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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"



ll over the world. In the Hebrew law, humanity breathes
forth continually, but scarcely goes beyond moral precepts,
such as that of giving back a pledged garment (Deut, xxiv.,
6), or making it unlawful to take a widow's raiment in pledge
(ib., v. 17), or allowing the poor to glean after reapers, and
in the corners of fields (Comp. Saalschiitz, Mos. Recht,
chap. 33). The Athenians, a humane people owing to their
equality, went farther in the one point of aiding the poor by
law. Among them, and nowhere else in Greece as far as is
known, was there public provision for the infirm poor, which
is said to date back as far as to Pisistratus or Solon, and to
have been confined to such as had been rendered unable to
work by accidents in war. Afterwards the dole, which never
rose above two obols nor fell below one, was granted to all
poor persons incapable of work who were worth less than
three mince (nearly sixty dollars), and were allowed by vote
of the people after examination to be placed on the list. Thus
they received less than those poor men who sat in the assem-
blies and the dicasteries. Boeckh and Schoemann estimate
the whole annual expense of the city on this account at from
five to ten talents.* Besides this there were clubs at Athens
(e/jaz/oi), for common purposes, religious or social, or for mu-
tual support. At Rome there seem to have been no institu-
tions of charity, but from the time of C. Gracchus onward
grain was bought up and sold at a low cost to the poor of the
city, until almost one-fifth of the revenue is said to have been
used for this purpose, t The law of C. Gracchus was not dicta-
ted by humanity so much as by demagogy ; it gave the right
to the Roman citizens of living at the expense of the state,
by allowing them to buy a certain number of Roman modii of
grain for about half price. The effect of this was to depress
*See Schoemann, Gr. Alt, i., 442, and Boeckh, Staatshaush.
d. Ath., B. ii.,  17.
\ Cic. pro Sestio, xxv., 55. Comp. the note of Halm. What
Cicero says seems to amount to this : that almost a fifth part of
the revenues was used up in the remission of 6J asses on every
modius of wheat sold by the public. This lowered prices, as they
then were, nearly one-half. See also Lange, Rom. Alt., ii.,  138.