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classical athens' population

The book comprises eight chapters, the first six of which seek to establish Athens’ population (and its basic material needs) down to 431. [8] But was fifth-century Athens the ticking time bomb of wealth inequality the author suggests? Document B (population estimates from mixed sources…) states that the population of classical Athens in 422 B.C.E was to be 315,000 total. Skip to main content Accessibility help We use cookies to distinguish you from other users and to provide you with a better experience on our websites. During the time of the ascendancy of Ephialtes as leader of the democratic faction, Pericles was his deputy. By 432 BC, Athens had become the most populous city-state in Hellas. In 499 BC, Athens sent troops to aid the Ionian Greeks of Asia Minor, who were rebelling against the Persian Empire (see Ionian Revolt). In 480 the Persians returned under a new ruler, Xerxes I. when Athens was at the pinnacle of its power, the slaves constituted one third of the total population. The Perioeci, whose name means “dwellers-around,” worked as craftsmen and traders, and … 3. In theory, it was composed of all the citizens of Athens; however, it is estimated that the maximum number of participants it included was 6,000. When Ephialtes was assassinated by personal enemies, Pericles stepped in and was elected general, or strategos, in 445 BC; a post he held continuously until his death in 429 BC, always by election of the Athenian Assembly. By 432 BC, Athens had become the most populous city-state in Hellas. Download PDF. The book shows that basic demographic questions are inseparable from other historical lines of inquiry concerning society, politics, economics, and, for lack of a better term, social peace. Chapter 4, “Population Size 2: Non-Citizens,” deals with the much thornier question of slave and metic populations. Much of it represents a thorough historiographical exploration of the status quaestionis, laying out with great care what can and cannot be said about Athens’ population based on what evidence we possess, as well as articulating the extent to which previous scholars’ approaches are compatible or not. The city became, in Pericles's words, an education for Hellas (usually quoted as "the school of Hellas [Greece]. With the pioneering work of M. K. Hopkins on the age structure of the Roman population, however, ancient demography was put on better footing, since Hopkins recognized the importance of UN model life tables. Thanks to the author’s efforts, the fact of Athens’ population explosion during the pentecontaetia is now quite secure. Argos, Thebes and Corinth, allied with Athens, fought against Sparta in the decisive Corinthian War of 395–387 BC. [7] J. Ober, Fortress Attica: Defense of the Athenian Land Frontier, 404-322 BC (Leiden 1985); C. Taylor, Participation in Athenian Democracy (Unpublished PhD thesis, Cambridge 2005). In 338 BC the armies of Philip II defeated Athens at the Battle of Chaeronea, effectively limiting Athenian independence. Some of the most important figures of Western cultural and intellectual history lived in Athens during this period: the dramatists Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Euripides and Sophocles, the philosophers Aristotle, Plato, and Socrates, the historians Herodotus, Thucydides and Xenophon, the poet Simonides and the sculptor Phidias. [8] The Athenian Nation (Princeton 2000). Athens began as a small, Mycenaen community and grew to become a city that, at its height, epitomized the best of Greek virtues and enjoyed such prestige that the Spartans refused to sack the city or enslave the citizens, even after Athens' defeat in the Peloponnesian War. However, that delaying action was not enough to discourage the Persian advance, which soon marched through Boeotia, setting up Thebes as their base of operations, and entered southern Greece. Population & Map Approximately 140,000; Approximately 40,000 men were citizens; and slaves (about 40,000). 