful Council of the Areopagus. According to Herodotus, after formulating these new laws for a new Athenian Constitution, Solon made the people swear to obey them, unchanged, for ten years, then went abroad from Athens (Hdt ).

6 After SOLON Peisistratus (Peisistratos) the tyrant ruled Athens. His tyranny was an important stage as his rule was able to further diminish the power of the aristocracy. Period of instability followed Cleisthenes to power - introduced democratic reforms. Citizenship was no longer defined in terms of the four traditional tribal ties. Ten new tribes were formed, each tribe made up of trittyes (thirds), [based on the geographic location: city, inland and coast] and the trittyes were made up of demes. The membership of the deme guaranteed citizenship. The Assembly of 500 was also created during his leadership. (See Herodotus, The Histories, V, 66, 69, 73 and Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, 20) 495Pericles (nephew of Cleisthenes) was born.

7 CLEISTHENES According to Aristotle’s The Constitution of Athens
“Cleisthenes appointed ten eponymous heroes for the tribes, chosen by the Delphic priestess from a pre-selected list of a hundred founding heroes” Reforms of Cleisthenes 508/7> important for paving the road towards Athenian Democracy as a political system

8 City Administration Annually selected magistrates Nine archons Cleisthenes’s reforms aimed at breaking the power of the aristocratic families, replacing regional loyalties (and factionalism) with pan-Athenian solidarity, and preventing the rise of another tyrant.

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