Kings ruled Athens. They were the groups of noblemen ran the city until about BC. After passing some time they became a democracy. All people allowed meeting the Assembly except women and slaves. That assembly held forty times in a year. In this assembly, everyone could discuss issues and laws, problems, administration of Athens. Everyone could give his suggestion and points to improvements. Each person could speak only once. The Assembly elected judges who carried out the day-to-day business of the city, which included such things as taxes and planning.
“The darker side of Athens”
Athens Formed a civilization that had effect on the world for three hundred years (600 to 300 bc). Its art, medicine, science and its ideas on beauty, politics, religion, education, even on literature have an importance in our today’s life.
Instead of these all importance, there were some darker sides.
There were few thousand rich homes but the majority of people lived in tiny houses without any facilities of life. These were deep in mud in winter or full of dust in the summer. There were a lot of dead bodies and live bodies of baby girl who thrown there to die. Wild dogs were eaten these bodies and sometimes slave dealers brought them for sell. In a dusty area they had dirty water to drink and for other purposes. In the huts of ordinary people, they had just floor to sleep. They had some pots for cooking and storage jars stacked against the wall. There was no any kind of soap and other kinds of modern things.
The Greeks were overall, kind people but they did not look upon slavery as wrong. Some slaves were those prisoners of war. The slaves has not any right even children also has not rights at all. They neglected as animals. They considered as cheap as donkey and worked a lot. Even Aristotle, one of the wisest of philosophers, talked of a freeman’s possessions being tools and living tools (meaning slaves). The very best thing was that a slave might become a police officer, clerk or schoolteacher, sometimes employed at city. The majority of them worked in the fields and in the artisans’ shops. Some of them are house slaves.
Athenswas so beautiful, cultured and advanced. Just rich women allowed out of the houses, slaves had no rights and outsiders even they might be rich merchants could not take part in the government. Of about 300,000 people in Athens in the 5th century, it estimated that smaller amount than 50,000 enjoyed the rights of voting.
There was a lot of drunkenness inAthens, specifically between the more wealthy men. There was a lot of drinking parties where the men go with their friends. They were free for drinking openly. Household women not admitted but professional performers entertained the drinkers with dancing and flute. The people could drink even in the bazaar. No one can stop them for doing so. The honor of family also involved in such types of activities therefore young boys liked drinking until late night. Late night drinking and bachelor parties allowed.
Ordinary women could not show her freedom and did not want her rights according to her life. Men could enjoy drunken parties without their wives. Wives of them could not go with them in these parties. Just rich women allowed going such types of drunken parties whenever held late night or daytime.
The freedom and liberty was dreadful for women inAthens. The girls married in their very early teens, they became a little better than their husband’s slaves did. They had few legal rights and did not leave their special rooms at the back of the house except for rare visits to religious ceremonies. Women spent their most time in spinning wool. They normally separately from the men. Their husbands could marry them off to anyone but after the man’s death, women were not free.
If he had not said in his will whom his widow must marry, the elder male in his family was supposed to find her other husband. Poorer women without slaves were a little better off because they had to go into the market to buy food, and some even stalls here.