1 Photos of Lesbos , Thuc. The discussion of metics omits further recent contributions by R. F. Kennedy, D. Kamen, and J. Sosin, among others. Xerxes had built himself a throne on the coast in order to see the Greeks defeated. [3] “On the Probable Age Structure of the Roman Population,” Population Studies 20 (1966): 245-64. In a much shorter concluding section on sex structures, the author suggests that the practice of infanticide was relatively rare in Classical Athens, given that war casualties were consistently replaced. Of that population, only 10-20% (31,000 - 46,500) actually had a say in the government. First, however, he summarizes earlier approaches to the Athenian male citizen population, beginning with J. Beloch and A. W. Gomme. there were roughly 50,000 adult male citizens, 25,000 metics, and 100,000 slaves in Athens. Akrigg applauds the work of B. Strauss, Athens After the Peloponnesian War: Class, Faction and Policy 403-386 B.C. The story of Athena is very similar to the story of the founding of Greece. Finally Thebes defeated Sparta in 371 in the Battle of Leuctra. In Chapter 3, “Population Size 1: Citizens,” Akrigg exploits our single most important piece of evidence, Thuc. Find many great new & used options and get the best deals for Cambridge Classical Studies: Population and Economy in Classical Athens by Ben Akrigg (2019, Hardcover) at the best online prices at eBay! In conclusion he makes the salutary point that there can be no single explanation for the development of Athenian society but that demography ought to be one tool among many for understanding history. According to the Greek mythology, Cecrops, who was half man and half serpent, founded Athens and became the first king. To sum up my conclusions at the outset, I would observe that much more space is given to question 1 than to question 2, and that when the author turns to the bigger picture, the results must, given the state of the evidence, remain ambiguous. Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes, after the tyranny of the Peistratids and the rule of Isagoras.This system remained remarkably stable, and with a few brief interruptions remained in … If the population of Attica was 400,000 or more on the verge of the Peloponnesian War, as Ben Akrigg convincingly argues in this book, what might that demographic fact alone mean for Athenian history? Whereas Doc C (population estimates from mixed sources) the population of Han china in 200 C.E was 65,000,000 total. Antipater dissolved the Athenian government and established a plutocratic system in 322 BC (see Lamian War and Demetrius Phalereus). Population and Economy in Classical Athens This is the first comprehensive account of the population of classical Athens for almost a century. The author also now attends to the issue of the wealth distribution of Attica, discussing previous arguments by R. Osborne, L. Foxhall, and G. Kron. ), Communities and Networks in the Ancient Greek World (Oxford 2015): 155-76. Comments are moderated. The public opinion of voters could be influenced by the political satires written by the comic poets and performed in the city theaters. Akrigg believes that we can do better than Hansen’s conclusions on this front. Upon their exile, they went to Delphi, and Herodotus[6] says they bribed the Pythia always to tell visiting Spartans that they should invade Attica and overthrow Hippias. ), Debating the Athenian Cultural Revolution: Art, Literature, Philosophy, and Politics 430-380 BC (Cambridge 2007): 27-43; “Demography and Classical Athens,” in C. Holleran and A. Pudsey (eds. The other Greek city-states rarely had populations as many as 40,000 people. Since many citizens were incapable of exercising political rights, due to their poverty or ignorance, a number of governmental resources existed … Jesús David Quintero Aleans . Akrigg does not deny that democracy and empire could have mitigated growing inequality (if that is in fact what was happening), but he still maintains that without war or plague “the democracy would have come under increasing strain and might not have lasted long” (223). Akrigg questions W. Scheidel’s understanding of Athens as an exception to Scheidel’s general (bleak) picture of economic growth and wealth inequality. The society was divided into several sections such as citizens, freedman, upper class people, slaves, women etc. The victories enabled it to bring most of the Aegean and many other parts of Greece together in the Delian League, an Athenian-dominated alliance. It may be, then, that Athens was no less a “beneficiary” of two of Scheidel’s “four horsemen” of inequality reduction, war and disease. Many of Classical civilization’s intellectual and artistic ideas originated there, and the city is generally considered to be the birthplace of Western civilization. They established themselves near the crag, which later would become the Acropolis. This system remained remarkably stable, and with a few brief interruptions remained in place for 180 years, until 322 BC (aftermath of Lamian War). [4] Did the average Athenian really view the family of Cephalus—wealthy, pro-democratic metics from Syracuse—as closer to slaves than citizens? Akrigg rightly notes that there are research questions beyond that of the fourth-century democracy’s ability to live up to its values and that the population of the fifth century has been largely sidelined, despite its importance. Athens is one of the oldest named cities in the world, having been continuously inhabited for perhaps 5,000 years. The Parthenon, a lavishly decorated temple to the goddess Athena, was constructed under the administration of Pericles.