Antikes Griechenland (Ancient Greece)

Veröffentlicht: 18. Dezember 2011 in Antikes Griechenland, Geschichte 2. Kl
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In dem folgenden Video gibt es ab Minute 25:00 unterhaltsame Informationen zum antiken Griechenland, von der Demokratie in Athen bis zu den olympischen Spielen: >>>Unterwegs in der Weltgeschichte – Erster Teil

>> Social Structure and Government in Ancient Athens als PDF zum Download

>> Aufgaben zur Demokratie im Antiken Griechenland als PDF

1.    What does the term polis mean? What did an ancient Greek polis look like?

Polis = City-state: Consisted of a city and the surrounding countryside, most poleis had several thousand inhabitants,
The largest city-state Athens had 300.000 inhabitants
The fortified area of high ground was called acropolis, where a temple dedicated to the city’s patron deity (= Schutzgott) was (Example Athens: Pallas Athene). In the centre of the city, which was surrounded by a city-wall, there was an agora used for markets and meetings.

A polis was
•    economically independent: Sie konnte sich mit allen lebensnotwendigen wirtschaftlichen Gütern selbst versorgen
•    politically independent: Sie regierte sich selbst

2.    What does the term politics ( = Politik) mean?

•    Politics refers to making decisions about the affairs of a community: How we set up rules (= laws) in a community of people with regard to economy, buildings, paying taxes, war, etc.

•    The questions are: Who has the power to implement laws? Who has political rights? Who has a say?

3.    Describe the social structure (= Gesellschaftsstruktur)  of ancient Athens
–    Slaves (Sklaven)
–    Metics (Metöken)
–    Citizens (Staatsbürger)

•    Slaves were workers owned by free people: some were servants, some had to do basic housework, some worked on farms, some worked in silver-mines, some were skilled craftsmen, but no slave had any legal rights (about 30 % of the Athenian population!)

Free men in Athens were divided into citizens and metics (Metöken)

•    Citizens were free men born to Athenian parents (about 40.000 out of 300.000 inhabitants in Athens!). Only citizens had the right to take part in the government of the polis. They had to serve in the army and were expected to serve as (unpaid!) government officials and to volunteer for jury service (Geschworene bei Gericht)

•    Metics were men born outside Athens who worked as traders or craftsmen (jewellers, potters, smiths – Athenian attitude towards work!). Many of them were prosperous, they had to pay taxes (mussten Steuern zahlen) and to serve in the army if required, but they had no political rights

•    Women had no political rights, no matter whether they were free, metics or slaves

4. How were Greek city-states governed (= regiert) during the archaic period? (Zeitbilder p. 56-57)

 Until 700 BC Greek city-states were ruled by Kings. This form of government is called monarchy (= Königsherrschaft) meaning “one person rules”. Kings lost their power to the land owning aristocrats who had received land as a reward for fighting wars for the kings. Aristocracy (Adelsherrschaft) means government of “the best”. During times of political unrest it happened that one man took over power and ruled absolutely. This sort of leader was called a tyrant (= Tyrann).

 5.       How was ostracism (= Scherbengericht) supposed to prevent a tyrant coming to power? (Zeitbilder p. 58)

 A vote of ostracism could be held once a year in the Assembly. Each citizen wrote the name of any citizen he wished to see banished on a piece of broken pottery, known as an ostrakon. If a politician received more than 6000 votes, he had to leave Athens for 10 years

 6.       When and why did Solon introduce reforms? What were the reforms introduced by Solon? (Zeitbilder p. 57)

 Around 600 BC: Rich land-owners became richer whereas small farmers and ordinary citizens became ever poorer. Many of these small farmers (Kleinbauern) had high levels of debt (hohe Schulden) and were forced to sell their farms. Some became debt bonds (= slaves) of the rich land-owners or were sold into slavery abroad. This led to a social conflict between the poor farmers and the rich landowners, which threatened to turn violent.

 ·         Solons Reforms:

  • Cheap grain (Getreide) for poor citizens
  • Abolition (Abschaffung) of  bonded servitude (Schuldknechtschaft)
  • Debts were cancelled (Schulden wurden gestrichen), citizens could no longer be sold into slavery.
  •  Limitations on the amount of land the nobility (= Adel) could own.
  • Even poor citizens were given a say in the Assembly (Volksversammlung)

7.       Passing laws in Ancient Athens: How did the Assembly (= Volksversammlung) work? How did the Council (= Rat) work?

8.       Who were the strategoi (Strategen)? How did the strategist Pericles (Stratege Perikles) change the political system in Athens?

  • Strategists (Strategen) were elected by the Assembly, all other offices were chosen by lot (= “ausgelost”)
  • Officials (councillors/Räte, jurors/Geschworene) and even citizens who attended the Assembly were paid a wage that poor ordinary Athenian citizens could afford to take part in political life.

9.       The legal system: How did a trial (= Gerichtsverfahren) look like in Athens? How did Athenians try to make their courts (= Gerichte) unbiased (= unparteiisch)? What were the tasks of the jurors (= Geschworene)?




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