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During the 5th Century BC the Athenians government religion and architecture were three of the most important aspects of their polis The Athenians had a very good understanding of government literature and science and had more influence on our civilization than any other people in history The Classical Period in Greece lasted 150 years from 480 to 300 BC This is when ancient Greek civilization was at its peak Athens population was about 300000 people The Athenians developed a system of government called democracy meaning the government was elected by the people It was not like our modern day democracy because only adult male citizens had a say in the government The supreme power of the government was their Assembly It was open to all adult male citizens It met forty times a year It was guided by a Council of 500 citizens chosen by lot drawing a name from a selection of names submitted from the ten tribes of Athens The Athenians day to day decisions were made by the Prytaneis their inner council of 50 Metics were the 50000 foreigners living in Athens during the 5th Century They had no active part in the government and paid light taxes They were allowed to own slaves They were mostly businessmen and craftsmen like weavers and metalworkers Some were doctors and teachers The Athenians considered the metics valuable members of their community Slavery was an accepted part of Athenian life and over half of the DeBellis 2 population were slaves Slaves did most of the manual work The state also owned slaves They were paid a salary and allowed to marry The 1000 Scythian archers were the states best known slaves as they were employed by the police force The administration of Athens was
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