History 104A, September 21: Water vs. Rock: Athens and Sparta


               My job is to try and help you.  Your job is to recognize the fact

          that we will have a choice of one out of three essay questions a week

          from Friday.  And if Peter remembers or if one of you want to remember

          that between today and Friday, you can send me an e-mail to remind me

          to bring in a take-home question so that you can prepare it and then

          answer it in class.  One of the three will be one that you can get

          ahead of time, although you can't bring the answers with you.  And if

          I remember, I will be bringing you the paper to use so that nobody can

          pull it out of their nice little notebooks.  I'll talk more about that

          at a later point and more about the exam, likely on Friday.

               We are studying the Greeks.  Only on Monday we learned the Greek

          way which dealt with fates, hubris, polis, and anal sex.  I've got to

          wake you up.  It's definitely a Wednesday.  However, I also identified

          and got into the beginnings perhaps of Athens and the Constitution

          that led to a democracy.  And I pointed out various forms of

          government and how they expanded at different times in Greek history

          depending on the polis as well.  And those are terms that we still use

          today from aristocracy, oligarchy, tyrants, despots, theocracies, et

          cetera.  And while we don't give you short answer questions, and

          that's what I was going to go to is identification, we do anticipate

          that a few of these terms names whatever will appear.

          Q    The essay questions are not open notes?

               THE PROFESSOR:  No, they're open head.  If you open your notes, I

          will spit our head open so Athena can come out.


               I pointed out that Solon had provided Athens was tyrant with the

          beginning of a Constitution.  However, I don't think I mentioned

          Pisistratus P-I-S-I-S-T-R-A-T-U-S and the fact that he built on that

          and helped to create a more democratic Constitution.  And we'll go a

          little more into that and the development of the golden age of

          democracy, the golden age generally in Greece.  I didn't put

          Themistocles on here.  Again, things hit me.

               What I wanted to start out today is some of the contrasts between

          Athens and Sparta.  A lot of the history that we deal with in the

          height of the Greek culture, which would be pretty much from 500 to

          350 BCE, is the conflict betweens Athens and Sparta.  And it's a

          conflict as I ended last time identifying between sea power and land

          power, between a red state, Sparta, and a blue state, Athens.  And for

          those that don't know the reference there, based on the television

          reports for the last presidential election, those that voted

          republican and conservative, those states were identified in red; and

          those that voted democrat and liberal were identified in blue.  So

          today we talk about red states and blue states.  The colors are really

          weird.  If they put them up in red, they wouldn't have called them red

          states because anytime you call them red, it meant that you were

          calling somebody a commie.  And if you called them pinko, it meant

          that you were leaning towards communism.  What does blue symbolize?

          We used to talk about blue states which were states that were highly

          Puritan and had all these censorship.  Blue laws meant all stores were

          closed on Sunday so that people would go to church.  Have you heard


          about blue laws before?  How many of you have heard about the blue

          laws?  Again times change.

               Coming up the steps this morning, I had an epiphany, which means

          I had a rude awakening.  My rude awakening is that I have been here a

          long time because I actually knew all the buildings, that the

          buildings of Ohlone College were named after.  Now, that's really

          scary.  What was even scarier was how weird I am.  I actually know the

          names of the buildings without letters.  Does anybody know the names

          of any of the buildings?

          A    Hyman Hall.

               THE PROFESSOR:  That's one they actually don't have a number to.

          I don't know the number of Hyman Hall.  That may be why you know that

          one.  Nobody knows the names of any of the buildings.  See, I told you

          I'm weird.  No, I'm not going to go through that.  I don't want to put

          them on the exam.  Sorry, off the subject here.

               We identified then Sparta as a conservative, landlocked

          traditional society and Athens as a seafaring liberal society.  The

          Constitution for Sparta was given to them by their law giver somewhere

          also in the 6th century BCE 500s, like the name of Lycurgis

          L-Y-C-U-R-G-I-S.  The societies are often used to contrast in our

          history between the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, Germany,

          the difference between a totalitarian society and the quote/unquote

          free democratic society.  So we will spend a little time here trying

          to distinguish the societies.  And they were really quite different

          and yet had some similarities as I identified last time.


