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Four Reformers Draco (621 B.C.) Written code of laws

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1 Four Reformers Draco (621 B.C.) Written code of laws
Solon (594 B.C.) Eliminated debt slavery Peisistratus (546 B.C.) Caters to peasants Cleisthenes (508 B.C.) Council of 500

2 Athens famous for being primary basis of Western Civilization
Its democracy wasn’t always constant Its form slightly different than what we’re familiar with. Athens originally a kingdom morphed into more of an aristocracy that became unstable, partially due to oral and arbitrary laws 621 BC, Draco appointed to codify the laws Unpopular move because the laws (both as they already existed and were codified by Draco, but also most especially as designed by Draco) were extremely harsh.

3 More on Draco… Death was the penalty for even minor crimes, like stealing vegetables. Draco claimed that this was an appropriate punishment and if something even worse were found, he would have applied to greater crimes. Different classes were also treated differently – debtors could be sold into slavery if in debt to a higher class. An upside is that murder was punished by the state instead of by blood-feud vendettas. It is from Draco that the term ‘draconian’ derives.

4 Solon The Athenian lawmaker that first established the basis of civil democracy Draco’s constitution wasn’t working out too well and in 594 BC, Solon revised it (almost completely). Solon threw out all of Draco’s laws except those concerning homicide. He had to strike a balance between the concerns of the aristocracy and those of the poor. The poor were disgruntled at the possibility of they and their families being sold into slavery if they were in debt to an aristocrat. The aristocrats wanted to prevent a revolution and keep their wealth (and their skin).

5 All outstanding debts were abolished. Death penalty only for murder.
Some reforms: Debt-slavery was abolished. Anybody who had been sold into slavery due to debt was liberated. All outstanding debts were abolished. Death penalty only for murder. Classes were based on income, not birth Pentakosiomedimnoi: Those whose land produced 500 bushels per annum Hippeis: Those who were worth 300 bushels Zeugitai: Those who were worth 200 bushels Thetes: Manual laborers. Move was important because it helped break the power of hereditary aristocracy

6 Some reforms cont. Introduced trial by jury
Set up new system of government Included a third class in the Boule (council of 400 – 100 from each of the four tribes) After the new laws published and official, he left Athens for 10 years to avoid temptation to become a tyrant though he was effectively one in making the laws Went touring. Neither the poor nor the rich of Athens happy about new laws at first the aristocrats had debts to them abolished and the poor didn’t get more wealth, but they liked them over time.

7 Peisistratus (Hippocrates’s son)
Mentee of Solon Became leader of Athens’ poor 565BC Initial attempts at seizing control of Athens failed Seized power in 560BC, Tyrant by 546BC. Made popular reforms. Reduced taxation Introduced festivals Increased trade and commerce Produced coin money Beautified the city

8 Peisistratus cont. Had official copies of the Iliad & Odyssey written.
Helped the poor, gave them jobs through public works, Poor were satisfied & supported him. Preserved the democratic institutions, but loaded upper bodies with family & cronies. When he first took power in 560 BC, it was through cunning deception. Did it again later. Solon urged the Athenians to resist Peisistratus, but they were too cowardly and Peisistratus too powerful. Solon himself openly opposed Peisistratus.

9 Cleisthenes Took power with Spartan help after Peisistratus’s son Hippias was exiled Reformed the government Previously, multiple tribes and conflict among the city folk, hill folk, and plain folk. Cleisthenes organized ten entirely new tribes each composed of people from the three regions and of different family tribes. Broke old tribal or class loyalties & reoriented people towards the state. Solon’s council of 400 became the Council of 500, 50 people from each new tribe.

10 Cleisthenes cont. Assembly became main governing body of Athens and dealt with day to day affairs. Anybody was eligible to serve for one year and it was expected that all male citizens would serve eventually. Also served as a supreme court / jury, except for murder cases and religious matters With the establishment of the assembly, Athens became a representative democracy. The citizens themselves ran it.

11 Four Reformers prompts
Each response must include: complete sentences SPECIFIC evidence from the ppt. to support. Which reformer made the most significant changes in Athenian government/society, and why? Defend or refute the following statement: The Four Reformers followed a natural socio- political, evolutionary path/progression toward changing the “Face of Athens.”

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