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City States of Ancient Greece Athens and Sparta by lpd48805

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									City States of Ancient Greece :
    Athens and Sparta

What political systems existed in Ancient Greece?
1. Monarchy
   • Rule by a king
2. Oligarchy
   • Rule by a small group of wealthy people who control
3. Aristocracy
   • Rule by a small group of people who own vast
     amounts of land.
4. Tyranny
   • Rule by a individual with absolute power who took
     power by force, sometimes with popular support

        Where did government business
                 take place?
  • Center of a city-state. Literally means “high city” or
    “city at the top.”
  • Usually refers to the one in Athens nowadays
  • An open public area acting as a center of public life
    and also the marketplace

Athens and Sparta were both poleis ,that‟s the plural of
  „polis.‟, Greek for city-state
• They were each independent with their own sub-culture
  and form of government.
• There was no “capital city” of Greece
• While you were Greek, and proud of it, your primary
  allegiance and loyalty were towards your city-state
• There were many city-states in Greece.
• We talk about Athens and Sparta the most because
  they emerged as the most powerful ones.

It was here:


• According to legend, it was founded by Lacedaemon,
  the son of Zeus and Taygete (a nymph)
• Likely of Dorian decent

• Sparta controlled most of the southern Peloponnese
  because Sparta was the dominant power in the area

Spartan Culture:
Sparta was a military culture
• The entire Spartan culture went towards developing
  and fielding a strong army
• This was to preserve itself as well as to keep down the
  helots or state owned slaves

• Land-bound serfs that worked Spartan land (if all the
  citizens are going to be soldiers, somebody‟s gotta be
  the farmers).
• Were from the surrounding land of Laconia and
  Messenia that Sparta had conquered.
• Owned by the state and not individual masters , they
  couldn‟t be sold
• Sparta got half of the helot‟s crops
• Significantly outnumbered the citizens.
   • The potential threat they presented was another
     reason why the Spartans had such a potent army
     (gotta keep „em down) and the Spartans were
     reluctant to fight too far from Sparta in case the
     helots acted up                                    8
Spartan Military:
To help ensure the physical superiority of their people,
  babies were bathed in wine shortly after birth. If they
  survived, they were taken to elders. If the elders
  deemed the baby unfit, it was left exposed to die on a
  hillside .
• Children were taught at home until they were seven
  and then they began their military training
• Boys were sent to live in military barracks
   • As a test of strength at 13, they were dropped off in
     the woods in groups with nothing and had to survive
     (without theft)

• Men began military service at 20
  • Soldiers were not allowed to trade or hold non-
    military occupations.
     • These were done by free non-citizen inhabitants
       of Sparta.
  • Exercised full rights and duties of citizens at 30.
  • Weren‟t free from military service until 60.

Spartan Government:
• Two hereditary kings, five ephors, the gerousia, and
  the apella
• The two kings were equal in power.
  • They eventually became less powerful and were
    primarily generals
• The five ephors were a council elected for one year by
  the apella. All citizens were eligible.
• The gerousia was like a Senate – a council of 30 elders
  (they had to be over 60) and were elected for life by
  the apella. Could veto the apella.
• The apella was like a lower legislative body. Every
  citizen over 30 could attend. Votes were taken by
Spartan Women:
• Were more independent than in other city-states.
• Learned reading and writing and girls were also given
  similar harsh physical training to the boys (many
  domestic tasks were left to the helots)
  • Girls also received same amount and quality of food
    as boys, which wasn‟t the case everywhere.
• Could own and control property and could oversee
  husband‟s property while he was at war. Were
  expected to defend it too and to put down revolts.

It‟s here:


Athens is famous for being the primary basis of western
• Especially in its democracy, although its form was
  slightly different than what we‟re familiar with today.

Athenian Law and Government:
Athens was originally a kingdom which morphed into
  more of an aristocracy that became unstable, partially
  due to laws being oral and arbitrary

• In 621 BC, Draco was appointed to codify the laws
  • This wound up being an unpopular move because the laws were
    extremely harsh.
  • 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 it to
    greater crimes.
  • Different classes were also treated differently – poor people 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 bloody-feud vendettas.
• It is from Draco that the term „draconian‟ derives.

• 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).
• He 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 angry about 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).

• Some reforms:
  • Debt-slavery was abolished. Anybody who had been
    sold into slavery due to debt was liberated.
  • All outstanding debts at the time were abolished.
  • Death penalty only for murder.
  • Classes were based on income, not birth
     1. Pentakosiomedimnoi: Those whose land produced 500 bushels per
     2. Hippeis: Those who were worth 300 bushels
     3. Zeugitai: Those who were worth 200 bushels
     4. Thetes: Manual laborers.

     • Move was important because it helped break the
       power of hereditary aristocracy

  • Introduced trial by jury
  • Set up new system of government that included not
    just the upper class
• After the new laws were published and made official,
  he left Athens for 10 years lest he be tempted to make
  himself a tyrant (though he was effectively one in
  making the laws)
• Neither the poor nor the rich of Athens were
  particularly happy about the 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.

• Became leader of Athens‟ poor in 565 BC
• Made attempts at seizing control of Athens, but either
  failed or was overthrown. He first seized power in 560
  BC finally made it stick in 546 BC and became a tyrant.
• Made popular reforms.
   • Reduced taxation
   • Introduced festivals
   • Increased trade and commerce
   • Produced coin money
   • Beautified the city

• Reformed the government
  • Previously, there were multiple tribes and there was
    conflict among the city folk, hill folk, and plain folk.
  • The broke old tribal or class loyalties and reoriented
    people towards the state.
  • Solon‟s council of 400 became the Council of 500,
    50 people from each new tribe.

     • This assembly became the 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
     • 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

Athenian Women:
• Women didn‟t have the same rights as in Sparta
• Expected to take care of the home
• Boys were taught reading and writing but girls were
  taught domestic skills, like spinning and sewing, by
• Not allowed out of the house except maybe to shop
• Main purpose was to produce healthy children
• Odd treatment considering that the city‟s patron
  goddess was Athena

• Women could be educated if they were upper class
  • They were educated so that they could entertain
    their husbands with good conversations
  • Also learned physical talents, like dancing

  • Despite public and social status, they and their
    opinions were often respected by men

• Practiced existed throughout Greece and in Athens,
  although the rules governing it differed from city-state
  to city-state.
• Slaves were usually barbarians, typically captured in
  war. Others were born slaves or their free parents sold
  them into slavery for money.
   • It was considered by some wrong to enslave a fellow
     Greek. Greeks could be slaves, but many free
     Greeks didn‟t like the idea.
   • Treatment of slaves varied between the city-states

• Relatively well-treated in Athens when compared with
  other places.
  • Couldn‟t slap a slave because you might
    inadvertently hit a citizen instead.
     • A master could beat his slave, though.
     • Testimony was taken only under torture.
  • Could buy their freedom or earn through fighting in
  • Masters could free their slaves.
     • Even then, though, they couldn‟t be citizens.
• In other city-states, the treatment was much, much

   Describe the piece of art displayed.
What does it tell you about Athenian values?

 Describe the piece of art
What does it tell you about
     Spartan values?

Athens or Sparta?


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