Historical Figures


Greek legislator and poet, Solon came from an aristocratic but not very wealthy family; it builds itself thanks to its trade in oils. After several trips, particularly to Ionia (a region located west of Asia Minor), he returned to Athens where his reputation preceded him. He convinces the Greeks to recover the island of Salamis (-595). He was elected archon between -594 and -593 and accomplished the reforms that the people expected. He continues the work of the legislator Dracon by drafting new laws. Thus, he abolished slavery for debt, reduced public and private debt and established duties and rights according to land income (based on wheat measures:medimns) and no longer by birth. This tax system therefore divides the citizens into four classes:the Thetes (the poorest who cannot be magistrates), the Zeugites (or Diakosiomedimnes), the Hippeis or horsemen (known as Triakosiomedimnes) and the Pentakosiomedimnes. The latter are the wealthiest and are the only ones who can be archons and sit on the Areopagus (judicial council, Greek court). He is often considered the father of democracy.

-640 - -558



Greek politician (archon)

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