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Ancient Greeks: The Revolution of Democracy (History Channel Documentary)
Monarchy and Tyranny in Ancient Greece Essay
Tyranny , in the Greco-Roman world, an autocratic form of rule in which one individual exercised power without any legal restraint. In antiquity the word tyrant was not necessarily pejorative and signified the holder of absolute political power. In its modern usage the word tyranny is usually pejorative and connotes the illegitimate possession or use of such power. For the ancient Greeks, a tyrant was not necessarily a bad ruler; in its original form tyrannos the word was used to describe a person who held absolute and personal power within a state, as distinct from a monarch, whose rule was bound by constitution and law. Some tyrants were usurpers who came to power by their own efforts; others were elected to rule; and still others were imposed by intervention from outside. Certain rulers, such as Phalaris , tyrant of Akragas in Sicily, who allegedly burned his enemies alive in a brazen bull, were bywords for uncontrolled cruelty and self-indulgence, but others, such as Pittakos at Mytilene, were remembered favourably in later sources as wise and moderate rulers who brought prosperity and peace to their cities.
In many parts of Greece other forms of government ruled. For instance, in Sparta, the government was an oligarchy; and in Athens before democracy, they were an aristocracy. When leaders took over land and their word became law, it was considered a tyranny. Many places ran by a royal family or bloodline were considered monarchy. A monarchy by definition is a form of government. The Greeks left behind a lavish legacy; whole cities built of marble and granite, written records of own history in the form of poems, and in prose, the alphabet we use today, they have invented and refined, the set of laws we fallow, they first tested, but by far the greatest contribution they have left for posterity would be the invention of democracy. Pomeroy, xiii The ancient Greeks were.
The government systems of ancient Greece were varied as the Greeks searched for Tyranny - rule by an individual who had seized power by.
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The government systems of ancient Greece were varied as the Greeks searched for the answers to such fundamental questions as who should rule and how? Should sovereignty kyrion lie in the rule of law nomoi , the constitution politea , officials, or the citizens? Not settling on a definitive answer to these questions, government in the ancient Greek world, therefore, took extraordinarily diverse forms and, across different city -states and over many centuries, political power could rest in the hands of a single individual, an elite or in every male citizen: democracy - widely regarded as the Greeks' greatest contribution to civilization. Our knowledge of the political systems in the ancient Greek world comes from a wide range of sources. Whilst for Athens , it is possible to piece together a more complete history, we have only an incomplete picture of the systems in most city-states and many details of how the political apparatus actually functioned are missing. Surviving, though, are over political speeches and 20, inscriptions which include decrees and 10 laws. There are also two specifically political texts with the same title, The Constitution of the Athenians , one written by Aristotle or one of his pupils and the other attributed by some to Xenophon.
Tyrant , Greek tyrannos , a cruel and oppressive ruler or, in ancient Greece , a ruler who seized power unconstitutionally or inherited such power. In the 10th and 9th centuries bce , monarchy was the usual form of government in the Greek states. The aristocratic regimes that replaced monarchy were by the 7th century bce themselves unpopular. Thus, the opportunity arose for ambitious men to seize power in the name of the oppressed. The best-known tyrannies were those founded by Cypselus at Corinth and Orthagoras at Sicyon about bce. There were tyrants also in Asiatic Greece, the most famous of whom was Thrasybulus of Miletus c.