Monday, December 3, 2012

The Ten New Tribes

Kleisthenes instituted a crucial reform, the reorganization of the citizenry into new administrative units called phylai (tribes). In his attempt to break up the aristocratic power structure, Kleisthenes abolished the use of the old Ionian tribes and created in their stead ten new ones. All citizens were assigned to one of these tribes, which were made up of members from each of the three geographical-and traditionally rivalries of Attica: plain, coast, and hills.

Political rights and many privileges depended on membership in one of the new tribes. Citizenship in Athens required prior enrollment in one of the tribes, and such membership was hereditary. A man served in the Boule (Senate) as a member of a tribe, and fought in the army -- where his life literally depended in part on the shield of the next man in line -- in a tribal contingent. Competitions in theatrical and athletic events were also carried out in tribal units.


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Posted via email from Tribal Democracy

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