World of Ancient Greeks
Terms and Names
Rise of Athens:
: Theseus (Greek Θησεύς) was a legendary king of Athens, son of Aethra, and fathered by Aegeus
and Poseidon, with whom Aethra lay in one night. Theseus was the Ionian founding hero, considered by
Athenians as their own great reformer. He was responsible for the synoikismos ("dwelling together")—the
political unification of Attica under Athens, represented in his journey of labours. Because he was the
unifying king, Theseus built and occupied a palace on the fortress of the Acropolis that may have been
similar to the palace excavated in Mycenae.
- Members of the aristocracy. These were the only ones that leadership positions were open to.
This usually fallowed a hereditary line.
roughly means "dwelling together" in Greek. In the history of ancient Greece, this term
refers to the political process by which a group of villages and settlements united to form a polis. In the
poleis, the synoikistes was the person who, according to local tradition, performed the synoikismos, either
through his personal influence or by conquest, and subsequently was worshipped as a demi-god. The most
notable synoikistes was the mythic or legendary Theseus, who united Attica under the leadership of Athens.
(c. 630 BC)- The oracle at Delphi had advised him to seize Athens during a festival of Zeus, which
Cylon understood to mean the Olympics. However, the coup was opposed, and Cylon and his supporters
took refuge in Athena's temple on the Acropolis. Cylon and his brother escaped, but his followers were
cornered by Athens's nine archons. According to Plutarch and Thucydides (1.126), they were persuaded by
the archons to leave the temple and stand trial after being assured that their lives would be spared.
(c.621BC): was the first legislator of ancient Athens, Greece, 7th century BC. Came up with the
Draconic Constitution: The laws
he laid down were the first written constitution of Athens. So that no one
would be unaware of them, they were posted on wooden tablets, where they were preserved for almost two
centuries, on steles of the shape of three-sided pyramids . The tablets were called axones, perhaps because
they could be pivoted along the pyramid's axis, to read any side.
- was a set of laws instituted by the Athenian lawmaker Solon in order to rectify the wide-
spread serfdom and slavery that had run rampant in Athens by the 6th Century BC. Under the pre-existing
legal status, debtors unable to repay their creditors would surrender their land to them, then becoming
hektemoroi, i.e. serfs who cultivated what used to be their own land and gave one sixth of produce to their
creditors. Should the debt exceed the perceived value of debtor's total assets, then the debtor and his family
would become the creditor's slaves as well. The same would result if a man defaulted on a debt whose
collateral was the debtor's personal freedom.