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2nd midterm - 1 Caffrey Francis April 2 2011 Ancient Greece...

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1 Caffrey Francis April 2, 2011 Ancient Greece Dr. Smith Plutarch: Greek Lives. Oxford University Press, 1998. Title Before Athens and Sparta became city-states with fairly stable governments, several factors led to their formation of their constitutions. In the age of the Basileis, their primary concern was for themselves, their extended family, and the people who were bonded to them by guest-friendship. The Basileis were highly competitive and individualistic. Since agriculture was essential to a city, the defense of farmlands increased. The Basileis were heads of the oikoi, and these maintained very strong-separate-identities, so the cities were not really unified. The city is transforming from the independent oikoi to the unity of the city as a whole. Therefore, new military tactics were built that centered on cooperation and a sense of equality. The ethos of the phalanx and infantry warfare in classical Greece was an ethos of cooperation and coordination. The values that arise from this are contrary to those of the Basileis in the Dark Ages. During the sixth and seventh centuries BC, there are many tyrannies being formed because of the tension of the formation of the city structure. The gradual increase in participation in government is what’s driving this tension. Although in the s ixth century Drako wrote the earliest written laws for Athens, his laws were extremely harsh. The written law and Tyranny were appointed to implement a common political identity for all of the citizens and also to depose the old, Basileis-dominated period. The emergence of democratic government owes itself to the emergence of the phalanx,
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2 which creates the preconditions for more democratic regimes. As the Greek states in the classical period become more developed Athens and Sparta are seen as two cities at odds with each other. Though the constitutions of Athens and Sparta were both centered on the idea of unity and justice, they implemented their foundations of their city differently; Athens incorporated individuals through ideals of religious piety and justice, whereas Sparta built camaraderie through strict homogenization of the individuals. In Athens, all citizens could participate in politics and had to pay taxes. In Sparta, everyone is equal to each other; therefore citizens had a balance between individual quest for glory and unity.
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