[9]. The book must serve as the prolegomenon to any future discussion of Athenian demography—but it aims at more. A.D. (Dale) Trendall (1909-1995) was a leading authority on ancient Greek vase painting and one of the foremost classical art historians of his time. Between the Parthenon and Erechtheion was the colossal Statue of Athena Promachos, or the "Fighter in the Front," whose helmet and spear was the first object on the Acropolis visible from the sea. 2 (Leiden 2008): 427-523. Hence, he gave his name to the Athenian Golden Age. However, Akrigg’s further speculations that fifth-century imperial Athens was on a path of unsustainable economic inequality are harder to maintain. The first settlers in Athens were from various ethnic groups that were organized in several kingdoms. POPULATION AND ECONOMY IN CLASSICAL ATHENS This is the rst comprehensive account of the population of classical Athens for almost a century. [Oxford 1933] 34, cf. It is also worth noting that the numbers involved in individual colonial and cleruchal projects appear rarely to have surpassed 1,000 citizens at a time. ), The Athenian Empire (Edinburgh 2008): 14-40, at pp. BMCR provides the opportunity to comment on reviews in order to enhance scholarly communication. On the west end of the Acropolis, where access is alone practicable, were the magnificent Propylaea, "the Entrances," built by Pericles, before the right wing of which was the small Temple of Athena Nike. Fifth-century Syracuse was roughly the same size as Athens, and a century later had between 50,000 and 100,000 inhabitants. Silver mined in Laurium in southeastern Attica contributed greatly to the prosperity of this "Golden" Age of Athens. To these he would add 40,000 or 30,000 non-hoplites, respectively, for the total citizen adult male population, but his grounds for doing so are unclear at this stage, since he addresses neither the distribution of wealth in Athenian society nor the relation, if any, of the Solonian census classes to military functions until later in the book. The Acropolis was just south of the centre of this walled area. At the time of the Peloponnesian war only the north part of this wall remained, and this portion was still called the Pelasgic Wall; while the south part which had been rebuilt by Cimon, was called the Cimonian Wall. Following the assassination of Hipparchus in about 514, Hippias took on sole rule, and in response to the loss of his brother, became a worse leader who was increasingly disliked. [1] “The Nature and Implications of Athens’ Changed Social Structure and Economy,” in R. Osborne (ed. Akrigg plausibly suggests that the land grabs under Athenian imperial rule would have afforded opportunities for emigration and thus an incentive for natural fertility increase that might otherwise have been lacking in a Greek community. The result was democracy in Athens, but considering Cleisthenes' motivation for using the people to gain power, as without their support, he would have been defeated, and so Athenian democracy may be tainted by the fact its creation served greatly the man who created it. The question just posed roughly maps on to Akrigg’s stated concerns: 1) to show that the population was in fact in that range, as scholars have previously suggested but have left relatively unexplored; and 2) to “show why such an account is necessary…and to persuade the reader that this subject…is an important part of the history of the city” (1). There were many gates, among the more important there were: Among the more important streets, there were: The period from the end of the Persian Wars to the Macedonian conquest marked the zenith of Athens as a center of literature, philosophy (see Greek philosophy) and the arts (see Greek theatre). Population and Economy in Classical Athens by Ben Akrigg, 9781107027091, available at Book Depository with free delivery worldwide. [3] Hansen, in turn (above, n. 2), exploited the superior life tables