Solon And Lycurgus Essay

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Pages: 4

Solon and His Inferior Lycurgus. Of many ancient rulers, two are made very memorable. Lycurgus, ruler of Sparta, and Solon, ruler of Athens, made significant impacts on their polis that would continue throughout ancient Greek history. The reforms that were created by these rulers can be disputed in regards to their benefit on their city-state. The reforms Solon implemented were more efficacious in producing democratic change in Athens then those reforms that were executed in Sparta by Lycurgus. Due to the fact Solon is a man of middle ground, two reforms that are seen as superior to those of Lycurgus’ are the changes in trade as well as government.

The reforms implemented by Lycurgus are different than those of Solon’s. Lycurgus,
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This reform gave opportunity to citizens, opposed to Lycurgus’ reforms, which permitted them only to work in certain trades. Through the governmental roles in Athens, Solon is very effective in producing beneficial change. Solon created classes, and within these classes gave everyone an equal share in government. The government that Solon developed continues to be used in today’s society.
“Athenians called their system demokratia which is only crudely translatable as ‘democracy’. On the meaning of the ancient term Aristotle makes some helpful comments. He reports that demokratia was commonly taken to mean rule by the majority, and also personal freedom,” (Powell 2001, 272).
This government developed by Solon, was developed for the people. It gave the chance for citizens to contribute to how their society was run. This opportunity strengthened their ways of life and lead to the development of a strong polis.

Shown through the changes employed by Solon, it is made clear that he is more effective in generating democratic change in his city-state, then his inferior, Lycurgus. Solon, who is a man of middle ground, made his type of rule effective through changes in trade and government. Being a man of middle ground, Solon was forced to make decisions based on the people, apposed to Lycurgus who made decisions based on benefit to Sparta as a whole. Solons reform in regards to trade, improved the wealth in