Divided an athenian population into four income

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divided an Athenian population into four income levels based on measures (dry and wet produce). The first class consisted of members who had an income of 500 measures; the second class had 300 or owned a horse, were top two classes held by aristocrats. The third class was peasants who had 200 measures, and everyone else who owned less was known as Thetes whose only function was participation in an Assemblies or juries. (Pl. pg. 60 #18) By this alteration in the caste system, Solon determined the majority of the poor population that he dedicated to becoming involved in government at the same living aristocrats in their existing positions. Accordingly, aristocrats continued to control militia and the Council of Areopagus but, to pass new laws the archon will be required to obtain approval from the Assembly, consisted of the majority of peasants. In other words, by this extension in the power of peasants and Thetes, Solon promoted the idea of compromise and equality which both groups expected to settle among them. Eventually, forming a society where every Athenian citizen treated fairly and given some power that Aristotle believed was essential to keep society profitable. Aristotle mentions that "one may not strike them there, nor will a slave step aside for you." (AC. pg.16 #10) This 5 | P a g e
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quote means when everyone shares a fair amount of right neither of them would dare to abuse them on day to day basis. In other, Aristotle suggests that when there is not any evidence that shows one's superiority, both groups will prosper while continuing doing their jobs. To conclude, Solons succeeded partly in resolving the conflict between aristocrats and peasants. By the laws he passed over the years he managed to solve economic issues involving debts and slavery yet, failed to redistribute the land among every citizen of Athens. As for political and social problems, Solon managed to surpass his predecessors by giving up some power from aristocrats to peasants; allowing them to participate juries; however, denying them from other benefits including participation in the gymnasium. Additionally, modifying segments which involved dowry, wills, and blood feud by establishing laws which solved them more rationally. In other words, Solon prevented Athens from shifting to tyranny, by acknowledging some aspects which led to this in the first place and managed to solve them in a matter which would keep both groups at harmony despite the difference in position of the society. 6 | P a g e
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  • Spring '12
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  • Athenian democracy

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