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Much of the background of The Iliad which, although set in the 12th Century BCE, was actually written down in the later 8th Century BCE after cursive writing was introduced, and contains reflections of real 8th Century conditions in Greece.

This gives clues on the political structure of the second half of the 8th Century. Although the Iliad narrative lists kings, there are interludes in which the people are supreme, calling a council to determine courses of action to direct the war leaders. So we can gather that the imagined kings of the 8th Century were mostly great warriors who were hired by a community to provide protection for the farmers who made up the community, and lead them in defence of their property. Although living a grand life in the fortress they maintained as a refuge for the people when they were invaded, they were appointed, paid and dismissed by the people according to performance. So it was close to being a limited democracy comprised of the landowners, big and small, who made up the citizen body. But this was not 'Greece' - it was each individual and independent community in the Greek world.

As richer landowners gained influence and power, they replaced these guardians, and so an aristocracy/oligarchy succeeded to govern in the 7th Century.

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10y ago
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12y ago

what type of government did Greece have in the eighth century

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14y ago

Absolute Monarchy

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11y ago

Oligarchy.

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Q: What kind of government did Greece have in eighth century BC?
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