November 5 - November 5 2007 Family and Society in Ancient...

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November 5, 2007 Family and Society in Ancient Greece Ancient Greek society: sources o “social history”: study of social relations Difficulties: anecdotal; biases (gender, class etc.) o Literary texts Drama (tragedy, comedy) Poetry (idealized families of gods, heroes) Court speeches Treatises (ex: Xenophon Oikonomikos ) o Inscriptions Laws (ex: Fortyn) Funerary monuments o Visual Vase paintings, sculpture Citizenship o Citizenship – membership in a polis Full citizens 1-2 native parents (members of established families) State rarely grants citizenship( ex: of Kleisthenes, Lysias) Property classes: level of participation often based on land Metics (resident aliens) No kinships with established families Subject to taxation, political attacks (Athens under the Thirty) Serfs and slaves Lowest classes (compare “Untouchables”) No participation in government, little legal protection Social groups o Household ( oikos ): extended family Father, mother, children, elders, slaves, dependents o Kinship groups ( genos , phratry) Loose, often based on mythical ancestor o Tribe ( phulê ) Large divisions in citizen body Originally military, becomes political (ex: Kleisthenes) o Regional group within polis ( deme ) Often main administrative, governing units o City-state (polis) Largest durable political unit until time of Alexander the Great Associations o Associations/clubs: voluntary, optional organizations
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May cross social lines (male/female, slave/free etc.) o
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