Chapter 4 Section 2. Athens and Sparta. Tyranny in the City-States. Nobles seized power from Greek kings Farmers had to borrow money from nobles and often could not pay back debt Many farmers lost land and had to work for nobles or were sold into slavery
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Chapter 4 Section 2
Nobles seized power from Greek kings
Farmers had to borrow money from nobles and often could not pay back debt
Many farmers lost land and had to work for nobles or were sold into slavery
Many unhappy farmers wanted changes in the power structure
This led to the rise of tyrants: people who take power by force and rule with total authority
Most acted wisely and fairly
With the backing of the common people, the tyrants overthrew the nobles in 600s B.C.
Became popular because of building projects
Marketplaces, temples and walls
Other types of government developed:
Oligarchy: few people hold power
Democracy: all citizens share in running government
Greek were never fond of leadership by one man. They
wanted a rule of law with all citizens participating.
To keep the helots from rebelling, the Spartans created a strong military of boys and men
At age 7 they went to live in a military barracks
They received a harsh education
Forced to steal food
Return with your
shield or on it!
At age 20
military service begins
remained in military barracks for 10 years
At age 30
Returned home and expected to marry
Continued to train for combat
At age 60
Soldier could retire from the military
Spartan girls were trained in sports to become healthy mothers
They had more freedom than any other Greek woman
Move about freely
Spartans gave up much for their military power.
They had no personal freedom and they did not excel in any of the arts, literature, philosophy, or science.
What Was Sparta’s Government Like?
Council of Elders
Headed by 2 kings
28 citizens over
the age of 60
All men over 30
Voted on laws and
There were 5 and they enforced laws and collected taxes
Travel abroad was banned
Foreign visitors were discouraged
Helots were well controlled for 250 years
Focusing on military left the Spartans behind:
In knowledge of science and other studies
The Spartans believed that the ideal citizen had the following qualities…
Boys went to school
Reading, writing, math, sports, music
Goal was to create a well rounded Athenian with a sound mind and body
At 18 school was over and boys were citizens
Girls stayed at home
Taught spinning, weaving and other household duties
Only some of the wealthy taught their daughters to read and write
The first government in Athens was an oligarchy
Again the farmers rebelled against the nobles
Farmers demanded that nobles cancel all debts and give land to the poor
A noble named Solon reformed Athenian government in 594 B.C.
Canceled all debts
Freed those who became slaves
All male citizens could participate in the Assembly and courts
Created Council of 400 that wrote laws that were passed by Assembly
The tyrant Peisistratus seize power 30 years after Solon's reform
Divided large estates amongst landless farmers
Created public works jobs
Cleisthenes took power in 508 B.C.
He created a democracy in Athens.
All men could debate openly
Hear court cases
Appoint army generals
He gave Assembly more power.
Created Council of 500 to help Assembly carry out duties.
Members of the Council were chosen by lottery.