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Word Count: 402
Rebellion against power in Ancient Greece The government of many city-states notably Athens passed through four stages from the time of Homer to historical times The oligarchic successors of the kings were the wealthy landowning nobles the eupatridae or wellborn However the rivalry among these nobles and the discontent of the oppressed masses was so great that soon a third stage appeared Not only did this lead to the next stage of tyranny but also showed the beginnings of discontent that could culminate in rebellion Between two and three centuries before this the Athenian kings had made way for officials called archons elected by the nobles Thus an aristocratic form of government was established However the peasants found that under this aristocratic leadership many if not all of them faced endless cases of oppression In about 621BC an important step in the direction of democracy was taken not just as a result of a developing civilisation but in order to try and prevent an enormous uprising from the peasant population Compiled by Draco the new code was particularly harsh and draconic after its authors name but unfortunately it did not give the peasants sufficient relief A revolution was averted only by the wise intervention of Solon about a generation later Solons reforms only delayed the overthrow of the aristocracy and about 561 BC Pisistratus supported by the discontented populace made himself tyrant After a long reign where Pisistratus two sons continued ruling in his tyrannical footsteps Greek power emerged into another stage democracy The Athenians attained popular sovereignty with a minimum of bloodshed and internal upheaval However this does not mean that there was no opposition to popular government or to the policies it perused For the first half of the fifth century there are reports of two attempts to overthrow the democracy Plutarch is the only source of one of these early battles Some men of great wealth from distinguished
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