Four Great Reformers in Ancient Greece and Rome

Topics: Roman Empire, Athenian democracy, Ancient Rome Pages: 2 (711 words) Published: November 10, 2012
The four great reformers in ancient Greece and Rome made their contributions in various ways, and in various fields. The two famous Greek reformers are Solon and Cleisthenes, and the two famous Roman reformers are Gracchi and Marius. Their reforms ultimately helped to elevate the democracy of the country. However, the methods and the reformer's thoughts in reformations were different. Solon, an ancient Greek reformer had reformed the country in mainly three ways: Constitutional, economical, and moral. First, Solon proposed for all citizens to be admitted into the Ekklesia, the assembly of Athenian citizen. Also, he created a council of four hundred, drawn from the four Athenian tribes to serve as a steering committee for the enlarged assembly. He divided citizens into four political classes according to property, a classification that might previously have served the state for military or taxation purposes only. It is said that Solon's constitutional reforms were either a radical anticipation of democratic government, or they merely provided a plutocratic flavour to a stubbornly aristocratic regime, or the truth lies between the two. Second, Solon encouraged the foreign trade. At that time, he typical farming family in Athens barely produced foods to sustain their own life. Fathers were encouraged to find trades for their sons, and the foreign tradesmen were encouraged to settle in Athens. Also, the cultivation of olives were also encouraged. However, some blames him since the encouragement of olive production for export could have led to a increased hardship for many Athenian people. Last, Solon made moral reforms and later celebrated among Athenians as the Seiachtheia, shaking off of burdens. Solon made an annulment of all contracts symbolized by the horoi, a prohibition on a debtor's person being used as security for a loan, release of all Athenians who had been enslaved and the abolition of extravagant dowries. Cleisthenes, in order to forestall...
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