Solon, Conflict in Athens

Topics: Feud, Poverty, Wealth Pages: 4 (1692 words) Published: December 15, 2012
Conflict in Athens
In the time before Solon there was a lot of conflict in Athens. Some between the aristocrats and the peasants. The rich had enslaved a lot of the poor people and most of the other poor people had debt with them. This drove the poor to seek a revolution because it was becoming unbearable. Other conflict that existed was  between the different aristocratic families themselves. Megacles and Cylon’s factions had a blood feud going that was quite serious at the time of Solon. Solon made several different laws to fix these problems. He was able the end the blood feuds for the most part and give both the poor and the rich a benefit from the new system of laws. Thus successfully getting them to work together instead of them trying to tear each other apart. Part 1

Land ownership was the key to wealth in Athens. Not only did it have value itself but it produced grain, at the time there was no coin so grain was used for trade. (Trumbach) There were four basic classes of people at the time. The aristocrats who owned a lot of fertile land. Second is the “rich peasants” who owned smaller amounts of land but the land was also of poor yield, the mostly lived on the hill. Though they are richer than the other peasants they were still poor. Third are the peasants who worked the land owned by the aristocrats and paid them rent. “They either cultivated their lands for them and paid them a sixth of the produce..” (Pl. Sol. Pg 23)  Fourth are the slaves owned by the aristocrats, many of which were farmers that took out a loan from the aristocrats. “... or else they pledged their own persons to raise money and could be seized by their creditors, some of them being enslaved...” (Pl. Sol. Pg 23) This difference in wealth and quality of life created extreme tension between the rich and the poor. “The city stood on the brink of revolution...” (Pl. Sol. Pg 23) The poorer folk wanted to overthrow the rich and take their wealth. “... they proposed to set all enslaved...
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