Anonymous asked in Arts & HumanitiesHistory · 1 decade ago

how was citizenship connected to the Greek polis?

1 Answer

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The polis was a complex hierarchical society built around the notion of citizenship. It was made up of hundreds or even thousands of independent peasant households, which neither paid impersonal dues to a centralised government, nor depended on the state for the means of life.... The equation of the polis with the whole citizen body, even if governmental functions were often reserved to a smaller group, marks it off from other ancient states. All citizens had a share in the polis, which in its most developed form was based economically on the institution of chattel slavery. If the citizens became subjects, their community ceased to be a polis."

    Citizenship in classical Athens

    Samenvatting-Eng Citizenship is a crucial concept in the history of ancient Greece and of classical Athens in particular. This project offers a fundamentally new approach to citizenship in classical Athens, attributing a formative role to religion within the political domain, leading to a clarification of female citizenship and a reassessment of the political role of resident immigrants (metics). As the alleged ancestor of modern democracies and as the origin of western political theory, classical Athens plays a key role in the historical and comparative understanding of political culture. "Citizenship" entails both the legal definition of a status (what criteria should someone fulfill in order to be a citizen

    One further innovation should be remarked upon: naturalization. The Greek city-states determined citizenship by descent. Although we tend to gloss over this aspect of Greek society, the Greeks still had a fundamental and working sense of kinship relationships and tribal organization. An Athenian, Spartan, or Corinthian citiizen would have been well-versed in their kinship and tribal affiliations, so citizenship was based on descent . Most cities demanded that its citizens be able to demonstrate descent from one parent who was a citizen; but often the requirements were more difficult, demanding that the each citizen demonstrate that both parents were Athenian citizens. Every once in a while, however, the administration of a polis would admit people into the citizenship who could not demonstrate descent from a citizen, that is, the polis allowed for naturalization. This was a brand new concept in the ancient world, and contributed to the Greek sense during the Hellenistic Age that Greek culture was or could be a universal culture.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.