The Athenian Constitution

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The Athenian Constitution

  1. 1. The Athenian Constitution & Aristotle
  2. 2. Who was Aristotle? <ul><li>Student of Plato </li></ul><ul><li>Philosopher </li></ul><ul><li>Macedonian </li></ul><ul><li>Tutor of Alexander </li></ul><ul><li>Lived in 4 th Century BC </li></ul><ul><li>Most of work is Lecture notes </li></ul><ul><li>Big in Athens </li></ul>
  3. 3. What do we think of Philosophy? <ul><li>We love it! </li></ul><ul><li>Brings Perspectives </li></ul><ul><li>(or not technically useful) </li></ul><ul><li>Good to have around </li></ul>
  4. 4. What was Athens like in 4 th C? <ul><li>Athens still a warring state. </li></ul><ul><li>Democracy under control of Macedonia </li></ul><ul><li>Athens still a democracy </li></ul><ul><li>Government isn’t stable. </li></ul>
  5. 5. What is a Constitution? <ul><li>Rules that other laws are drawn upon </li></ul><ul><li>Defines government </li></ul><ul><li>Defines rights of citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Basic principles of a state </li></ul>
  6. 6. What people were there in Athens? <ul><li>Citizens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>People who could trace their families back to citizenship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People living in demes (an area of Athens) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Male? But must also have a female citizen parent! </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. What people were there in Athens? <ul><li>Non-citizens </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Slaves </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Metics, a foreigner </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Specialists </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sailors </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Merchants </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Who becomes a citizen <ul><li>Have to be 18, or look 18 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No birth cerificates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Their parents will be citizens </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not necessarily rich </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Male </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>No requirements for female citizens </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 9. What are the duties of a citizen? <ul><li>Military service. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>To be a citizen is to be a soldier </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tour temples as a citizen </li></ul><ul><li>Trained </li></ul><ul><li>Garissoned in Attica </li></ul>
  10. 10. Citizens can… <ul><li>Vote </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Trials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Laws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Appointments of officials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ostraka </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. What Magistrates are there in Athens? <ul><li>Ten Generals </li></ul><ul><li>Strategoi </li></ul><ul><li>In charge of the armies </li></ul><ul><li>One for each tribe </li></ul><ul><li>Move to wherever they were needed </li></ul>
  12. 12. What Magistrates are there in Athens? <ul><li>Poletai </li></ul><ul><li>Commissioners for public contracts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Taxes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mines (Silver mines) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. What Magistrates are there in Athens? <ul><li>Apodektai </li></ul><ul><ul><li>10, installments and tablets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Accountants fot the state </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Control of debtors </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. What Magistrates are there in Athens? <ul><li>Magistrates for the wheat </li></ul><ul><li>Roads </li></ul><ul><li>Horses </li></ul><ul><li>Theatrical performances </li></ul><ul><li>Drains </li></ul><ul><li>Markets </li></ul><ul><li>Temples </li></ul>
  15. 15. What Magistrates are there in Athens? <ul><li>Nine archons </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The chief magistrates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oversee legal proceedings </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Trial by Jury 500, 1000, 1500 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Jurors are citizens – paid 3 obols </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The people in charge </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. What checks and balances are there? <ul><li>Ostracism </li></ul><ul><li>Everything decided by vote </li></ul><ul><li>Use of lots random choice in allocating power </li></ul><ul><li>Terms of office are very short. </li></ul><ul><li>Plenty of oversight </li></ul>
  17. 17. Did the Constitution work? <ul><li>Society as an experiment </li></ul><ul><li>Generally worked </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dominance through popularity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Achievement </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Winning wars </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Does not negate wealth </li></ul></ul></ul>

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