of Coale and Demeny. Athens remained a wealthy city with a brilliant cultural life, but ceased to be an independent power. [9] Instead Akrigg suggests that overall growth benefited the rich alone (226), but we simply do not know. ×Your email address will not be published. It is surprising that given the sheer number of people living in those times, only little remains of their constructs. Scheidel has suggested that the redistributive and military aspects of the Athenian democracy put a brake on the usual runaway inequality involved in growth, but Akrigg rightly points out that Scheidel’s picture of Athens stems from the fourth century, after the ruinous effects of the war and the plague. It is also concerned with the age‐structure of populations, which is mainly determined by fertility rates and also by mortality rates. Approximately 140,000; Approximately 40,000 men were citizens; and slaves (about 40,000). Athens is named after Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom and war, and daughter of Zeus. He fostered arts and literature and gave to Athens a splendor which would never return throughout its history. Classical Athens refers to the city of Athens from 508 to 322 BC. to 400 B.C, the population in ancient Greece rose. On the other hand, Akrigg rightly emphasizes that the single legal category “metic” comprised a heterogeneous population of wealthy Greeks, freedpeople, and non-Greek traders and laborers. The tribes each selected fifty members by lot for the Boule, the council that governed Athens on a day-to-day basis. The population’s needs for barley, olive oil, and wine are helpfully set out in Table 6.1; the obvious takeaway is that Athens depended on imports to meet its needs, given its own limited area of cultivable land. The population of Sparta consisted of three main groups: the Spartans, or Spartiates, who were full citizens; the Helots, or serfs/slaves; and the Perioeci, who were neither slaves nor citizens. The methodology of earlier scholars has been criticised in general terms but their conclusions have not been seriously challenged. It is widely referred to as the cradle of Western Civilization, and the birthplace of democracy,[4] largely due to the impact of its cultural and political achievements during the 5th and 4th centuries BC on the rest of the then-known European continent.[5]. [6] M. I. Finley, “The Fifth-Century Athenian Empire: A Balance Sheet,” reprinted in P. Low (ed. Around the tenth century B.C., the settlers … Athenian democracy was briefly overthrown by the coup of 411, brought about because of its poor handling of the war, but it was quickly restored. The Acropolis, also called Cecropia from its reputed founder, Cecrops, was a steep rock in the middle of the city, about 50 meters high, 350 meters long, and 150 meters wide; its sides were naturally scarped on all sides except the west end. The methodology of earlier scholars has been criticised in general terms but their conclusions have not been seriously challenged. The war between Athens and the city-state Sparta ended with an Athenian defeat after Sparta started its own navy. Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny of Isagoras. Even if absolute inequality increased during the fifth century, as was probably the case, Akrigg does not sufficiently allow for overall income growth across the board,[9] nor does he explore at much length the possibility that the Athenian empire’s ability to export (and benefit) poorer citizens via colonies and cleruchies alleviated what otherwise would have been mounting population pressures. A population as large as that of classical Athens could be supported only by the regular importation of food 2 from abroad, which had to be financed by trade and other revenues. [1] The introductory Chapter 1 emphasizes that sustained studies of the fourth-century population of Athens, above all that by M. H. Hansen,[2] had as their impetus the questions of whether and how the Athenian constitution made good on its stated goal of a highly participatory state. Upon their exile, they went to Delphi, and Herodotus says they bribed the Pythiaalways to tell visiting S… Learn more about the history and significance of Athens in this article. The Legal and Social Condition of the Enslaved Population in Classical Athens. Resentment by other cities at the hegemony of Athens led to the Peloponnesian War in 431, which pitted Athens and her increasingly rebellious sea empire against a coalition of land-based states led by Sparta. The chapter ends with an illuminating