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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



1218
Aristotle, Athenian Constitution, 34-41


nanHowever, the people quickly stripped them of their power; for in the seventh year from the overthrow of the four hundred, in the archonship of Kallias of Angele, after the sea-fight at Arginusae, it happened, in the first place, that the ten victorious generals of the sea-fight were all condemned by one vote, though some of them had not even taken part in the battle, and others were themselves saved on another vessel, for the people had been grossly deluded by those who had worked upon its angry mood. And, secondly, when the Lacedemonians wished to retire from Dekelea and return home and conclude peace on the terms that each side should retain what they held, some were anxious for it, but the masses would not listen to the proposal, grossly deluded as they were by Kleophon, who prevented peace from being made. He came to the assembly drunk and with his breastplate on, declaring that he would not allow it unless the Lacedemonians gave up all the cities. And when things did not prosper with them, no long time after they discovered their mistake; for in the following year, in the archonship of Alexias, befell the disastrous seafight at Aegospotami, the result of which was that Lysander made himself master of the government, and established the Thirty in the following manner. When they had made peace on the condition that they should live under the form of government which they had inherited from their fathers, on the one hand the popular side was trying to preserve the democracy; while on the other, of the upper classes such as belonged to the political clubs, and the exiles who had returned after the peace, were desirous of an oligarchy, and those who were not members of any club, but otherwise had the character of being inferior to none of their fellow-citizens, were seeking for the form of government inherited from their fathers. Amongst this number were Archinus, Anytus, Kleitophon, Phormisios, and several others, and at the head of them Theramenes was conspicuous. When Lysander attached himself to the oligarchs, the people were terror-stricken and compelled to vote for the oligarchy. Drakontides of Aphidnae proposed the vote.


nanSo the Thirty were established in this way in the archonship of Pythodorus. Being now masters of the state, they neglected all the other provisions regarding the government, and appointed only the five hundred members of the Council, and the other magistrates from selected candidates out of the thousand; and taking to themselves ten governors of Peiraeus, and eleven guards of the prison, and three hundred attendants furnished with scourges, they kept the government in their own hands. At first they behaved with moderation to their fellow-citizens, and affected to administer the government as inherited from their fathers. They annulled in the Areopagus the laws of Ephialtes and Archestratus regarding the Areopagitae, and such of Solon's laws as were of doubtful interpretation, and put down the supreme authority vested in the jurors, as if they were going to restore the constitution, and remove all doubts in its interpretation. For example, in the matter of a man's giving his own property to whom he likes, they gave him full authority once for all; and they removed such difficulties as might arise, except on the grounds of mental aberration, old age, or undue female influence, so that no door might be left open to common informers; in all other cases they proceeded in like manner and with the same object. At first then such was their line of action, and they made away with the common informers and such as associated themselves with the people to do its pleasure in opposition to its true interests, and were mischievous and bad. And men rejoiced at these doings, thinking that they were actuated by the best motives. But when they had got a firmer grip of power, not a single individual did they spare, but killed alike such as were distinguished for their wealth, birth, or rank, getting rid in this underhand way of those whom they were afraid of, and whose property, at the same time, they wished to plunder. By such means they had succeeded within a short period in making away with not less than fifteen hundred persons.


nanWhen the state was drifting in this way, Theramenes, indignant at their proceedings, exhorted them to put a stop to such outrages and give a share of the administration to the best men. They at first resisted, but when reports spread among the people, who were for the most part well disposed to Theramenes, then, fearing that he might constitute himself the champion of the people and put an end to their power, they drew up a list of three thousand citizens, declaring that they would give them a share in the government. Theramenes again found fault with this arrangement, on the following grounds: first, that although they professed a desire to give a share of their power to respectable citizens, they proposed to do so with three thousand only, just as if worth were limited to that number; secondly, that they were acting in a way which was in the highest degree inconsistent, by establishing a government which was a government of force and yet inferior in power to the governed. But they made light of these objections, and for a long time held back the list of the three thousand, keeping their names a secret; and when they did think good to publish them, they cancelled some on the list and substituted others who had not been originally included.


