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Warring City-States
Rule & Order
– Fundamental political unit political unit
in ancient Greece
– Countryside & surrounding cities
– 50-500 square miles of territory
– Fewer than 20,000 residents
– Male citizens gather to conduct business
Political Structures
– King or monarchs rule
– Ultimate control
– Small group of noble, land-owning families
– Gained control by working in kings military
– Few powerful people
Dorian Age
– Bronze weapons
– Wealthy owned
Iron replaces Bronze b/c
– Ordinary citizens could
own weapons now
Citizens expected to
defend polis
Foot soldiers (Hoplites)
– Shield in 1 hand
– Spear in the other
Tyrants use unemployed to
seize control
Military state
Southern part on Peloponnesus
No colonies just brute force
– Messenia circa 725 B.C.
B/C Helots
– Peasants forced to stay on land & work it
– Spartans demanded 50% of crops each year
600 B.C. revolt of helots
Result? Sparta needs to be stronger
Government & Society
2 groups ruled
– Assembly
– Council of Elders
Descendants of original inhabitants
Proposed laws to be
– 5 elected officials carry
out laws
– Controlled education &
court cases
2 Kings control army
Ruling land owners
Military training
– Boys left home @ age 7 to begin
– Wore no shoes
– Harsh conditions to make good soldiers
– Could not vote
– Ran family while men served polis
Most powerful army in Greece (600-371 B.C.)
– Individuals discouraged
– Result?
No value in arts
Valued duty, strength, & discipline over individuality,
beauty, & freedom
Athenian Democracy
Polar opposite of Sparta
– Free thinking
– Imagination & curiosity
All free citizens involved in
Slaves, foreigners living w/i Athens &
women do not have rights
Slaves = 1/3 of pop. & worked
mines, fields, & housework
Draco’s code
Aristocrats & common folk always fighting
621 B.C. Cylon tried to est. a tyranny
Commoners insist on written laws
Included contracts & property ownership
– Gets total control to reform laws (debt slavery)
Persian Wars
Battle of Marathon