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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

012 - Oligarchs and Hesiod

In this episode, we discuss the transitional governments in the early stages of the centrally unified polis (oligarchia and aristokratia), as the waning power of the basileis becomes supplanted by a small landowning group of nobles; the economic and social divisions in the early polis between the nobles and commoners brought on by a spike in population in Greece; and the second great author of ancient Greece, a man named Hesiod, who speaks to us about life and society in the emerging polis from the point of view of the ordinary citizen, in his Works and Days

Greek wordsoligos (few), archo (to rule), oligarchia (rule by a few), archon (leader), prytanis (presiding officer), polemarchos (war leader), aristos (best), krato (to rule), aristokratia (rule by the best), hoi agathoi (the good, i.e. the landed nobility), hoi kakoi (the bad, i.e. the non landed nobility), hoi polloi (the many, a disparaging term for the people), thetes (landless poor), hoi mesoi (the middle, i.e. the middle class), eris (strife)

Recommended Sources for Further Reading:
Text/Hesiod's Theogony
Text/Hesiod's Works and Days
Recommended Podcast Episodes for Further Listening:

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