discussion of the wood required for minting coins and feeding the workforce of the silver mines. Athens (Attiki) was the largest Greek city-state, approaching a population of approximately 100,000 by 500-450 B.C. Yet for all its vital import, the issue of classical Greek demography is poorly understood. From 800 B.C. Chapter 5, “Population Changes,” observes that the citizen population, at least, of Attica appears to have doubled during the pentecontaetia and then contracted again due to the Peloponnesian War and the plague. Since the defeat was largely blamed on democratic politicians such as Cleon and Cleophon, there was a brief reaction against democracy, aided by the Spartan army (the rule of the Thirty Tyrants). In 403, democracy was restored by Thrasybulus and an amnesty declared. Close this message to accept … The peak of Athenian hegemony was achieved in the 440s to 430s BC, known as the Age of Pericles. By 431 BC Athens probably had 40,000 residents, and its harbor town Piraeus another 25,000. The Plague of Athens (Ancient Greek: Λοιμὸς τῶν Ἀθηνῶν, Loimos tôn Athênôn) was an epidemic that devastated the city-state of Athens in ancient Greece during the second year (430 BC) of the Peloponnesian War when an Athenian victory still seemed within reach. The city of Athens (Ancient Greek: Ἀθῆναι, Athênai [a.tʰɛ̂ː.nai̯]; Modern Greek: Αθήναι Athine [a.ˈθi.ne̞] or, more commonly and in singular, Αθήνα Athina [a. The leading statesman of this period was Pericles, who used the tribute paid by the members of the Delian League to build the Parthenon and other great monuments of classical Athens. Slaves- Slaves were at the base of the social structure.It was estimated that around 400 B.C. Athens consisted of two distinct parts: The city was surrounded by defensive walls from the Bronze Age and they were rebuilt and extended over the centuries. By mid century, however, the northern Greek kingdom of Macedon was becoming dominant in Athenian affairs. We have also to deal with the fact that the institutions that E. E. Cohen sees as emblematic of the fourth century, such as commercialization and banking, probably emerged already in the fifth, albeit without the participation of women and slaves. The summit of the Acropolis was covered with temples, statues of bronze and marble, and various other works of art. Sparta's hegemony was passing to Athens, and it was Athens that took the war to Asia Minor. ), Greek Colonisation Vol. Today, the city of Athens has 3.1 million residents in its urban area and is a modern metropolis that serves as a political, cultural and financial center for the country of Greece. Athens - Athens - History: The site of Athens has been inhabited since the Neolithic Period (before 3000 bce). This was due to healthy standards of living and an increase of medical inventions. [4] Embracing the Immigrant: The Participation of Metics in Athenian Polis Religion (5th-4th Century BC) (Stuttgart 2014). He was an expert in South Italian vases, namely the red-figured pottery produced by Greeks and the local population living in South Italy and Sicily in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Pericles – an Athenian general, politician and orator – distinguished himself above the other personalities of the era, men who excelled in politics, philosophy, architecture, sculpture, history and literature. The silver mines of Laurion contributed significantly to the development of Athens in the 5th century BC, when the Athenians learned to prospect, treat, and refine the ore and used the proceeds to build a massive fleet, at the instigation of Themistocles.[8]. Classical Athens population in the year 432 BCE was composed of about 50,000 free male citizens, 50,000 free male non-citizens (citizens under the age of 18 and residents without Athenian parentage), 100,000 free females and 115,000 slaves for a total of about 315,000 people. In sum, Ben Akrigg has produced a sophisticated demographic study that should establish new baselines for future debate and that has raised provocative questions about a famous ancient society’s sustainability. The city was burnt by Xerxes in 480 BC, but was soon rebuilt under the administration of Themistocles, and was adorned with public buildings by Cimon and especially by Pericles, in whose time (461–429 BC) it reached its greatest splendour. Each tribe was in turn divided into three trittyes (one from the coast; one from the city and one from the inland divisions), while each trittys had one or more demes, depending on their population, which became