               For example, they followed the growing tradition of infanticide,

          that when a baby was born, the parent in Athens would decide to place

          the baby up for adoption by leaving it up on the bottom of the

          mountain.  And if it didn't get adopted, it would go to Hades or

          whatever.  And in Sparta, all babies were brought before the kings and

          there were two, one military and one civilian.  And the kings would

          decide whether that baby appeared to be a fighter, or if a female, a

          breeder.  And if not, they were placed by the decision of the kings on

          the mountainside.  Is it A Bugs Life that the queen decided which bee

          was saved or which bug was saved?

          A    Ants.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Was it Ants?  I know you people know those

          movies.  It came from your age.

               Generally, when we speak about Athens in calling it a democracy,

          the concept is that the people make the decisions.  And therefore, the

          individual is more important than the whole.  The individual parts are

          more important than the sum of the whole.  The individual is the basis

          of society and society must give up certain rights to and for the


               For a totalitarian society, the whole is more important than the

          individual, or the whole is more important than the parts; the state

          is more important than the individual.

               And in a totalitarian society, you sacrifice yourself for the

          survival of a state.  That is not to say that then, in a democracy,

          you don't have an identity with the state, but you make the choice to


          sacrifice yourself for the others.

               As I said, the polis was vital to the existence of society and

          the worse punishment would be not loving your city/state and being

          ostracized, being kicked out.

               The education in Athens was determined by the parent.  The

          parents decided what kind of a life you would have, what kind of an

          education.  This was within the family.  And of course that liberal

          concept today has somewhat between taken over by the republicans who

          want to return control of education to the parents believing that it

          was taken over or has been taken over by the state.  In any case, in a

          democracy such as Athens, the parents hired their tutors.  They hired

          the teachers.  And during the golden age in the fifth century of

          Athens, 400s, they were individuals who made good money teaching.

          Teachers were well paid and they were called sophists S-O-P-H-I-S-T-S.

               One of the things that I hope I come back to is that Socrates was

          often called a sophist years ago.  It's quite an error to refer to him

          as a sophists.  Sophists were pragmatists basically, which meant that

          what worked was good.  And what they were doing in their education was

          preparing people for citizenship, to get ahead, to advance themselves,

          and to make money.  And so among the various elements of the education

          of the sophists was to teach people rhetoric, how to talk, how to

          argue, and how to win court cases.  Because in Athens, court cases

          were presented or they were charged by the individuals, which

          translates to, you did not have attorneys or district attorneys.  The

          juries were made up of Athenian citizens up to 1,001.  And of course


          citizenship meant that you were willing to serve jury duty.  You were

          selected by lot just like we are today.  Our names are drawn, in

          California, from our driver's licenses or from our identity cards and

          at times from vote registration.  On the federal level, your names are

          drawn out of a hat from federal registration.  And it is anticipated

          that, as citizens, we would love giving up Kirshner's course to go

          serve on a jury.  But the fact that -- how many of you have actually

          served jury duty?  How many have been called for jury duty?  So it's

          only a very few.  That's interesting.  I had gotten a call.  I was

          supposed to start September 24th, but I didn't want to deprive you of

          having to deal with me.  I will not be serving jury duty until my

          vacation, I guess.

               In any case, the trail of Socrates, which I think you've heard

          about at some point -- we'll talk more about -- his jury had 501

          people.  And it was a decision made by majority vote.  The jury would

          decide the case.  The persons would defend or argue their position.

          In the case of Socrates, he lost by 275 to whatever the number is, in

          that range, and the jury basically sentenced him to death for

          impairing the morals of minors.

          A    Making the weaker argument the stronger.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Making the weaker argument the stronger to be

          part of the legitimacy.  We'll get into that in a minute.

