Sunday, February 19, 2012

44. Archaic Greece and the Rise of Athens

Cities grew.
People prospered.
The polis consolidated
Government became more complex.
Aristocracies of the new revival
Became Oligarchies.
Writing held history and ancient knowledge.
Homer begot Hesiod.
Hesiod begot other poets.
Sappho sang of weddings
Writing hymns to the gods for luck in love
As she walked her island paths.
Others sang to regular people
About regular people.
Trails on pottery
Showed the mighty deeds of warriors from a long dead time.
Hoplite armies rumbled throughout the land
In packed phalanx formation
Like shining human tanks.
Records were kept and used
Some for the good of people
Others for their own good.
Tyrants came
Bringing thinkers, artists and architects
They also brought curses
Raising armies to seize control
Cylon brought conspiracy and betrayal.
He begot the divine snake, Draco
Who wrote his laws in blood.
“I thought it was necessary,”
He said as he shrugged.
Then things changed when he died.
Civil war broke out.
Solon, the sun king came down
Repealing the snake’s evil bloody declarations.
He stilled the mighty war god
With his shield of justice and compromise.
“I can’t satisfy everyone,” he said,
“But I’ll do my best and I will not sell my arete in anyway.”
His strong arete
Proved his strength as a man.
Solon led Athens to democracy
As tyrants slipped into history
With the age of heroes.

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