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Ancient Greece. Founders of Democracy. Democracy. Comes from two Greek words: Demos - “the people” Kratos - “the rule” or “the power” The people ruled themselves! Greeks were first people to invent a democratic system where citizens governed themselves through voting. . Before Democracy.

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ancient greece

Ancient Greece

Founders of Democracy

  • Comes from two Greek words:
    • Demos - “the people”
    • Kratos - “the rule” or “the power”
    • The people ruled themselves!
  • Greeks were first people to invent a democratic system where citizens governed themselves through voting.
before democracy
Before Democracy
  • Other systems were tried and failed.
  • Early Greek states were ruled over by a king, who was counselled by a small group of aristocrats (wealthy people).
  • During the Dark Ages, most kings lost their power to members of the aristocracy.
    • led to enforcement of unwritten laws.
    • Created lack of voice in government for most members in society.
    • Kept their power because they were the military backbone - provided money for armour. This was before hoplites.
the age of tyrants
The Age of Tyrants
  • This period is commonly referred to as the age of Tyrants.
  • Tyrant - a person who exercises control in a cruel, unreasonable, or selfish manner.
  • Between 675-650 BCE, new style of warfare emerged that required unified movement of large groups of warriors, known as hoplites.
  • Not enough aristocrats to fill the battle lines.
  • Anyone who could afford the armour could fight in the Greek army.
  • Heavily armed warriors - 60-75 lbs of armour.
  • Carried large, round shield made from wood and covered in bronze.
  • Wore shin protectors (greaves), leather apron, red shirt, bronze breastplate (corslet), bronze helmet decorated with horse hair.
  • Used bronze, leaf-shaped spear with about 18 ft. wooden shaft.
  • Also carried a curved sword (kopis).
the phalanx
The Phalanx
  • The type of formation the hoplites fought in.
  • Main tactic was to keep front line unbroken.
  • Men marched in blocks 8 wide and 8 deep.
  • Formed a wall of shields.
  • Experienced men were in the front and back - to keep anyone from running.
  • Avoided tyranny for many years.
  • Why?
  • They had a written code of law and an archon - someone who mediated disputes between the people.
  • Law code written by Draco in 620 BCE.
    • Recognized that laws could be criticized and changed.
  • Archon appointed in 594 BCE.
  • Made changes in the law so that the poor were relieved of their debt and land problems.
  • Also abolished law that forced debtors into slavery.
  • Allowed all wealthy men (not just aristocrats) to run for high government offices.
council of 400
Council of 400
  • 100 citizens from the 4 tribes of Athens elected (annually) and met regularly to prepare laws to be voted on by the Citizen Assembly.
  • Tribes based on clan relationships.
people without political power
People Without Political Power
  • Women
  • Slaves
  • Foreigners (people not born in Athens)
  • These people were not considered citizens mainly because they could not fight in the army.
democracy interrupted
Democracy Interrupted
  • Peisistratus - became tyrant of Athens and ruled for approx. 20 years until his death.
  • His son, Hippias, continued in his father’s footsteps, but eventually lost support when Sparta invaded.
  • Hippias and his family surrendered and were forced into exile.
  • The tyranny ends!
what now
What Now?
  • Cleisthenes -member of a noble family suggested doing away with the 4 clans and instead create an equitable division of all citizens into 10 tribes.
  • Council of 400 replaced with Council of 500 - 50 members elected from each tribe.
  • Each tribe elected a general to lead military affairs.
  • Other offices came to be filled by drawig lots annually. Any fit citizen could now hold office!
  • To exclude someone from a society or group.
  • Allowed the city to send any citizen and his family into exile for 10 years who was thought to be a tyrant.
  • Needed 6000 votes to be ostracized.
  • Voted using ostraka - broken pieces of pottery.
spartan society
Spartan Society
  • One of two most powerful Greek city-states.
  • Known as warriors - the best in the business.
  • Known for their long red cloaks (disguised blood) and letter “V” on their shields.
  • Lycurgus - man who developed the tough military program.
  • He also proposed constitution making all adult males born to citizens equal in politics.
spartan life boys
Spartan Life - Boys
  • At age 7 boys began military training. Learned to withstand pain, be obedient, and never admit defeat.
  • At age 30 became a full citizen - could vote, marry, hold political office, have a house, and receive estate worked by helots (slaves).
spartan life girls
Spartan Life - Girls
  • Enjoyed more freedom and privilege than elsewhere in Greece.
  • Encouraged to take part in sports to develop healthy bodies so they could have healthy babies.
  • Given training in music and dance.
  • Property and marriage rights.
  • Admired for independence and beauty.
the persian wars
The Persian Wars
  • Around 6th century BCE, the Persian empire was vast and was threatening eastern Greece states (Ionian cities).
  • Greek city-states tiny in comparison to Persian empire. Only a fraction of their power.
  • Greece appeared weak because they fought amongst themselves and rarely agreed on anything for very long.
persian wars
Persian Wars
  • Greece brought “face to face” with Persia when Sardis fell.
persian wars22
Persian Wars
  • Ionian states were unable to unite and surrendered to Persians.
  • Forced service into Persian army.
  • Governor of Miletus led a revolt and called for help from other Greek states, but only 25 warships arrived from Athens and Eretria.
  • Persians destroyed Miletus,
battle of marathon
Battle of Marathon
  • 490 BCE - Darius is King of Persia.
  • Sends fleet of 20 000 soldiers to Athens and Eretria as punishment for helping Miletus.
  • Burned and plundered Eretria then sailed to plain of Marathon (a safe base).
  • Athenians sent runner to Sparta (250 km away) for help.
  • Returned 4 days later. Sparta would only come after the full moon - a week or more away.
battle of marathon24
Battle of Marathon
  • 9000 Athenian warriors went alone to Marathon to meet Persians.
  • Charged the Persians and cut them down as they fled to their ships.
  • Herodotus writes 6400 Persians were killed, but only 192 Athenians.