Anonymous

What was the ancient Greeks' concept of citizenship?

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  • Anonymous
    8 years ago
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    Citizenship is being touted to have originated in Greece, which originated from the concept of democracy. Greek citizenship, though, was strict. It was granted by birth together with a double affirmation, one by the mother, another by the Assembly member. If the latter opposed it, the infant was killed. 451 BC saw the passing of even stricter citizenship laws, which proposed that offspring between Greek male citizens and foreign women could not become citizens, reason being that this move would help curb the numbers of the exploding population numbers.

    Greek philosopher Aristotle defines citizenship as "he who has the power to take part in the deliberative or judicial administration of any state." Indeed, the Greeks enjoyed the privilege of being governed by democracy; their government was made up of commoners, and they were allowed freedom of speech to a large extent through public speaking rights. Thus, they were able to participate in the governing of their country by creating their own legislation and judiciary. The limiting of citizenship to selected numbers further made the role of citizens more privileged, with the monopolization of land ownership, sole rights to lease land for mining and the right to defend themselves at law.

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  • W
    Lv 6
    8 years ago

    There was no single concept of citizenship; in Ancient days, the Greeks were made up of hundreds of separate, diverse city-states (not all of which were in what is now modern Greece) each with their own, local customs, culture, and government (though still conscious of their common descent). As such, the Athenian definition of citizenship, would be very different from, say, Sparta's.

    For the most part, you had to be an adult male (women had few rights, throughout the Ancient Greek World), and native to your city state (ie, the child of a citizen). As such, most Greeks could be said to have been highly sanguine in their view of citizenship - but, again, this is just a general principle. For instance, Athens occasionally liberalized their citizenship policy; ie, Solon allowed foreigners to gain citizenship if they relocated permanently to Athens. By contrast, Sparta was highly rigid in giving out citizenship, and remained so, throughout its history.

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  • 8 years ago

    Every man who was native to Greece was considered a citizen. Foreigners were usually laborers or slaves, and women were usually responsible for household duties.

    Source(s): school
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