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Chapter 4 Section 2. The Greek City-States. Objectives:. List Greek colonies Explain the polis Analyze the polis contribution Evaluate tyranny in the city-states. The Polis. By 750 B.C. the city-states, or what Greeks called a polis , became the center of Greek life.

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Chapter 4 Section 2

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chapter 4 section 2

Chapter 4Section 2

The Greek City-States

  • List Greek colonies
  • Explain the polis
  • Analyze the polis contribution
  • Evaluate tyranny in the city-states
the polis
The Polis
  • By 750 B.C. the city-states, or what Greeks called a polis, became the center of Greek life.
  • The main gathering place of the polis was a hill, and at the top was a fortified area called an acropolis.
  • Below the acropolis was an agora, an open area that served as a place where people could assemble as a market.

City-states varied in size and population.

    • Athens had a population of more that three hundred thousand by the fifth century B.C., but most city-states were smaller.
  • The polis was above all, a community of people who shared a common identity and common goal.
    • The polis consisted of citizens with political rights (males), no political rights (women and children) and non-citizens (slaves and resident aliens)
  • Citizens had rights, but these rights were coupled with responsibility.

“We must rather regard every citizen as belonging to the state”- Aristotle.

  • The loyalty did have a negative side: city-states disrupted one another, and the division led to independent patriotic units helped to bring about its ruin.
    • New military systems also developed.
  • By 700 B.C. the military system was based on hoplites, who were heavily armed infantry, or foot soldiers.
  • Went into battle as a unit in rectangular formation, known as a phalanx
greek colonies
Greek Colonies
    • Between 750 and 550 B.C., a large number of Greeks left their homeland to settle in distant lands.
  • New Greek colonies were established along the coastlines of southern Italy, southern France, eastern Spain, and northern Africa west of Egypt.
  • The Greeks also settled along the shores of the Black Sea, setting up cities on the Hellespont and the Bosporus.

Most notable city: Byzantium

    • Byzantium later became Constantinople, now Istanbul.
  • Colonization led to an increase in trade and industry.
  • The expansion of trade and industry created a new group of wealthy individuals who wanted to gain power but found it difficult because of the aristocracy.
tyranny in the city states
Tyranny in the City-States
  • Increase in wealth fostered the rise of tyrants in the seventh and sixth centuries B.C.
  • Greek tyrants were rulers who seized power by force, and kept it by use of hired soldiers.
    • It did not last long, but it did allow for the end of aristocracy, which resulted in democracy in some city-states.
  • Other city-states remained committed to oligarchy, or rule by a few.
    • The differences are best represented by studying Sparta and Athens.
    • Like most Greek city-states, Sparta was faced with the need for more land.
  • Instead of starting new colonies, the Spartans conquered the neighboring Laconians.
  • In 730 B.C., the Spartans conquered neighboring Messenia despite its larger size and population.
    • The conquered people became serfs and were made to work for the Spartans.
  • Captured people were known as helots.
a military state
A Military State
    • Between 800 and 600 B.C., the lives of the Spartans were rigidly organized and very controlled.
  • Males spent their childhood learning military discipline, and were enrolled in the army at age 20 and lived on barracks until age 30.
  • At age 30 they were allowed to vote in the assembly and live at home, but they remained in the army until age 60.

Women lived at home, and had greater freedom, movement, and power within the household.

  • Spartan women were expected to exercise and remain fit to bear and raise healthy children.
  • Explain the government form of Sparta
  • Identify the importance of Athens to the Greek Civilization
  • Analyze the effectiveness of Athenian rulers
government in sparta
Government in Sparta
  • The government was headed by two kings who led the army.
  • A group of five men, the ephors, were elected each year and were responsible for the education of youth and conduct of the citizens.
  • A council of elders (two kings and 28 citizens) decided on issues that would be presented to an assembly.
    • Except for military reasons, Spartans were not allowed to travel abroad.
    • By 700 B.C., Athens had become a unified polis on a peninsula in Attica.
  • By 7th century B.C., Athens had become an oligarchy under the control of the aristocrats.
  • Near the end of the 7th century there was political turmoil due to economic problems.
    • The ruling aristocrats reacted to this crisis in 594 B.C. by giving full power to Solon, a reform–minded aristocrat.

Solon cancelled all land debts and freed people who had fallen into slavery from debts.

  • Pisistratus seized power in 560 B.C. and gave aristocrats land to the peasants. People rebelled against his son and ended the tyranny.
  • Two years later, backed by the Athenian people, Cleisthenes gained power.

Cleisthenes created a council of 500 that supervised foreign affairs, oversaw the treasury, and proposed that laws would be voted on by the assembly after free and open debate.

    • In this regard, Cleisthenes created the foundation of Athenian democracy
  • In what ways are the Greek city-states similar to current life? In which ways are they different?
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