Relationship between rights and responsibilities in ancient athens

History of citizenship - Wikipedia

History of citizenship describes the changing relation between an individual and the state, commonly known as citizenship. Citizenship is generally identified not as an aspect of Eastern civilization but of Western civilization. There is a general view that citizenship in ancient times was a simpler relation than modern forms of .. Citizens had certain rights and duties. Metic: Metic, in ancient Greece, any of the resident aliens, including freed slaves. Metics In Athens, where they were most numerous, they occupied an intermediate position between visiting foreigners and citizens, having both privileges and duties. Citizenship, relationship between an individual and a state to which the. Have you ever wondered how the government of the United States of America came to be? The citizens of ancient Athens are responsible for that. Their rights.

Around BC an individual is known with the name of Democrates, [2] a name possibly coined as a gesture of democratic loyalty; the name can also be found in Aeolian Temnus. Aristotle points to other cities that adopted governments in the democratic style. However, accounts of the rise of democratic institutions are in reference to Athens, since only this city-state had sufficient historical records to speculate on the rise and nature of Greek democracy.

The members of these institutions were generally aristocrats who ruled the polis for their own advantage. In BC, Draco codified a set of notoriously harsh laws designed to reinforce aristocratic power over the populace. In the 6th century BC, the Athenian laboring class convinced Plato's ancestor Solonpremier archon at the time, to liberate them and halt the feuding of the aristocracy.

What soon followed was a system of chattel slavery involving foreign slaves. Athenian citizens had the right to participate in assembly meetings. By granting the formerly aristocratic role to every free citizen of Athens who owned property, Solon reshaped the social framework of the city-state. Under these reforms, a council of members with citizens from each of Athens's four tribes called the boule ran daily affairs and set the political agenda. Cleisthenes Not long afterwards, the nascent democracy was overthrown by the tyrant Peisistratosbut was reinstated after the expulsion of his son, Hippiasin Cleisthenes issued reforms in and BC that undermined the domination of the aristocratic families and connected every Athenian to the city's rule.

Cleisthenes formally identified free inhabitants of Attica as citizens of Athens, which gave them power and a role in a sense of civic solidarity.

Every male citizen over 18 had to be registered in his deme. While Ephialtes's opponents were away attempting to assist the Spartans, he persuaded the Assembly to reduce the powers of the Areopagus to a criminal court for cases of homicide and sacrilege.

At the same time or soon afterwards, the membership of the Areopagus was extended to the lower level of the propertied citizenship.

Their efforts, initially conducted through constitutional channels, culminated in the establishment of an oligarchy, the Council ofin the Athenian coup of BCE. The oligarchy endured for only four months before it was replaced by a more democratic government. Democratic regimes governed until Athens surrendered to Sparta in BCE, when government was placed in the hands of the so-called Thirty Tyrantswho were pro-Spartan oligarchs.

His relations with Athens were already strained when he returned to Babylon in BC; after his death, Athens and Sparta led several Greek states to war with Macedon and lost. However, the governors, like Demetrius of Phalerumappointed by Cassanderkept some of the traditional institutions in formal existence, although the Athenian public would consider them to be nothing more than Macedonian puppet dictators.

However, by now Athens had become "politically impotent". However, when Rome fought Macedonia inthe Athenians abolished the first two new tribes and created a twelfth tribe in honour of the Pergamene king. The Athenians declared for Rome, and in BC Athens became an autonomous civitas foederata, able to manage internal affairs.

This allowed Athens to practice the forms of democracy, though Rome ensured that the constitution strengthened the city's aristocracy. They were elected, and even foreigners such as Domitian and Hadrian held the office as a mark of honour. Four presided over the judicial administration. The Council whose numbers varied at different times from to was appointed by lot. It was superseded in importance by the Areopaguswhich, recruited from the elected archons, had an aristocratic character and was entrusted with wide powers.

From the time of Hadrian, an imperial curator superintended the finances. The shadow of the old constitution lingered on and Archons and Areopagus survived the fall of the Roman Empire. Athenion allied with Mithridates of Pontus and went to war with Rome; he was killed during the war and was replaced by Aristion.

