Plutarch's - Rise and Fall of Athens Name: Course University: Date Theseus is considered to have been a great Athenian king who achieved great respect for his role in the destruction of many foes who were considered to be either treacherous or evil. Because of this, he was considered to be a man of valor and an honored member of the Athenian royal family…
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One would say that the treatment of the people of Athens by Theseus is not justified since as a leader, he is supposed to put the interests of his people first, regardless of their origin or class. The actions of Theseus are based on the assumption that only he should control all the means of production and that he alone should reap all the benefits at the expense of the people o Athens who are increasingly feeling the burden of his rule. He does not consider the fact that since they are denied their rights; the common people within Athens might at one time decide to rise up against his rule, with him losing his power. Instead of being cautious in his treatment of the Athenians, Theseus treats them with contempt, hence ensuring that he is the target of their continued dislike and hatred. The fact that he is a man of royal blood does not justify his actions towards the Athenians, because they also have rights within the state and the fact that he actively denies them these rights is a violation of his responsibility as a leader. Theseus eventually becomes unpopular in Athens and loses his power in death when he is thrown off a cliff by Lycomedes of Skyros. Thus comes to an end the life of a man who was a great hero and founder of the city of Athens but a failure in the administration of the state that he has created. Themistocles was an Athenian leader who, uncommonly for that time, did not come from the Athenian nobility and he was instead born of an obscure family. His mother was a woman from Thrace and because of this fact, Themistocles was considered by many Athenians, as he was growing up, as an outsider. This man who would later become an Athenian hero was not raised within Athens proper but within the so called immigrant section o the city. Burt while this may have been the case, Themistocles was a man who had a natural cunning and he put this characteristic to good use. He managed to persuade those boys who were born to the Athenian nobility to exercise with him in the immigrant district of the city and this ensured that he was able to bring down the barriers which made the immigrant community and the native Athenians distinct from each other. According to Plutarch, Themistocles was, from his childhood, preoccupied with becoming a leader within Athens, and because of this, he prepared for public life with a zeal which was uncommon for the boys of hi station in life. Even his teacher recognized the fact that he was a very ambitious boy and that it was because of this ambition that he would not end up being as insignificant as the other children who grew up with him in the immigrant district. The introduction of democracy in Athens ensured that men such as Themistocles were provided with the opportunity to take an active part in the public life of this city and the cunning and ambitious man took advantage of this opportunity to rise up in the ranks of the powerful people of Athens (Zadorojnyi, 2006). While he did all that he could to ensure that he gained power through his active wooing of the poor masses of Athens, he was also careful not to alienate the nobility of the city, thus,
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4 Pages(1000 words)Book Report/Review
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