Ancient Greece: The Five Forms Of Government

HIST 1421
Written Assignment by Samanta Komonaj

Introduction Monarchy, aristocracy, tyranny, oligarchy and democracy were words that were coined by the Greeks to describe several forms of government. The Greek political system can be traced back to Athens and Sparta, two cities in Greece that was considered as the birth of civilization. This paper will compare and contrast the five forms of government in the ancient Greek city-states.
Monarchy
Monarchy comes from two Greek words “monos” meaning single and “arkhein,” meaning rule. In this form of government the ruling power comes from a single person, usually a king, and a council of advisors. This occurred around 2000 to 1200 B.C. Under this form of government in ancient Greece, the king ruled with a powerful army which he used to impose taxes, and enforce his laws. He is often king for life and when
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The word originated from the Greek words “demos” meaning people and “kratos” meaning power. Democracy is a rule of the people (demos). The early beginnings of democracy in Athens were the result of Solon and Cleisthenes reforms and transformed Athens from oligarchy to democracy (Cartledge, 2011). The democratic form of government spread to the rest of the cities ancient Greece and even spread to as far as Rome and Carthage, two non-Greek states who adopted democracy as a form of government. Democracy in ancient Greece was different from modern day democracy since people’s participation were limited to those who owned land or property. Slaves and women were not permitted to participate in politics, and so were Greeks from other city states who happen to be living in Athens. Athenian democracy ended when Athens lost to Sparta after thirty years in what is now known as the Peloponnesian War. Sparta briefly restored democracy in Athens but when King Philip of Macedonia and Alexander the Great conquered Greece, democracy

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