The victorious Roman general, Publius Cornelius Sullaleft the Athenians their lives and did not sell them into slavery; he also restored the previous government, in 86 BC.

History of citizenship

During the 4th century BC, there might well have been some ,—, people in Attica. In the mid-5th century the number of adult male citizens was perhaps as high as 60, but this number fell precipitously during the Peloponnesian War. From a modern perspective these figures may seem small, but among Greek city-states Athens was huge: Around BC the orator Hyperides fragment 13 claimed that there wereslaves in Attica, but this figure is probably no more than an impression: Given the exclusive and ancestral concept of citizenship held by Greek city-statesa relatively large portion of the population took part in the government of Athens and of other radical democracies like it, compared to oligarchies and aristocracies.

It could also be granted by the assembly and was sometimes given to large groups e. However, by the 4th century, citizenship was given only to individuals and by a special vote with a quorum of This was generally done as a reward for some service to the state. In the course of a century, the number of citizenships so granted was in the hundreds rather than thousands. These are the assembly in some cases with a quorum ofthe council of bouleand the courts a minimum of people, on some occasions up to 6, Of these three bodies, the assembly and the courts were the true sites of power — although courts, unlike the assembly, were never simply called the demos 'the people'as they were manned by just those citizens over thirty.

Crucially, citizens voting in both were not subject to review and prosecution, as were council members and all other officeholders. In the 5th century BC there is often record of the assembly sitting as a court of judgment itself for trials of political importance and it is not a coincidence that 6, is the number both for the full quorum for the assembly and for the annual pool from which jurors were picked for particular trials.

By the mid-4th century, however, the assembly's judicial functions were largely curtailed, though it always kept a role in the initiation of various kinds of political trial. Unlike a parliamentthe assembly's members were not elected, but attended by right when they chose.

Greek democracy created at Athens was directrather than representative: The officials of the democracy were in part elected by the Assembly and in large part chosen by lottery in a process called sortition. The assembly had four main functions: As the system evolved, the last function was shifted to the law courts.

The standard format was that of speakers making speeches for and against a position, followed by a general vote usually by show of hands of yes or no. Though there might be blocs of opinion, sometimes enduring, on important matters, there were no political parties and likewise no government or opposition as in the Westminster system.

Voting was by simple majority. In the 5th century at least, there were scarcely any limits on the power exercised by the assembly. If the assembly broke the law, the only thing that might happen is that it would punish those who had made the proposal that it had agreed to. If a mistake had been made, from the assembly's viewpoint it could only be because it had been misled. Military service or simple distance prevented the exercise of citizenship. This could cause problems when it became too dark to see properly.

However, any member could demand that officials issue a recount. At the end of the session, each voter tossed one of these into a large clay jar which was afterwards cracked open for the counting of the ballots.

The Pnyx with the speaker's platform, the meeting place of the people of Athens. In the 5th century BC, there were 10 fixed assembly meetings per year, one in each of the ten state monthswith other meetings called as needed. In the following century, the meetings were set to forty a year, with four in each state month.

One of these was now called the main meeting, kyria ekklesia. Additional meetings might still be called, especially as up until BC there were still political trials that were conducted in the assembly, rather than in court.

The assembly meetings did not occur at fixed intervals, as they had to avoid clashing with the annual festivals that followed the lunar calendar. There was also a tendency for the four meetings to be aggregated toward the end of each state month. In the 5th century, public slaves forming a cordon with a red-stained rope herded citizens from the agora into the assembly meeting place Pnyxwith a fine being imposed on those who got the red on their clothes.

This promoted a new enthusiasm for assembly meetings. Only the first 6, to arrive were admitted and paid, with the red rope now used to keep latecomers at bay.

Each of Cleisthenes's 10 tribes provided 50 councillors who were at least 30 years old. The Boule's roles in public affairs included finance, maintaining the military's cavalry and fleet of ships, advising the generalsapproving of newly elected magistrates, and receiving ambassadors.

Most importantly, the Boule would draft probouleumata, or deliberations for the Ecclessia to discuss and approve on. During emergencies, the Ecclesia would also grant special temporary powers to the Boule. A member had to be approved by his deme, each of which would have an incentive to select those with experience in local politics and the greatest likelihood at effective participation in government.