nanWhen winter had now set in, and Thrasybulus and the exiles had seized Phyle, the Thirty, having fared badly with the army which they had led out against them, determined to strip everybody else of their arms and destroy Theramenes after the following manner: They brought forward two measures in the Council and ordered it to pass them; one was to invest the Thirty with full powers to put to death any citizen whose name was not on the list of the three thousand; the other to deprive of their political rights all who had taken part in the destruction of the fort in Eetionaea, or had in any way acted in opposition to the four hundred, or the founders of the former oligarchy. Now the fact was that Theramenes had had a share in both, with the consequence that when these proposals had been passed he was put in the position of an outlaw, and the Thirty had the power of putting him to death. So, after making away with Theramenes, they stripped every one of his arms except the three thousand, and in every way indulged freely in cruelty and evil-doing. Sending ambassadors to Lacedemon, they brought accusations against Theramenes, and asked for help, in compliance with which the Lacedemonians despatched Kallibius as governor (Harmost), with about seven hundred men, who on their arrival garrisoned the Acropolis.


nanAfter this, when the exiles from Phyle had seized Munychia and been victorious in an engagement over the force that had come to its help with the Thirty, the citizens, retiring after the attempt, and assembling on the morrow in the Agora, put down the Thirty, and appointed ten of the citizens, with full powers, to bring the war to an end. Now they, after taking over the government, did not enter into the negotiations for which they had been appointed, but sent an embassy to Lacedemon, asking for help and borrowing money. When those who had a voice in the government were displeased at this, fearing that they might be deposed from power, and wishing to strike terror into the rest — as, indeed, they did — they seized and put to death . . . a man second to none of the citizens, and, with the help of Kallibius and his Peloponnesians, and besides them some of the knights, got a firm hold of the government. Now some of the knights were more anxious than any of their fellow-citizens that the exiles at Phyle should not return. When, however, the forces which held the Peiraeus and Munychia, to which all the popular party had withdrawn, were getting the better in the war, then they put down the ten who were first appointed and chose ten others of the highest character, during whose government was accomplished both the reconciliation and the return of the popular party with their zealous co-operation. Notably at their head stood Rhinon the Paeanian, and Phayllus, the son of Acherdes; they indeed, both before the arrival of Pausanias, were in constant negotiation with the party at Peiraeus, and after his arrival actively assisted him in bringing about their return. For the peace was concluded as well as the reconciliation by Pausanias, king of the Lacedemonians, in conjunction with the ten mediators, who afterwards arrived from Lacedemon, and were sent at his urgent request. And Rhinon and his party found favour from their goodwill towards the popular party, and although they assumed charge under an oligarchy, they handed over the scrutiny of accounts to the democracy, and no one brought any charge against them, either of those who had remained in the city or come back from Peiraeus; on the contrary, in recognition of their services Rhinon was immediately appointed general.


nanNow, the reconciliation was effected in the archonship of Eukleides on the following terms: Such Athenians as had remained in the city and wished to leave it might live at Eleusis without forfeiting their rights, and with full authority and powers in all their affairs and the enjoyment of their property. The sanctuary should be common to both, and under the charge of the Heralds and Eumolpidae in conformity with the ancient customs. It should not be lawful for such as were at Eleusis to go to the city, nor for those in the city to go to Eleusis, except for the mysteries. They should contribute from their incomes to the alliance just like the other Athenians. And if any of these who went away took a house at Eleusis, they should get the assent of the owner; and if they failed to agree about terms, they should choose three appraisers on either side, and he should take the price which they fixed. Any Eleusinians they liked might live with them. The registry for those who wanted to live away should be as follows: for such as were at home from the day they took the oath, a space of seven days and twenty days for the departure, and for those who were away after they had come back again, the same conditions. It should not be lawful for anyone living at Eleusis to hold any office in the city before he was registered again as living in the city. Trials for murder should be according to the ancient customs; if anyone killed another with his own hand he should pay the penalty, after making his offering. The act of amnesty should be binding on everyone, except as against the Thirty and the ten and the Eleven and the late magistrates of Peiraeus, and that not even these should be excluded if they submitted their accounts. The magistrates of Peiraeus should render accounts of matters done in Peiraeus, and the city magistrates in matters concerned with rateable valuations. When affairs were arranged in this way, such as wished should live away. Lastly, each side should repay separately the money they had borrowed for the war.


