The Greek City States: A Source Book

The Greek City States: A Source Book

P. J. Rhodes

Language: English

Pages: 354

ISBN: 0521615569

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Political activity and political thinking began in the cities and other states of ancient Greece, and terms such as tyranny, aristocracy, oligarchy, democracy and politics itself are Greek words for concepts first discussed in Greece. Rhodes presents in translation a selection of texts illustrating the formal mechanisms and informal workings of the Greek states in all their variety. From the states described by Homer out of which the classical Greeks believed their states had developed, through the archaic period which saw the rise and fall of tyrants and the gradual broadening of citizen bodies, to the classical period of the fifth and fourth centuries, Rhodes also looks beyond that to the Hellenistic and Roman periods in which the Greeks tried to preserve their way of life in a world of great powers. For this second edition the book has been thoroughly revised and three new chapters added.

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the month; and make each genos of thirty men.’ (Patmos Lexicon to Demosthenes, entry ‘gennetai’) 27. Alleged social classes at Athens Some texts mention another division of the Athenians, into three classes. Two classes were perhaps supposed to have been instituted by Ion. Aristotle [fr. 385] says that the whole population of Athens was divided into the georgoi [‘farmers’] and the demiourgoi [‘public workers’: in some states a title borne by officials, but in this contrast with farmers,

part of the land that used to be Messenia). These men took to raiding Laconia, and, since they spoke the same dialect as the inhabitants, were able to do a great deal of harm. The Spartans had previously had no experience of raiding and that kind of war; but as the helots began to desert, and the Spartans grew afraid that their problems in the country would become yet worse, they found it hard to bear. (Thucydides, IV. 41. ii) 83. Sparta attempts to remove helots who might pose a threat The

be divided. For instance, in Sparta individual ephors decide contract cases, the elders homicide cases, and no doubt some other authority decides other cases. (Aristotle, Politics, III. 1275 b 8–11) 113. King Pausanias tried by the gerousia In 403 king Pausanias was sent to Athens to support the oligarchs established after the Peloponnesian War against the democrats who were trying to fight their way back. He fought a battle, but then arranged a reconciliation. When he withdrew from Athens

Agesilaus as commander of a non-citizen army given citizen assistants [King Agesilaus went to Asia with reinforcements in 396 (cf. above), and was given thirty Spartiate assistants. In 395] a year had now elapsed since Agesilaus had sailed out. Consequently the board of thirty men including Lysander sailed home, and a board including Herippidas arrived to succeed them. Agesilaus appointed Xenocles and one other to command the cavalry ... [and others to command other contingents]. (Xenophon,

lot for one year, with a ban on reappointment. They worked under the supervision of the council of five hundred (this is the body commonly referred to as ‘the council’ without further specification). All the officials concerned with the civilian administration are appointed by lot, apart from the treasurer of the army fund, the men in charge of the theoric fund [cf. passages 223, 234–6] and the curator of the water supply: these are elected [and so too are a small number of other civilian officials:

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