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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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Athens and Sparta

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Chapter 4 section 2

Chapter 4 Section 2

Athens and Sparta

Tyranny in the city states

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

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

Athens and sparta

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.



  • Founded by the Dorians

  • Needed more land as population grew

    • Conquered neighboring lands and enslaved the people calling them helots.

Why was the military so important

Why Was the Military So Important

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

Public beatings

One garment

No shoes

Forced to steal food

Return with your

shield or on it!

No Surrender!

Why was the military so important1

Why Was the Military So Important?

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

Own property

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.

Athens and sparta

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

elected ephors

There were 5 and they enforced laws and collected taxes

Created laws

Athens and sparta

Travel abroad was banned

Foreign visitors were discouraged

Helots were well controlled for 250 years

Focusing on military left the Spartans behind:

In trade

In knowledge of science and other studies

The Spartans believed that the ideal citizen had the following qualities…






What was life in athens like

What Was Life in Athens Like?

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

Greek democracy

Greek Democracy

A budding democracy

A Budding Democracy

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 budding democracy con t

A Budding Democracy con't

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

Nobles were




A budding democracy con t1

A Budding Democracy con't

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.


still exclude

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