Under the aristocracy, Athenian wealth and power grew.
Let's celebrate our great wealth!
Yet discontent spread among the ordinary people. Merchants and soldiers resented the power of nobles. During hard times, many farmers were forced to sell their lands to nobles. A growing number even sold themselves and their families into slavery to pay their debts.
The Soldiers and Farmers Suffer
Our service to Athens entitles us to more rights! We demand change!
Beginnings of Democracy
The Athenian tyrant Pisistratus seized power in 546 B.C. He gave farmers and poor citizens a greater voice, weakening the aristocracy. In 507 B.C., another reformer, Cleisthenes broadened the role of ordinary citizens in the government. This new giving of power to the normal people led the way to the beginnings of democracy.
You shall have change the ways in Athens and give everyone more rights.