Athenian Constitution Outline

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Betty Huang Professor R. Trumbach HIS 1001 Outline: The Athenian Constitution
I. Before Solon
A. Loans were made on the security of the person and failure to repay by the due date would result in the borrowers and their family to be liable for seizure. Land was owned by few. B. Officials (aristocrats) were decided based on wealth and “basis of good birth” (family entitlement). 1. Types of Officials:

a. The polemarch and the archon (most important of the officials) b. Office of polemarch (some basileis were not strong warriors) c. Office of archon
d. Thesmothetae: Office made to write down statutes and save them for resolving disputes. C. Political power went to those who bore arms.
1. Treasures and archons: elected by men with an unencumbered estate of no less than ten minas. 2. Generals and cavalry commanders
II. Time of Solon
A. Gained control and liberated the enslaved immediately and any thereof for the future by forbidding loans to be secured by the borrower’s life. B. Divides citizens into four classes based on wealth:

1. Five-hundred-bushel: Produce of his estate amounted to five hundred measures of dry and liquid goods 2. Cavalry: Goods amounted to three hundred measures
3. Rankers: Goods amounted to two hundred measures
4. Laborers: Remainder of the citizens
C. Created four tribes and four tribal heads.
1. Each tribe was divided into three sections and twelve naucrariae. a. Officials were called naucrari, they were in charge of the naucrariae. Their job was to oversee income and expenditure. D. Three most Democratic features of Solon’s Constitution 1. The ban on loans on the security of the person

2. Permission for anyone who wished to seek retribution for those who were wronged 3. The right to appeal to the jury court

III. Under Pisistratus’ Rule
A. Ruled in a humane way such that he...
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