Citizenship In Ancient Greece Essay

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Citizenship in Ancient Greece Citizenship in Ancient Greece was not something that was open to everyone. It was a privilege available only to males who owned land and were the offspring of citizen parents. The ideal citizen of this time would need to fulfill this criteria and any duties, such as military, religious, and governmental responsibilities. However, the rights of a citizen were well worth the duties required by the state. Citizens had land and were, for the most part, better off than the non-citizen residents of the city. In order to become a citizen in ancient Greece, you first had to be male born into the right family. In Athens, for example, the laws that decided who was and wasn't a citizen shifted as time went on. At first,…show more content…
Citizens of Athens generally had more rights than people of other city-states. The fact that all citizens were able to take part in governing themselves shows this. A citizen could take on any role in government, whether it be in the Ecclesia, boule, an Archon (judge), or an annually elected general. The importance of the right to vote and have a say in government was so important to these people that they ridiculed anyone that didn't take part in governmental affairs. In the words of Thucydides, " If a man takes no interest in public affairs, we alone do not commend him as quiet but condemn him as useless; and if few of us are originators, we are all sound judges of a policy" (Lualdi, 59). The rights of the Spartans were more limited than their Athenian rivals. Spartan citizens were called Alikes to emphasize their common status and purpose (Hunt, 62). The Alikes were able to vote on laws made by a council of elders much like the assembly of Athens. Unlike the Athens, however, the Alikes couldn't amend the laws presented, only vote yes or no. Although these people weren't able to be a huge part of the government, every citizen was given a plot of land with slaves in order to farm it. This allowed the Spartan citizens to train full-time as soldiers and let the slaves work the fields for

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