Exploring Ancient Greek Governments The Ancient Greeks were particularly concerned with such fundamental questions as who should rule and how? Should sovereignty lie in the rule of law, the constitution, officials, or the citizens? These are not questions that plague those in power in our modern era however caused great conflict in Ancient Greece (Cartwright, 2013). From one polis to the next, each had the right to determine (some taken by force) how their city-state would be ran and by whom. Monarchy, tyranny, aristocracy, oligarchy and democracy are all forms of government the ruled the different polies in Ancient Greece.
Introduction The city-states of Athens and Greece were ruled by a diverse range of governments. Under these were the monarchy, the aristocracy, the tyranny, the oligarchy and the democracy. In this paper we will compare and contrast these 5 forms of governments in ancient Greek city-states. The Monarchy A monarchy is a type of government most recognizable by the fact that power rests in the hands of one person. Usually in the past, monarchies have been ruled by kings, together with his advisors.
Each Polis had a patron deity and was named after their patron deity, Athens’s deity being the Goddess of Wisdom and of War, Athena. Athens was one of the largest city-states in Greece, the city-state that came second to Athens being Sparta, but it is one of the most well-known city-states due to having features of its own that were not seen in any other city-states and one other feature that it gave us that is still present today, known as Democracy. An example of one of these distinctive features, according to Polis, was introduced during the classical period, “In about 508-507 B.C., Cleisthenes prevented Athenian aristocrats from controlling the assembly by limiting citizenship” (“Polis”, 1998). By doing this, citizenship was no longer controlled by the rich, making it easier to become a part of Athenian society. But Cleisthenes did not stop there, proposing even more reforms, as according to Polis, “He also instituted the Council of 500, whose members were chosen by lot from male citizens 30 years of age or older” (“Polis”, 1998).
One major difference is that the Spartan government had two kings that came from separate royal families which tied back to their legendary founders (Agiads and Eurypontids). The government of Athens had no king. It is also worth noting that all Spartan male citizens were soldiers and equally shared right of fighting for Sparta unlike in Athens were there were male citizens who were land owners among other non-military wealthy Athenians. The also differ in that Athens was a very democratic society which also produced a lot of philosophers unlike Sparta that produced well trained soldiers and ruled by military dictatorship as opposed to the popular myth of Spartans being equal (socially and
Compare and contrast monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy as forms of government in Ancient Greek city-states. ￼￼￼University of the People Student X Written assignment unit 2 Compare and contrast monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy as forms of government in Ancient Greek city-states. ￼1 Compare and contrast monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny, oligarchy, and democracy as forms of government in Ancient Greek city-states. Introduction Before all let define democracy, so it is defined as a type of government where people exert the sovereignty. As far as democracy is concerned, critics of democracy, such as Thucydides and Aristophanes, both are pinpointing on that the demos in which that they thought that it could be too easily swayed by a good orator or popular leaders the firebrand and get carried away with their emotions.
The main objective of this essay is to describe and investigate the structure of the government in the ancient Greece’s most powerful city states, namely, Athens and Sparta. Both city states have gone through various cycles of wars, reforms, social upheaval and unrests, and each of these elements has had influenced the development of the governmental systems that we have bettered or inherited today. Athenians saw the need for fundamental changes in the government, allowing them to pave the way for direct participation of their citizens and citizen’s initiative in the democracy and elimination of the some oligarchical elements. The Sparta, although not as democratic as Athens, allowed women to be far more than reproductive machines whom were expected
How are Sparta and Athens different and similar to each other? These are the types of questions that allow us to understand the two cities politically. Althought Classical Athens was a democracy, not all citizens had the same rights and benefits. Women, slaves, and foreigners were not citizens, which leaves the males as the only individuals with citizenship. Having citizenship means not being excluded from politics and having the option of serving in the Assembly.
Early Greek historian and essayist, Plutarch, known for his accounts of prominent leaders, orators, and statesmen of Ancient Greece, wrote The Life of Lycurgus. In The Life of Lycurgus, Lycurgus, the lawgiver of Ancient Sparta, was responsible for the laws that made Sparta one of the prominent city-states of Greece. His distinct regulations allowed Spartan women to have a sense of independence, which was an unconventional practice to the Athenians and other Greeks. Plutarch even goes so far as to say, “He [Lycurgus] freed them from softness and sitting in the shade and all female habits…” (Plutarch, 2nd Cent. A.D.).
It is not until book 8 that Plato addresses the matter of different systems of rule. He says that there is a natural progression, through aristocracy, timocracy, oligarchy, democracy, and finally, to tyranny. He rejects each of these structures as being undesirable. It is not controversial to say, as Susan Moller does, that “The Republic is an extremely radical dialogue” (Philosopher Queens, 346). From a modern perspective, it may seem most unsettling to wonder why one of the
Among the Ancient Greece polices there are two which mostly deserve the research of their history, namely Athens and Sparta. These city-states applies different approaches to the political organization, social structure and adoption of different cultural priorities. The abovementioned differences presuppose the unequal influence of these states on the development of ancient Greece and modern world in general. Within the sphere of political organization, the Athens are regarded to be the homeland of democracy, while Spartan society demonstrates the features of oligarchy. The post-Cleisthenes Athens had a special system of government, which is often thought to be the most democratic one of all times.
The real question is were the Greeks very democratic? I really do not think the Greeks were democratic at all. They really didn’t exemplify true qualities of a Democratic City-State. The next few paragraphs will show the reason behind my answer, and how people were treated unfairly. My first reason behind this is the Athenian government only granted citizenship to men who parents were free-born Athenian parents.