Athens had citizens, which many other places didn't
have, but only men got to be citizens. And not just any man; his mother, father, grandfather, grandmother and sometimes even
more had to be born in Athens, Greece. Any man with complete citizen rights could go to the assembly, in which they could
speak and vote freely. Basically all the citizens decided how the city was run. This was called a democracy. But many people
beleive that this was not really a democracy because women and many men did not have citizen rights. Women did not have
any citizen rights. They could not vote, participate in the assembly or serve on juries.
There were rich citizens too. Regular citizens just had to pay taxes,
which the government used for festivals and other special events, but they had the rich citizens pay for the extra things
that the taxes couldn't cover. Some rich citizens even considered paying the performers in drama festivals an honour.
These are some facts about citizenship: Anybody (they
did not have to be a citizen) had the right to own land. Also, citizenship could be granted even without the right to
become an archon or a priest as a career.
Some aspects of being a citizen were access to justice,
access to religious rights (this one was very important to citizenship), and taking part in the defense of the city.
Being a citizen was a big thing in Ancient Greece. Education
was their tool for making a good citizen that would be helpful in decisions and war. Each citizen would feel that
they had a share in the decisions, which were their right and duty. And that is what it meant to be a citizen in Athens,