Ancient Athens And Democracy

The nobles, or Eupatridae, who ruled Athens until the mid 6th century BC, abolished the hereditary kingship of Athens in 683 BC. The Eupatridae also kept complete authority by their supreme power to dispense justice. In 621 BC statesman Draco codified and published the Athenian law, there by limiting the judiciary power of the nobles.

A second major blow to the hereditary power of the Eupatride was the code of the Athenian statesman and legislator Solon in 594 BC, which reformed the Draconian code and gave citizenship to the lower classes. During the rule of the tyrant Pisistratus, the forms of government began to take on the elements of democracy. Hippias and Hipparchus, sons of Pisistratus, inherited their father's power, but they were considerably more despicable. A popular uprising in 510 BC expelled Hippias, who survived Hipparchus. In the resulting political strife, the supporters of democracy, under the statesman Cleisthenes, won a complete victory, and a new constitution, based on democratic principles, took effect about 502 BC. The beginning of democratic rule was the dawn of the greatest perio



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