Solon

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Solon was not only the wisest man to be found in Athens, but the most profound political genius of antiquity; and the easy, bloodless, and pacific revolution by which he accomplished the deliverance of his country was the first step in a career which our age glories in pursuing, and instituted a power which has done more than anything, except revealed religion, for the regeneration of society….By making every citizen the guardian of his own interest Solon admitted the element of Democracy into the State.

—Lord Acton, “The History of Freedom in Antiquity” (1877)

Parallel – Publicola

Outline

  • Rise to power
  • Political background in Athens
    • Divisions
      • Rich v. Poor
      • Hill v. Shore v. Plain
  • Legislation 1, 2, 3!
    • 1) repeal Draconian laws
    • 2) Set up the Census Classes
    • 3) Areopagus (etymology), Council of 400, Assembly
    • Aporias – the weird and bewildering
  • Travel
    • Egypt
    • Crete
    • Asia
  • Return
  • Tyranny

Important People

  • Thales
  • Pisistratus
  • Cylon and Draco – political back-story for Athens

Important Places

  • Salamis
  • Megara
  • Delphi
  • Egypt (Canopus)
    • Atlantis
  • Crete
  • Lydia
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