All fifty members of the prytaneis on duty were housed and fed in the tholos of the Prytaneiona building adjacent to the bouleuterionwhere the boule met. A chairman for each tribe was chosen by lot each day, who was required to stay in the tholos for the next 24 hours, presiding over meetings of the Boule and Assembly.

The boule coordinated the activities of the various boards and magistrates that carried out the administrative functions of Athens and provided from its own membership randomly selected boards of ten responsible for areas ranging from naval affairs to religious observances. The age limit of 30 or older, the same as that for office holders but ten years older than that required for participation in the assembly, gave the courts a certain standing in relation to the assembly. Jurors were required to be under oath, which was not required for attendance at the assembly.

The authority exercised by the courts had the same basis as that of the assembly: Unlike office holders magistrateswho could be impeached and prosecuted for misconduct, the jurors could not be censured, for they, in effect, were the people and no authority could be higher than that.

relationship between rights and responsibilities in ancient athens

A corollary of this was that, at least acclaimed by defendants, if a court had made an unjust decision, it must have been because it had been misled by a litigant. For private suits the minimum jury size was increased to if a sum of over drachmas was at issuefor public suits Under Cleisthenes's reforms, juries were selected by lot from a panel of jurors, there being jurors from each of the ten tribes of Athens, making a jury pool of in total.

The cases were put by the litigants themselves in the form of an exchange of single speeches timed by a water clock or clepsydra, first prosecutor then defendant. In a public suit the litigants each had three hours to speak, much less in private suits though here it was in proportion to the amount of money at stake. Decisions were made by voting without any time set aside for deliberation. Jurors did talk informally amongst themselves during the voting procedure and juries could be rowdy, shouting out their disapproval or disbelief of things said by the litigants.

This may have had some role in building a consensus. The jury could only cast a 'yes' or 'no' vote as to the guilt and sentence of the defendant. For private suits only the victims or their families could prosecute, while for public suits anyone ho boulomenos, 'whoever wants to' i.

There was however a mechanism for prosecuting the witnesses of a successful prosecutor, which it appears could lead to the undoing of the earlier verdict. Payment for jurors was introduced around BC and is ascribed to Periclesa feature described by Aristotle as fundamental to radical democracy Politics a Pay was raised from 2 to 3 obols by Cleon early in the Peloponnesian war and there it stayed; the original amount is not known. Notably, this was introduced more than fifty years before payment for attendance at assembly meetings.

Duties & Responsibilities of Citizens

Running the courts was one of the major expenses of the Athenian state and there were moments of financial crisis in the 4th century when the courts, at least for private suits, had to be suspended. No judges presided over the courts, nor did anyone give legal direction to the jurors. Magistrates had only an administrative function and were laymen. Most of the annual magistracies in Athens could only be held once in a lifetime. There were no lawyers as such; litigants acted solely in their capacity as citizens.

Whatever professionalism there was tended to disguise itself; it was possible to pay for the services of a speechwriter or logographer logographosbut this may not have been advertised in court. Jurors would likely be more impressed if it seemed as though litigants were speaking for themselves.

Starting in BC, political trials were no longer held in the assembly, but only in a court. Under this, anything passed or proposed by the assembly could be put on hold for review before a jury — which might annul it and perhaps punish the proposer as well. Remarkably, it seems that blocking and then successfully reviewing a measure was enough to validate it without needing the assembly to vote on it.

For example, two men have clashed in the assembly about a proposal put by one of them; it passes, and now the two of them go to court with the loser in the assembly prosecuting both the law and its proposer. The quantity of these suits was enormous. The courts became in effect a kind of upper house. In the 5th century, there were no procedural differences between an executive decree and a law. They were both simply passed by the assembly.

However, beginning in BC, they were set sharply apart. Henceforth, laws were made not in the assembly, but by special panels of citizens drawn from the annual jury pool of 6, This expression encapsulated the right of citizens to take the initiative to stand to speak in the assembly, to initiate a public lawsuit that is, one held to affect the political community as a wholeto propose a law before the lawmakers, or to approach the council with suggestions.