               However, the Athenian juries gave you an option.  They would give

          you a severe sentence and then you were allowed to offer an

          alternative.  And usually you realized that was your plea bargain, so


          you might offer ostracism as an alternative to death.  And of course

          Socrates is -- Socrates' friends suggested he take ostracism.  But he

          was pretty arrogant to say the least, and he said he was 70 years old

          and he had lived his life well and he had aided Athens and brought on

          an educated youth and therefore as an option, he offered the jury the

          option of giving him a pension for life the rest of his life.  Well, I

          think he knew what was going to happen.  And he of course was

          sentenced to take the hemlock which goes from the toes to the chest,

          and it's a poison that kills you a little slowly, as slow as some

          punishments, I suppose.

               Athens had a council of 500 drawn by lot and originally drawn by

          and from basically the five tribes, the various historical tribes.  My

          mind blanks out for sure or how many tribes there were.  The council

          could only suggest law.  People voted.  People in Athens were defined

          as men only.  Women were not people.  Women were kept in seclusion.

          They were generally not even allowed in the streets except to cover it

          and to get water.  They did not participate in civic affairs.  Theirs

          was to take care of the domestic household.  As Plato said onetime,

          women are for bearing children, babies, men are for love.  Of course

          we misinterpret that as we did previously with the Greek way.  We need

          to understand that the Greeks had more than one word for love.  I

          forgot to put those words up too.  We have one word for love.  We love

          our mothers.  We love our girlfriends.  In fact, during Vietnam,

          soldiers who were charged with rape, the courts and everybody else

          referred to as "loving" the women.  The Greeks had many words for


          love.  For sexual love -- eros.  What Plato used for love spiritual

          love -- agape, which the Christians have swiped and it's now used as

          Christian love.  It is basically or it comes from the Greek word

          spiritual.  And then there is brotherly love and the word for

          brotherly love?  What is City of Brotherly love?  Philadelphia the

          word for brotherly love is philia.  You knew that.

          A    No.

               THE PROFESSOR:  Yeah, no.  However, again men associated with men

          and women, when men came into the house, went into the kitchen.  Of

          course there are still families today who function that way and at

          parties the women hang out at the kitchen and the men sit in the

          living room drinking their liquor of whatever, beer, watching Monday

          night football or whatever they do instead of coming to my Monday

          night class.

               The council of 500 came up with laws, suggested laws.  They were

          then put to the people.  The people again being men over the age of 20

          who were citizens.  There were many men in Athens over the age of 20

          who were not citizens.  They were aliens, ET, et cetera.  As aliens

          from other parts of Greece, they were accepted as semi people but not

          Athenian citizens.  They could never become an Athenian citizen.  By

          the way, the Japanese had that policy for many many years.  There were

          Koreans who had been living in Japan up until a few years ago who

          could not become citizens.  You had to be born in Japan directly and

          of Japanese origin, one or the other parent.  The fact is, that has

          changed.  The Athenians did not accept converts to their citizenship.


               There were slaves in Athens, generally domestic.  Slaves of the

          worse kind of slavery for a while until it was semi abolished were the

          slaves that worked in the mines.  They did not survive very often.

          And then of course there were slaves that did the rowing.  Athens had

          a population maybe at its max of about 100,000.  It is estimated that

          there were about 25,000 though who could actually vote.  Where did

          they vote?  No, they did not have computerized voting machines.  Those

          that wanted to vote, you had a choice to vote or not to vote.  In our

          society of course, we also have a choice to vote or not to vote.

          There are democracies that require you to vote.  And if you don't vote

          you're fined -- Australia, Austria, Mexico.  You actually have to pay

          a penalty for not voting, which in part, explains their high votes

          turnout.  In Athens, if you wanted to vote, you headed for the agora

          A-G-O-R-A.  The agora was the marketplace where people gathered.

               By the way, I should mention that Athenians did pay some for

          people to serve on the council of 500 because they recognized the fact

          that some citizens could not afford to give up their work.  They

          served for a year, like a grand jury in our country.  Once again, in

          their serving, it wasn't necessarily all day or every day of the week.

