Athens: Solon Ancient Athens was a place all powerful tyrants ruled, were an established hierarchy of aristocrats oppressed the poor and reaped all the benefits of power one can imagine. But unknown to them this system of governance was soon to be changed into a more democratic one, by a man whom they would come to respect in time. Solon was the son Execestides, a charitable man with great social influence and one who was believed to be descended from an ancient Athenian king named Codrus. Solon grew up to be a virtuous and thoughtful man, his values and a sense of justice greatly influenced the way he crafted the laws of Athens and in the way he ruled. At the beginning of his rule Solon came under great pressure by the aristocrats and even his friends and family to rule Athens as a tyrant. In this paper I am going to discuss were the motivation behind this pressure came from and how Solon by passed it through his laws. Athens was on the verge of a revolution: it was being pulled in three different directions, the hill people of Athens wanted extreme democracy, people from the plains wanted extreme oligarchy and the people from the shore wanted mixed government. In addition to this there was the issue of debt slavery that needed to be addressed, and the recurrent problem of blood feuds between prominent Athenian families. In this paper I will discuss the class conflict in Athens and the social changes that came with Solons rise in power, the blood feuds between the prominent Athenian families and the Solons new political constitution.
Before Solon came to Power Athens was divided harshly between the wealthy aristocratic families who made up one percent of the population and the peasants who made up the rest of the majority. Although both classes could own and cultivate land, there was a huge disparity between the type and amount of land they inherited. The aristocrats lived in the...
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