Posted by: cjjj1 | September 17, 2008

Ancient Athens way of life

 Government:

                  Athens the first democracy in the history of Earth, ruled under many leaders in which all had different views of the way Athens should be ran but the first of many was Solon. From 594 B.C to 546 B.C Solon was in power of Athens, Greece. Solon outlawed dept slavery and freed all those slaves that were already in slavery for dept. He granted citizenship to foreigners and he gave Athenian assembly more say so to important decisions. Solon introduced economic reform to Athens, he encouraged the export of wine and olive oil. Solon’s reforms ensured greater fairness and justice to certain groups but somethings remained limited and many positions were offered to the wealthy.  

                 Another leader of ancient Athens was Pisistratus gained power in 564 B.C. He helped many farmers by offering them loans and land taken from nobles. He also enable jobs for the poor;new building projects offered to those that were poor. Pisistratus weakened the aristocracy further by giving the poor a greater voice.

               Cleisthenes another reformer gained power in  507 B.C. Cleisthenes broadened the role of the ordinary citizens in the government. he was first to set up a council of 500 which were chosen citizens in Athens. Cleisthenes made assembly a legislature which consist of all men over the age of 30 who decided on laws.

        Women Rights:

        Women in ancient Athens had no share at all in public life. Aristotle, a respected thinker believed that women could not think or reason on the same level as women, so they were considered below men. In “well-to-do” homes women lived with secluded existence, they weer basically what we call house wives in modern times. Poorer women worked outside of homes as sheep herders, potters weavers and etc. Women received little to no formal education.

Culture/way of life/economy:

                 Strong local ties, an independant spirit and economic rivalry caused fighting amongst the Greek city-states. Through all the fighting, Greeks shared common culture. They all spoke the same language, they all were polytheistic people, meaning they believed in many gods, which they believed lived on top of Mt. Olympus and honored the same gods. The most powerful Olympian was Zeus. His children where Aphrodite, goddess of love  Ares, god of war and his daughter Athena, goddess of wisdom, gave her name to Athens. These gods were honored with festivals and temples. Although religion was important Greek thinkers came to believe that the universe was regulated, not by goda by by natural laws.

                When trade an colonies expanded, the  Greeks became more in contact with many different languages and customs. Those who didn’t speak Greek were referred to as Barbaroi, like the Egyptians and Phoenicians.

                                              During the age of Pericles the Athens prospered. With the riches of the Athenian , Pericles hires architects and sculptors to rebuild the Acropolis. Pericles and Aspasia worked together to make Athens the cultural center of Greece.

    Armies:

                                    Although the Athens had riches and a powerful navy, they face a geological disadvantage. they could be attacked by sea unlike the Sparta who lived inland. In Pericles moving the people from the contryside i the city limits a plague broke out killing one third of the population including himself. And with this succesors being much less of a leader the power struggles quikly unermined thecity’s demcratic government.

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