          They would go to the agora.  And the way they cast their ballot was to

          pick up a broken piece of pottery and write yeah or nay on it.  Once

          in a while they got mad and they threw the pottery, but that wasn't

          the main thing.  And once in a while certain political wise guys tried

          to pad the ballot, stuff the ballot box.  What they did was, they

          broke pottery and wrote yeah or nay on it.  It was a true democracy.

               And when the law became law, Athens had councils, two councils.

          The councils jobs were to carry out or execute the law like our

          presidents.  And they were elected by the council of 500 and served to

          carry out the law that was passed by the citizens, the male citizens

          of Athens.

          Q    Could females be considered citizens, they just couldn't vote?

               THE PROFESSOR:  Females had minimal rights.

          Q    Were they considered citizens?

               THE PROFESSOR:  No, within limitations they were people, but

          second class people in the fact that they had very little legal rights

          as well.  The rights, like many societies for women, rested with their

          husbands, with their parents, et cetera.  And there was a great film

          years ago that some of you may have seen, although I would be

          surprised called Zorba the Greek with Anthony Quin.  It deals with

          Crete which, of course, basically has a Greek society today.  And you

          can still see -- and this film was made 30 years ago -- you can still

          see that same isolation of women wearing black, hidden from society,

          separated from society with no personal rights.  Marriages were

          arranged, et cetera.

               Sparta -- Sparta the parents had few rights.  The parents were

          under the control of the state.  They often were, marriages were

          arranged for breeding purposes.  And when a boy was seven years old,

          he was put into a barracks to learn military training.  The women were

          then put into a school, if you will, with parents to teach them how to

          sew, how to cook, and how to do quote/unquote womanly things,


          obviously preparing them for marriage and child bearing.

          Q    At what age?

               THE PROFESSOR:  At seven also.

               I guess that would be first grade, somewhere around there.

          That's when education started, a little older than the education given

          to the warriors.  I think they were taken at what, about five or six.

          I have a couple of people shaking their heads so they know what I'm

          talking about.  When I read the book, the first thing I thought of as

          Sparta candidly.  That's just me.

               The educational training was military training for the men.  They

          were deprived actually for many things in life so that they would have

          to suffer.  Sometimes they were given little food as if they would

          have to deal with it.  And sometimes they were indirectly encouraged

          to go out at night, sneak away from the barracks and steal food from

          the helots H-E-L-O-T-S.  The helots were slaves, if you will, serfs

          better said, peasants.

               The Spartans developed a totalitarian society under the influence

          of a military etymology where about 25,000 controlled what may have

          been nearly a million people.  The estimates will vary.  The land

          around Sparta was worked, produced, and held by helots.  And the

          Spartans simply were the police, the warrior class, the military

          caste.  In Sparta, they did not teach mythology.  What they taught was

          patriotism and war.  They didn't want to distort people, men or

          women's thoughts.  Their clothes had no pockets in them, so they could

          have no worldly wealth.  The money were these big iron bars basically,


          so that wealth was not something you would search for.  Your only

          interest was to go to battle and fight and die for the nation.

               Spartans told some stories, I guess they were myths about heroes.

          One young boy one day who was out away from his group and he found a

          fox.  He picked the baby fox up, put it under his tunic because he was

          called into lineup, muster.  And there, standing at attention, the fox

          began to naw at his stomach and his intestines and finally he

          collapsed dead, never crying out in pain.  That was the glory of


               They told stories of an early Spartan mother who, when her son

          came home with wounds in his back, the mother chopped his head off

          when he was sleeping because it was obvious he was running from battle

          not towards it.  Lovely society.