Unlike officeholders, the citizen initiator was not voted on before taking up office or automatically reviewed after stepping down; these institutions had, after all, no set tenure and might be an action lasting only a moment. However, any stepping forward into the democratic limelight was risky.

relationship between rights and responsibilities in ancient athens

If another citizen initiator chose, a public figure could be called to account for their actions and punished. In situations involving a public figure, the initiator was referred to as a kategoros 'accuser'a term also used in cases involving homicide, rather than ho diokon 'the one who pursues'. We do not say that a man who takes no interest in politics is a man who minds his own business; we say that he has no business here at all. Archon and Areopagus Just before the reforms of Solon in the 7th century BC, Athens was governed by a few archons three, then later nine and the council of the Areopaguswhich was composed of members powerful noble families.

While there seems to have also been a type of citizen assembly presumably of the hoplite classthe archons and the body of the Areopagus ran the state and the mass of people had no say in government at all before these reforms.

Since the Areopagus was made up of ex-archons, this would eventually mean the weakening of the hold of the nobles there as well. However, even with Solon's creation of the citizen's assembly, the Archons and Areopagus still wielded a great deal of power.

In the play The Eumenidesperformed inAeschylushimself a noble, portrays the Areopagus as a court established by Athena herself, an apparent attempt to preserve the dignity of the Areopagus in the face of its disempowerment. They were mostly chosen by lotwith a much smaller and more prestigious group of about elected. Neither was compulsory; individuals had to nominate themselves for both selection methods. Being fair and just. Upholding just, fair and equitable consequences.

Athenian democracy

Providing reward in due accordance with honor, standards and law. There is a system to make sure everyone is being treated fairly. The Assembly included citizens who paid their taxes. They met atPynx Hill nearly once a week. Members of the Assembly made speeches, and the men over fifty had the opportunity to speak first. They debated, listened to each other, and voted by raising their hands. The Boule was the full time government of Ancient Athens. The Boule was made up of Citizens chosen by a lottery.

The Boule made decisions about day-to-day affairs such as collecting taxes and they made decisions about what questions required a vote from the Citizens. The Court was the government official working for the court. The Court could fine people and send them to trial.

The Jury was made of male citizens over thirty. There were five hundred one to one thousand five hundred juries chosen by a lottery. Freedom In ancient Athens Athenian Women did not have many freedoms. They could not be part of government, vote, own land, earn money, buy large items, or enter into contracts. Their freedoms were limited but they did have some.

They were able to own clothing, own jewellery, own personal slave sand purchase inexpensive items. They also had many things that they had to do such as run the home, manage the household, they were expected to be at home with the only exception of a funeral or religious cult festivals and at that time she would be accompanied.

Freedom was not a big part of the structure of government because Athenian Women were closed off from most of society and most residents of Athens could not participate in government. Mother Theresa fights as an Athenian Women for the opportunity to have freedom so they can be part of government, vote, own land, earn money and enter into contracts. Representation Athenian democracy emphasized on giving voices to their citizens.

As a result, it took the form of a direct democracy rather than a representative democracy. All citizens were able to attend the assembly that gathered on Pnyx Hill and vote on issues that were proposed. This form of democracy was to ensure that every citizen got a voice.

As an Athenian Women, Mother Theresa believes that democracy needs representation to uphold the right of having a voice in government. Being fair and just Equality: Being equal In Ancient Athens only the citizens could vote.

Metic | ancient Greek society |

Women, children, metics and slaves did not have a voice in government. Everyone should have a voice in the decision-making process because there is no difference between a man and women. They can both work equally hard, they both can earn money and they both have the ability to learn. They shouldbothbe able to own property, be educated, vote and hold government positions. The members of the Boule were chosen from a draw of all Athenian citizens.

The members had no choice of whether or not they held a government position. This does not reflect equity because if the members do not want to hold a government position, they should not have to.

All people should be treated equally and should have the right to choose whether or not they do something. Justice Is everyone treated fair in Ancient Athens? No, Athenian Women could not do what citizens could do which means they were not treated fairly. Just because Citizens were always men and Athenian Women were always women but there should be nothing different between men and women.