Presentation on theme: "Athens in the Archaic Age CITY-state like the others Had a BASILEUS (=king) The power of the basileus started fading; With the basileus there was."— Presentation transcript:
Athens in the Archaic Age CITY-state like the others Had a BASILEUS (=king) The power of the basileus started fading; With the basileus there was a council of aristocrats, called the Areopagus, from the name of the hill on which they met Towards oligarchy
Areopagus Council The Areopagus consisted of a varying number of members, The Areopagus elected nine archons, or "rulers," to run the state. The archons, always had to get the approval The archons became members of the Areopagus when their term in office expired, so, in reality, the Areopagus ruled the country.
Farmers- Slavery - Problems The farmers in the countryside produced mainly wheat, the wealthy and nobility owned estates that produced wine and olive oil. Wheat-farming poorly managed, however; (without crop rotation). Athenians began to import wheat and to export olive oil and wine. production of wheat fall, so did its price. even though the wealthy farmers were making money hand over fist, the average farmer had fallen deeply into debt to the wealthiest members of society. To pay for that debt, farmers sold their children, their wives, and even themselves into (limited) slavery both in Athens and abroad. The government under the control of the wealthy people – contrast with the average Athenian farmer
Solution> SOLON in 594 BC, the Areopagus and the people of Athens handed over all political power to a single individual, Solon. In effect a tyrant (term used as “basileus’ or king), Solon's mission was to reform the government and solve the slavery problems Seisachtheia = “shaking-off of burdens” (cancellation of debt) and elimination of debt- slavery
SOLON Law-giver, he gave to the Athenians: Four classes based on wealth Pentakosiomedimnoi: > 500 bushelmen = aristocrats Hippeis: “horsemen”: 500 > x > 300 = cavalry Zeugitai: “yokemen”: 300 > x > 200 = hoplites Thetes: “rowers”: 200 > x = oarsmen Political decisions no longer in hands of Areopagus only: boule (“council”) of 400 (100/tribe) and hence the demos (“people”) Post-Solonian Athens: discontent, civil war, the rise of a tyrannos
Division of Government with Solon The two wealthiest classes were allowed to serve on the Areopagus. The third class could serve on an elected council of four hundred people. COUNCIL OF 400: was organized according to the four tribes making up the Athenian people; each tribe was allowed to elect one hundred representatives from this third class. This council of four hundred served as a kind of balance or check to the power of the Areopagus. ASSEMBLY The fourth class, the poorest class, could participate in an assembly; this assembly voted on affairs brought to it by the council of four hundred, Assembly could elect local magistrates.
PEISISTRATUS Solon's new state lasted briefly. Indeed reform of the government, but the economic crisis was not solved, Athens was collapsing in anarchy. Of aristocratic origin Peisistratus, swept into power during this anarchy and set about restoring order. Although he was a military leader, with a mercenary army, Peisistratus began to actively build in and around Athens, He reformed Athenian religion and religious practices, cultural reform. He increased the power of the Assembly and the courts associated with the poorest classes, and used all his power to make sure that the Solonian government worked smoothly and that elections were held (provided his supporters were elected).
Peisistratus’ tyrannies Sources for Peisistratus: Herodotus, Thucydides, Atthidographers, Archon lists, Athenaion Politeia = "Constitution of the Athenians" 561/0 BCE with the club-bearers 556/5 BCE with Phye of Paiania 546/5 BCE with Battle of Pallene - 528/7 BCE