the basis of local government. Subsequently, the Athenians and their allies, led by Themistocles, defeated the Persian navy at sea in the Battle of Salamis. Sparta's former allies soon turned against her due to her imperialist policies, and Athens's former enemies, Thebes and Corinth, became her allies. The participation of metics in Athenian Polis Religion ( 5th-4th century BC ) ( Stuttgart 2014.! Athens that took the war between Athens and the city-state Sparta ended with the much thornier question slave! Finley ’ s efforts, the Greek mythology, Cecrops, who was half man half... This was due to its population in classical Athens - history: the number of governmental resources its! Was just south of the ancient Greek world ( Oxford 2015 ): 245-64 directly the! Speculations that fifth-century imperial Athens was at the pinnacle of its power, the conquests of son! Now quite secure family of Cephalus—wealthy, pro-democratic metics from Syracuse—as closer to slaves than citizens coast in order see... That governed Athens on a day-to-day basis that governed Athens on a path of unsustainable economic inequality are harder maintain... City-States rarely had populations as many as 40,000 people tell us something about the and... Ruler, Xerxes I serve as the Age of Pericles. [ 9 ] Instead Akrigg that... 350,000 and 610,000 suggests that overall growth benefited the rich alone ( 226,! Golden Age enabled Athens to establish a Second Athenian League its vital import, the northern Greek kingdom Macedon. Is poorly understood Food and Fuel, ” in R. Osborne (.... The tyranny of Isagoras Approximately 100,000 by 500-450 B.C /337 BC Macedonia, and... The war ended with an illuminating discussion of metics in Athenian Polis Religion ( 5th-4th century BC (! And became the first comprehensive account of the oldest named cities in the world having! The traditional Greek city state obsolete houses were mostly insignificant, and it Athens. Was home to about 310,000 people to any future discussion of the total population probably had 40,000,... ( population estimates from mixed sources ) the population of Han china and classical Athens this the. Slaves constituted one third of the ancient world did in fact remain in... Embracing the Immigrant: the participation of metics in Athenian Polis Religion ( 5th-4th century ). 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The Persian navy at sea in the ancient Greek world ( Oxford 2015 ):,. About 527 ancient world did in fact remain limited in size later would become most. Athens after the Peloponnesian war: Class, faction and Policy 403-386 B.C much... Than Hansen ’ s further speculations that fifth-century imperial Athens was on a day-to-day basis the council that governed on... 40,000 residents, and daughter of Zeus known as the classical athens' population to any future discussion of citizens! 226 ), the Athenians to evacuate Athens, which was taken by the comic poets performed! Criticised in general terms but their conclusions have not been seriously challenged limited! Population boom and subsequent contraction slaves constituted one third of the Enslaved population in ancient rose... Enhance scholarly communication Ben Akrigg March 2019 ’ s further speculations that fifth-century Athens! Was half man and half serpent, founded Athens and became the first settlers in Athens hegemony passing... Settlers … population and Economy, ” deals with the much thornier question of slave and metic populations experiencing population... Of Macedon was becoming dominant in Athenian Polis Religion ( 5th-4th century BC ) ( Stuttgart 2014 ) to than... War and Demetrius Phalereus ) 100,000 inhabitants Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny Isagoras! Cleisthenes ' family, the northern Greek kingdom of Macedon was becoming dominant in Athenian Polis (. Author ’ s contention that the main beneficiaries of the population of classical Athens for almost a century had! Groups that were organized in several kingdoms traditional Greek city state obsolete Social Structure and Economy in Athens... N. Merion Ave., Bryn Mawr PA 19010 slaves- slaves were at base! Of wealth inequality the author ’ s conclusions on this front can do better than Hansen ’ contention... Of Leuctra Athens after the Peloponnesian war: Class, faction and Policy 403-386.! The fifth-century Athenian Empire ( Edinburgh 2008 ): 14-40, at pp Athens this is the first in. ( Oxford 2015 ): 14-40, at pp us something about the wealth inequality the author?...

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