Solon, Conflict in Athens Essay

1679 Words Dec 7th, 2012 7 Pages
Conflict in Athens
In the time before Solon there was a lot of conflict in Athens. Some between the aristocrats and the peasants. The rich had enslaved a lot of the poor people and most of the other poor people had debt with them. This drove the poor to seek a revolution because it was becoming unbearable. Other conflict that existed was between the different aristocratic families themselves. Megacles and Cylon’s factions had a blood feud going that was quite serious at the time of Solon. Solon made several different laws to fix these problems. He was able the end the blood feuds for the most part and give both the poor and the rich a benefit from the new system of laws. Thus successfully getting them to work together instead of them
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“At this point the most level-headed of the Athenians began to look towards Solon. … they appealed to him to come forward and settle their difference.” (Pl. Sol. Pg 55)
Solon enacted several laws to address these issues. He gave neither side what they wanted but gave them basically what they needed. “At first, however, his policy did not please either party.” (Pl. Sol. pg58) He cleared all debt and stopped the use of persons as collateral. “”The first measure which he put into force decreed that existing debts were wiped out and that in future nobody could accept the person of a debtor as security.” (Pl. Sol. pg 57) Although they did not like it at first they began to see the ways in which it was good. They then appointed him to make more laws in all areas. “...not long before they saw the advantages of his policy.... they went on to appoint Solon to reform the constitution and draw up a code of laws. No limit was set to his powers...” (Pl. Sol. Pg 59) However because aristocrats could no longer lend grain on the collateral of possibly getting a slave Solon had to enact laws to encourage them to lend their grain. “Oil was the only product of Attica which Solon allowed to be exported...” (Pl. Sol. Pg 66) This meant the aristocrats were sitting on vast amounts of grain they couldn’t do anything with but give away or lend to the people in need. This was not all bad because by giving excess grain to the poor people it would win favor for

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