Classicism Historical Context

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Democracy in Greece

Pericles became the leader of the democratic party in Athens in 461 B.C. and ruled during Athens's Golden Age. When state pay was instituted for officials in 450 B.C., Athens nearly became a full democracy; class was no longer a factor in official appointments. However, women, metics, and slaves were still completely excluded from politics. A demonstrated lack of respect as well as the active censorship of these residents were also byproducts of Athenian success.

Historians estimate the population of Attica, the state over which Athens was the capital, to have been approximately 315,000 at the time. Of this population, 172,000 were Athenian citizens, 28,000 were resident aliens, and 115,000 were slaves. All were registered in political and religious units known as demes. The rural population was very small, the land either owned by wealthy nobles or by farmers, whose chief crops were said to be olives and oil...

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This section contains 571 words
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Buy the Classicism Study Guide
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Literary Movements for Students
Classicism from Literary Movements for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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