Skip to main content

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

See other formats

ARISTOCRACY.                                     41
The name by which the chief magistrates were known was
that of sn/fctcs or sufctcs^ from the Semitic root
Suffctcft.                .       .                                        ,                      .
s/n?p/iaf, to judyc, the participle of which, Sho-
phfit, in the Hebrew scriptures, denotes those officers, ordina-
rily called judges, who were appointed, like the dictators of
Rome and the tagi of Thessaly, on extraordinary occasions,
especially when war was impending; and who both com-
manded in war and dispensed justice in peace for their life-
time. These suffetes are described as kings, and pnutors,
are compared with the Roman.consul* (Livy, xxx., 7, 5), and
are expressly asserted to be annual magistrates. (C. Nepos,
Hannibal,  7*) They had judicial power (Livy, xxxiv., 61),
u scat probably Jn the council, some share in the administra-
tion, and were annually elected to their office from the prin-
cipal families, They could unite with this office that of
judge. They were conceived of by Aristotle as having
greater authority than belongs to them in the subsequent
history of Cartilage. They were not peculiar to Carthage j
\ve know that (lades had supreme magistrates with the same
name, so that it is not improbable that the Phcunician colo-
nies all had two men at the heat! of affairs, who were not
called tings ^ like chief officers of state in the mother country,
but judges to show their dependence on the home-govern-
ment Perhaps at first they were generals and judges alike.
This is all tiiat is known, or may be rationally conjectured,
concerning the Carthaginian polity. Of the clubs and the
pentarchic* there is only the barest mention, as we have
seen already. That offices could be purchased, as Aristotle
tells us (u, SM ii., 8, $ 6), is strange in an antique state, but
not so strange in an aristocratic one; he can hardly intend
only that the people were open to corrupting influences, that
a wealthy man by spending money enough could secure to
himself the election to the office of king or general
Carthage and Venice (which we are next to consider) offer
more analogies than any other two aristocratic states, but as
we know much less of the ancient than of the modern com-
mercial republic, its earlier condition must be neglected in the