               Those were the two main societies that we learned about in our

          earlier educations.  And of course that leads us to the wars with the

          Persians, the Persian wars, and then the Peloponnesian wars


               We identified that Persia began its basic expansion in the middle

          of the sixth century and began to move through all of this area here

          and these cities along the coast were Greek.  Persia conquered these

          Greek cities, including the Greek colony or major country, if you

          will, of Lydia, which we pointed out was originally the first to

          develop, around 600, coinage.  Many of these cities were colonies of

          cities such as Corinth.  It began its empirism by taking over the

          territory nearby.  And as these cities began to want their rebellion


          or perhaps because they were inspired by the mother country, the

          Persians decided that they had to go punish the Greeks on the mainland

          or better said in Europe.  And the first force, in 490, came down with

          Darius the king, expecting an easy victory against the un-unified


               The Spartans never enjoyed going into battle with large numbers

          away from their homeland.  The reason basically because they were

          fearful of slave rebellions.  They were fearful they would rise up.

          However, various commissions went to them to try to convince the

          Spartans to lead the military force against the Athenians.  But the

          Athenians wanted to also build their forces.  And of course the major

          battle that we know of by the Athenians against the Persians was the

          battle at marathon on the coast of the Aegean, is exactly 26.2 miles

          from the City of Athens.  The Athenians somehow won that battle

          because of their technique with their large shields and larger spears

          and their method of protection and their phalanx movement, their

          hoplite weapons, whatever for it's worth, fancy looking outfits, sort

          of cute.

          Q    I missed the name of the war?

               THE PROFESSOR:  The Persian war.  The battle of marathon, like

          the marathon itself.  The name marathon or the race the marathon comes

          from that battle because Phidippides ran from marathon to Athens to

          announce the victory, and we don't know what time he covered the

          course in.  However, when we got there, he was so exhausted after

          giving the good news, he died.  And that is, of course, why up until


          last year women were not allowed to run a marathon in the Olympics.

          They were afraid that they would die.  They couldn't handle the

          strain.  However, I think the general running of the marathon by the

          top runners today is about two hours in nine or ten minutes.  Women

          run it at about two hours and 30 minutes, 26.2 miles, a hell of a run

          I would say.  However, the reason for the race in the Olympics -- the

          first Olympics were held in 776 BCE.  Boy, I'm jumping here from the

          battle of marathon to Olympics but it comes to mind.  It's all on the


               The Olympic games it continued to about the third century AD or

          CE, so for 900 years, if you will, there were Olympic games held in

          Greece to celebrate Mount Olympus and the Gods every four years.  I

          guess I'll take a side trip here to the Olympics.  The games were very

          individual as the Greeks were.  Later on, they did have some team

          sports.  And there were some equestrian sports, as most of you

          probably know.  Women were not allowed to even go watch the games

          because the men participated in the nude.  Now, that was the

          isolation.  However, women were allowed for one day to have their own

          games, but they did have to wear clothing in their games.  I'm not

          sure what they participated in.  The games generally included foot

          races and the kinds of things that would be used for battle like the

          javelin throw.  The winners got a Laurel wreath to show their victory.

          And there was only a first place which may be more practical.  Who the

          hell remembers the name of second and third place winners anyway.  But

          of course, as your coaches say, it's not winning the game, it's how


          well you play.  That's crap.  I don't know any coach that believes

          that.  That's okay.  We love to hear that.  However, the athletes also

          got great glories.  They returned to their cities and had sponsorships

          and got on the Cheerios box and had statues built of themselves.  I'm

          wondering if they have anybody that has statues in the United States

          built to them?  In any case, the athletes were permitted to go to

          games by free passage.  The Greek cities, the polises were often at

          war.  During the fourth year of the games, while war might continue,

          any athletes were permitted to head to the Olympic games without

          stoppage.  The Olympic games were generally held here.  Mount Olympus

          was up here, which I couldn't understand.

