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Solon the Athenian and the Origins of Class Struggle

  • Thomas Thorp

Abstract

We are at Athens, one hundred years before the Battle of Marathon, hundred years before the trial of Socrates, and the poet who will ose these lines:

For to the [common] people (dēmoi) I gave so much power as is sufficient Neither robbing them of dignity, nor giving them too much and those who had power (dunamin), and were marvelously rich Even for these I contrived that they suffered no harm. I stood with a mighty shield in front of both classes.1

Keywords

Public Land Political Reform Historical Materialism Class Struggle Political Sphere 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    M. L. West’s Iambi et Elegi Graeci (Oxford: Oxford University Press, revised edition, 1992), and West’s numbers are now standard. This passage is Solon 5. 5–6.Google Scholar
  2. John Lewis, Solon the Thinker: Political Thought in Ancient Athens (London: Duckworth, 2006).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Aristotle, Constitution ofAthens and Related Texts, translated by Kurt von Fritz and Ernst Kapp (New York: Hafner Press, 1974): 69.Google Scholar
  4. 7.
    Solon’s poetry cited in Greek Elegiac Poetry, edited and translated by Douglas Gerber (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1961): 120; on demoi as citizens, see Gerber, Greek Elegiac Poetry, 112.Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    Elizabeth Irwin, Solon and Early Greek Poetry: The Politics of Exhortation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 10.
    Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Manifesto of the Communist Party, the English edition of 1888, edited by Friedrich Engels, in Robert C. Tucker, ed.,Google Scholar
  7. Karl Marx The Marx Engels Reader (New York: Norton, 1978): 473.Google Scholar
  8. 15.
    Dick Howard, The Politics of Critique (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988).Google Scholar
  9. 18.
    Martin Ostwald, From Popular Sovereignty to the Sovereignty ofLaw: Law, Society, and Politics in Fifth-Century Athens (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1986): 12–13.Google Scholar
  10. 19.
    G. R. Stanton, Athenian Politics c.800-500BC:A Sourcebook (London: Routledge, 1990): 71, n. 8.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Ron Scapp and Brian Seitz 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Thorp

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