nanThe reconciliation being concluded on these terms, all who had sided with the Thirty got alarmed, and many who intended to leave put off their registry to the last days, as everybody does in such cases. Looking at the largeness of their number, and wishing to stop them, Archinus took away the remaining days of registry, so that many were compelled to remain, though against their will, till they regained confidence. In so doing Archinus seems to have acted like a wise statesman, as well as on a later occasion when he denounced as unlawful the decree of Thrasybulus, by which he was for giving political rights to all those who had returned together from Peiraeus, since some of them were undoubtedly slaves. In a third instance also he showed his wisdom, when he brought before the Council the first of the restored exiles who had violated the act of amnesty and secured his summary execution, arguing that they had now an opportunity of showing if they intended to maintain the democracy and abide by their oaths, for that if they let this man go they would give encouragement to the rest, but if they put him to death they would make him an example to all. Now, this was just what did come to pass, for on his being put to death nobody ever afterwards violated the amnesty. At the same time they seem in all that they did to have treated their late calamities in the most excellent and statesmanlike way, both individually and as members of the community. For not only did they wholly forego the memory of past wrongs, but they repaid in common to the Lacedemonians the money which the Thirty had got for the war, although their agreement provided that each side, the city and Peiraeus, should pay separately. They considered such action to be the startingpoint of unity, whereas in every other state a victorious democracy not only does not contribute out of its own pockets more than it is obliged, but even makes a new distribution of the land. Finally, a reconciliation was effected with such as were living at Eleusis, in the third year after their leaving, in the archonship of Xenaenetus.


nanThis was the course of events at the later period, but at that time the people, having made itself master of the state, established the form of government as it now exists, in the archonship of Pythodorus. And it appears that the people rightly assumed the supreme authority by reason of its having accomplished unaided the return of the exiles. This change was the eleventh in order. First came the constitution of those who united them into one people at the beginning, viz., Ion and his followers; for it was then for the first time that they were distributed as one people into the four tribes, and that the tribe-kings were appointed. The next and first remarkable form of government after this was that which took shape in the time of Theseus, varying but slightly from the kingly form. After this Draco's, in which the laws also were first recorded in writing. Thirdly, Solon's, after the civil discords, from which dates the beginning of the democracy. Fourthly, the tyranny of Peisistratus. Fifthly, after the overthrow of the tyrants, the constitution of Kleisthenes, more democratic than Solon's. The sixth was after the Persian war, when the council of Areopagus presided over the state. Seventh, and following the preceding, was that which Aristides sketched out, and Ephialtes completed, by putting down the Areopagitic council; it was under this constitution that the state, under the leadership of the demagogues, made very many mistakes by reason of its maritime supremacy. The eighth was the constitution of the four hundred, and after this, and ninth, the democracy again. The tenth was the tyranny of the Thirty and that of the ten. Eleventh, that after the return of the exiles from Phyle and Peiraeus, which from its establishment up to the present day has continued uninterruptedly to add further to the power of the masses. For the people itself has made itself master of everything, and administers everything according to its views by its decrees and by its control of the courts of justice, in which it is the supreme power, for even the decisions of the Council come before the people. In this, indeed, they seem to act rightly, for a few are more open to corruption both by bribes and favours than the masses. Now, at first they decided against payment to the Assembly, but when people would not attend it and the presidents had to pass many measures, to secure the presence of the masses for the confirmation of the voting, first Agyrrhius made the pay an obol, and after him Herakleides of Klazomenae, surnamed the king, two obols, and again Agyrrhius made it three obols.


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

5 results
1. Lysias, Orations, 13, 12 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

2. Thucydides, The History of The Peloponnesian War, 1.20.2, 1.89, 1.100, 1.108, 1.126.3-1.126.12, 2.37.3, 2.40, 6.54-6.59, 8.48-8.49, 8.52-8.56, 8.65-8.69, 8.81-8.82, 8.84, 8.86, 8.89, 8.97 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

