Solon and Aristocracy Essay

2928 Words Apr 14th, 2012 12 Pages
In this paper, I intend to explore the conflicts that arose between those of the aristocratic society, and those who composed the vast number of peasants before, as well as after the life and times of Solon, and the effect and solutions that Solon’s rule had concerning these conflicts. Such major conflicts between peasants and aristocrats include, [but are not limited to] land and slavery (Trumbach). Though, these laws will be explored further later on in this essay. The ruler, Solon imposed a number of laws in order to rectify the problems that were arising between aristocrats and peasants, as well as to mold Athenian society in a much more citizen-oriented way of living (Trumbach). Such laws included relieving the prior debts that …show more content…
Because of these conditions, the city was on the verge of seeing a revolution (Plutarch: Solon, 54). The commoners, who made up the vast majority of citizens, were facing horrible conditions, and only 1% to 2% of the city’s population were large landowners. There was no middle class in this society; simply aristocrats and peasants (Trumbach). There was also not much room for social mobility either. The most a peasant could become in that society was a richer peasant. (Trumbach). The commoners were extremely dissatisfied with their conditions, and wanted change. They proposed that one trustworthy man should be chosen to lead all of them and represent their cause (Plutarch: Solon 54). Additionally, they proposed that all the land should be seized, and redistributed, as well as for the constitution to be completely revised (Plutarch: Solon, 54-55). To appease the tensions between the aristocrats and the peasants, Solon went behind the backs of both parties in question and promised to give each party exactly what they wanted [the aristocrats wanted their securities, and the peasants wanted a redistribution of land] (Plutarch: Solon, 55). He did this in order to save the city from the impending revolution that it was about to face. Because he appeased both sides, the leaders of both parties pushed Solon to form a tyranny

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