               We do actually have some records from the Olympic games and it's

          sort of strange.  It took a long time for us to figure out how they

          did so much better than some of our modern athletes.  For example, the

          javelin throw that they used -- I don't know what we throw javelins

          today, 160 feet or so -- there's was more than 300 feet.  And we later

          realized that the reason is that they used, what do you call did thing

          that they attach to the hand?  It's a string.  And so they were thrown

          with a sling.  Their broad jumps, their long jump was over 40 feet.  I

          think the best now is around 30 something, 29.6 was held for many

          years.  I think somebody has broken that.  Obviously the best you're

          going to see is around 22 feet, but 40 feet.  We now realize what they

          did as well.  They actually jumped using weights so that, as they

          projected themselves, they throw the weights back, and that would give

          them the extra momentum.  Of course today we're beginning to develop


          little gimmicks for our sports as well.  The equipment has changed and

          the swimming pool, the outfits that the people wear, it's unreal what

          modern apparatus can do.  For example, when I coached gymnastics

          centuries back, there were no springs under the mat.  The mat was on

          the floor and floor exercise was done on the floor without a mat

          actually.  And so when I came back to gymnastics, I had left it for a

          while, watching these people doing doubles and all kinds of various

          tumbling routines.  How the hell could they do that?  And that's when

          I found out that they actually have that extra little spring coming

          out of the mats.  Gimmicks like that have certainly made changes in

          our sports as well.

               Do any of you know the author Mitchner who wrote books like

          Hawaii, very popular years ago?  One of the books that he wrote was

          dealing with the Olympic games.  And it just was very interesting in

          that he identified that, in the Olympic games later on, certain groups

          such as Jews were considered more sexual because when they saw the men

          in the games with the circumcision.  Somehow or other it gave them a

          sense that this is a group of different people.  And so the nudity of

          the games created certain myths around certain races or ethnic groups

          for whatever that's worth.

               The games, as I say, ended somewhere around the third century AD.

          And picked up again, as many of you may be aware.  The modern Olympic

          games that started in 1896.  They've made at least one good movie

          about the beginnings of the first Olympic games.  And it's a

          fascinating film because Americans were isolated from Europe.


          Obviously we didn't have planes or go over there very often to

          participate in events.  When America was invited to go to the games,

          we didn't a real heavy sports tradition.  The reason being that our

          Protestant ministers condemned sports as a waste of time and immoral

          and even the devil because people didn't work.  They were out for

          enjoyment.  And where some of the more ivy league schools began sports

          in the middle of the 18th century, by the third quarter we began to

          have some but not so much in the track and field -- basketball,

          football, baseball.  So we didn't know much about certain elements of

          track and field.  The thing that struck me the most was the discus.

          In Europe, the discus was thrown straight on.  You didn't do the

          circle, what do you call it to throw the discus.  And the Americans

          had no idea.  They had never seen a discus, but they saw the                   

          Discabolos  (by the sculpture Myron), a

          famous  statue done in the fourth century, throw the discus.  It

          was about three times the size of a modern discus.  So the Americans

          produced a replica discus.  And one of the Americans thought about the

          style that the discus was being thrown and realized that the guy was

          spinning, so they developed the spin throwing this massive discus.

          When the team got to Europe and got the real discus, they were

          absolutely amazed because, not only did it fly a greater distance, but

          that it was so much lighter.  So yes, we won the discus.  The first

          Olympic games held in the modern era was held in Greece.  And the

          Greeks insisted upon placing their major sport, which was the marathon

          run, which the ending event for the games then as it is now.  And the

          Greeks won it.  It was a great nation pride for Greece to restore


          those games.  In fact, that national pride was somewhat destroyed in

          1996, 100 years after, because they did put in to get the games again

          to celebrate the 100th anniversary and they were denied.  And it was

          placed in Atlanta in 1996.  There were some strange events that did

          exist in the modern Olympic games and that was the tug of war, part of

          the Olympic games.

               Okay.  We doing a side trip to the Olympics.  I've got one

          minute.  Back to the battle of marathon.  In any case, the Persians

          had to withdraw.  The Spartans came in and Persians withdrew.  And now

          we have a period with the Greeks being aware that the Persians were

          going to reappear.  The days were not over.  And so we will pick up

          with Athens and Sparta and the rest of the Persian wars and the works

          of Herodotus on Friday.  And hopefully Peter is not here but maybe

          somebody else will send me an e-mail to remind me to make up a