1.20.2. The general Athenian public fancy that Hipparchus was tyrant when he fell by the hands of Harmodius and Aristogiton; not knowing that Hippias, the eldest of the sons of Pisistratus, was really supreme, and that Hipparchus and Thessalus were his brothers; and that Harmodius and Aristogiton suspecting, on the very day, nay at the very moment fixed on for the deed, that information had been conveyed to Hippias by their accomplices, concluded that he had been warned, and did not attack him, yet, not liking to be apprehended and risk their lives for nothing, fell upon Hipparchus near the temple of the daughters of Leos, and slew him as he was arranging the Panathenaic procession. 1.126.6. Whether the grand festival that was meant was in Attica or elsewhere was a question which he never thought of, and which the oracle did not offer to solve. For the Athenians also have a festival which is called the grand festival of Zeus Meilichios or Gracious, viz. the Diasia. It is celebrated outside the city, and the whole people sacrifice not real victims but a number of bloodless offerings peculiar to the country. However, fancying he had chosen the right time, he made the attempt. 1.126.7. As soon as the Athenians perceived it, they flocked in, one and all, from the country, and sat down, and laid siege to the citadel. 2.37.3. But all this ease in our private relations does not make us lawless as citizens. Against this fear is our chief safeguard, teaching us to obey the magistrates and the laws, particularly such as regard the protection of the injured, whether they are actually on the statute book, or belong to that code which, although unwritten, yet cannot be broken without acknowledged disgrace.
3. Xenophon, Hellenica, 2.3 (5th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

4. Aristotle, Athenian Constitution, 28.3, 31.1 (4th cent. BCE - 4th cent. BCE)

5. Diodorus Siculus, Historical Library, 14.32 (1st cent. BCE - 1st cent. BCE)



Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
agoratus Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
apagoge Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
aristocracy, aristocrats, aristocratic, competition among Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
aristocracy, aristocrats, aristocratic Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
aristotle Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 38; Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 671
assembly, athenian (ekklesia) Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
athenaion politeia Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 671
black-figure vases, gesture in Boeghold, When a Gesture Was Expected: A Selection of Examples from Archaic and Classical Greek Literature (2022) 8
cartledge, paul, vii Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
citizenship, status Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
citizenship Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
cleisthenes Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
constant, benjamin Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
constitution Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
critias Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 38
dahl, robert Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
debate Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
delian league Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
democracy, ancient and modern, theory of Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
democracy, ancient and modern Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
demos (damos), empowerment of Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
denigration, of character Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
diallaktes Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
diodorus siculus Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 671
eder, walter Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
egalitarianism Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
eratosthenes, the oligarch Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
execution Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
finley, m. i. Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
hand, gestures, drawings of (bulwer) Boeghold, When a Gesture Was Expected: A Selection of Examples from Archaic and Classical Greek Literature (2022) 8
hansen, mogens Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
homicide/murder, cf. killer, murderer Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
jurors, juries, athenian (dikastai) Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
killing, of relatives Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
killing Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
law, rule of Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
law Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
lysias Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
menestratus Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
method Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 38
metic Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
nomothetes, nomothetai Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
nonverbal communication, secondary sources on Boeghold, When a Gesture Was Expected: A Selection of Examples from Archaic and Classical Greek Literature (2022) 8
ober, josiah, vii–viii Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
oenophyta Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 671
oligarchic conspiracy/revolution (nan' Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 671
participation in government Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
pay, for attending the assembly, for jurors Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
pay, for attending the assembly Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
peisistratus Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
peloponnesian war Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 38
pericles Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
polemarchus Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
raaflaub, kurt Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
reform Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
religion Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
rhetorical delivery, prescriptive, in antiquity Boeghold, When a Gesture Was Expected: A Selection of Examples from Archaic and Classical Greek Literature (2022) 8
solon Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
sortition Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
techniques, narrative, chronology Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 38
techniques, narrative, gaps and omissions Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 38
theramenes Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 38
thinkery, cf. reflectory thirty tyrants Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
thrasybulus Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 38
thucydides, son of melesias, manuscript traditionnan Rengakos and Tsakmakis, Brill's Companion to Thucydides (2006) 671
thucydides Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 38; Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
vengeance Riess, Performing interpersonal violence: court, curse, and comedy in fourth-century BCE Athens (2012) 38
vote, in rhetorical delivery Boeghold, When a Gesture Was Expected: A Selection of Examples from Archaic and Classical Greek Literature (2022) 8
wallace, robert, viii Raaflaub Ober and Wallace, Origins of Democracy in Ancient Greece (2007) 191
xenophon Kingsley Monti and Rood, The Authoritative Historian: Tradition and Innovation in Ancient Historiography (2022) 38