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Greece Essay

1323 words - 5 pages

Amanda GarciaAncient Greece was a Greek civilization that spanned from Archaic period of the 8th to 6th centuries BC to the end of antiquity in 600 AD. During the Archaic period, there was a rise of the polis or city-states and the establishment of colonies. Following the Archaic period was the Classical Period, a popular time that most of think of when we think of Ancient Greece. Athens was the first city-state to be governed by a democracy and great philosophers like Socrates and Plato arose. Also, the wars between Sparta and Athens were during this time. Athens and Sparta were the two main city states that ruled much of ancient Greece. The cultures of the two cities were very different. Sparta was almost entirely focused on war and how to fight, while Athens focused on the arts and learning and democracy. This paper will focus on the Athenians, their attitudes towards slavery, women, family, children, education and wealth.The dramatic growth of ancient Athens from a powerful polis to an Empire was a result of the hierarchy in ancient Athens. The roles of the people played a big part in this advancement. Therefore, slavery became a necessity in Athens. Slaves were so important to not only Athens but the Greek culture in and of itself, that some historians believe there were as many slaves as citizens. Slaves were viewed to be the lowest in class Athens; however they were treated better than slaves in other Greek cities. In fact, a large criticism of Athens was that "its slaves and freemen were difficult to tell apart" (Populace of Athens). The slaves in Athens regularly performed domestic tasks or worked in the fields. Agriculture played a large function of slavery in Athens, slaves often worked on the estates of rich men. Slaves were vital to the Athenian lifestyle, even the poor owned one to two slaves. "Slavery was a common institution in the ancient world. Economic necessity dictated the desirability of owning at least one slave," (Spielvogel83). A fundamental part of economy, Athenians simply viewed slaves as essential to the growth of their Empire (Powell 32).The subject of women in Greece is coupled with the subject of slaves. Greek women, as depicted as in their history and literature, endure many hardships and struggle to establish a meaningful status in their society. Women in Athenian Society are often "defined as near slaves or as perpetual minors" in Athenian society (Powell 209). In ancient Athens, men held all the important positions in society and ran the government, and since most male slaves were viewed as "part of the family" they too held important positions in society (Populace of Athens). They often held positions in law enforcement and were even given more rights to property then women. Although Athenian women were completely in charge of the slaves their house, according to Athenian law property belonged to the household, and the head of the household or the "Kyros". The position of the Kyros was that of the man of the...

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