The Necessity of Roles in Ancient Athens

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The Necessity of Roles in Ancient Athens The dramatic growth of ancient Athens from a powerful polis to an Aegean Empire was a result of the hierarchy in ancient Athens. The roles of the people played a big part in this advancement. Therefore, the roles in ancient Athens were very structured and rigid. The male citizens worked very hard politically, while they left the women with the task of bearing children, and the slaves with the backbreaking physical work that allowed the city to function. In ancient Athens, men held all the important positions in society and ran the government. Accordingly, they spent very little time at their home. Within the class of male citizens there were small classes based on wealth. “Many Athenian farmers found themselves sold into slavery when they were unable to repay the loans they had borrowed from their aristocratic neighbors, pledging themselves as collateral,” (Spielvogel 66). The small farmers and aristocrats were on the opposite ends of social class spectrum. However, both of them still had more rights than the richest women or slaves, at least until the farmers were turned into slaves themselves. The men had many more rights than the women and slaves, and did much less manual work than them. It was exceedingly unfair. “The Greek city-state was, above all, a male community: only adult male citizens took part in public life. In Athens, this meant the exclusion of women, slaves, and foreign residents,” (Spielvogel 83). The fact that only males could participate in public life depicts how the men were prominent in society. Everything was centered around them and they got all the credit for running the city while the slaves worked tirelessly behind the scenes. The jobs and responsibilities of ... ... middle of paper ... ... pretty well in ancient Athens, it was still a bad political example considering men were the only people with rights. Without the slaves, the city of Athens would have fallen apart because the men couldn’t have kept the city together without them. In conclusion, there were many vital roles important in keeping Athens such a wealthy and well-functioning city. Athens wouldn’t have been complete without the roles of the men, women, or slaves, despite the fact that the men had jobs much easier and more interesting than those of the women or slaves. The male citizens, highest on the totem pole, ran the city; the women had no rights and were rarely seen outside of the house; while slaves were of the lowest class, varied in jobs, and did the dirty work for the city. Most actions of the slaves and women functioned around the male citizens and what their desires acquired.
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