Skip to main content

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

4                                POLITICAL SCIENCE-
through, at length the lines between classes began to dis-
appear. At Corinth, the Bacchiadiu, a house claiming tie-
scent from Hercules, would not marry even with tin: nther
less distinguished noble families, and held the power of the
state in their hands. One of the daughters of this sept, how
ever, having become the wife of a man pertaining to another
high-born family, gave birth to Cypsclus, who, vexed by hi*
exclusion from offices of state, and procuring a band nf parti*
sans among the people, overthrew the power of his mother1*
family, and secured for himself the sway over Corinth,
(Hcrodot, v.» 92, Nic. Damasc., vii., frag,, 50.)
Aristotle (Pol., vL, or Jv. 6» ^ 5) finds only two elementary
principles in aristocracy—wealth and virtue (ttperq, manhood
comprehending talent). Good birth is only wealth ami virtue
of old standing. Families are thus founded which perpetuated
themselves by the wealth laid up by ancestors, The oar!y
times of society are peculiarly favorable for the Advance of
men whose qualities far surpass those of their fellmv* ; by
conquest or services to the community, they gain wealth in
land which increases in value with the increase of population.
The family wealth gives leisure and opportunity to excel in
bodily exercise, arms and personal accomplishment* fit for a
freeman. Thus the position Jn the community once acquired
is kept up. Poetic myths, deducing their race from a divine
ancestor, added to their exaltation.
In every Greek state there were phyla, or tribe* and sub-
divisions of tribes, These made up the community* and n<?
one could have political rights who was not a member of 9
tribe, unless admitted by adoption or general consent,
The ordinary constitution of the Greek oligarchies pro-
vided for an assembly and a council like that of the democra-
cies, but the assembly was composed of such a« had a cer-
tain amount of property, and the council often consisted of
members who had reached a certain advanced age, or of those
who held their offices for life, Frequent, especially annual
elections, were marks of a democracy, and the use of the lot
of extreme democracy, In some places a twofold council it