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Constitution of Athens 






lND CO., 




The treatise on ' The Constitution of Athens ' 
has been translated by me primarily for such 
English readers as may feel curiosity about 
a book which has excited, and is still excit- 
ing, so much interest in the learned world. 

The recovery of such a book, after its loss 
for so many centuries, is an event in litera- 
ture ; at the same time its argument, largely 
concerned as it is with the development 
of democracy at Athens, provides matter 
of political and practical, rather than of 
academic, interest for the English reader of 

I have the pleasure of acknowledging here 

vi Introduction, 

the courtesy of the Trustees of the British 
Museum in allowing me to translate from 
their Text, as edited by Mr. Kenyon, and 
my great obligations to his labours ; they 
form, unquestionably, a contribution of the 
highest value, particularly on the subject- 
matter of the book. It can hardly be 
expected that, minor corrections excepted, 
any substantive addition of importance can 
be made for some time ; indeed, not until the 
' experts ' of Europe have had the oppor- 
tunity of severally recording their views, 
both as to the text and its matter. 

The gaps and corruptions in the text, how- 
ever interesting to the critic and emendator, 
will not long detain the English reader or 
the student. The hiatuses would seem to be 
few and generally slight, while some of the 
corrupt passages open up a wide field for the 
learned and ingenious. In my translation 

Introduction. vii 

I have taken the text with its difficulties as I 
found it, reproducing as nearly as I could 
in English what the Greek, corrupt as it 
might be, appeared to me to contain. In 
one or two cases, where the text is obviously 
corrupt, I have perhaps used a little freedom 
in my endeavour to extract something like 
an intelligible meaning. I have had no 
higher ambitions. There has been no 
attempt or desire on my part to offer a 
solution of difficulties which are now being 
dealt with by more competent hands. 

The first forty-one chapters, forming about 
two-thirds of the work, treat of the Constitu- 
tion, its development and history. The 
remainder of the book, consisting of twenty- 
two chapters, furnishes a detailed account of 
the Council, with some information about 
the Assembly, and describes the principal 

viii Introduction. 

offices of state, the modes of appointment, 
by lot or vote, and their chief functions, con- 
cluding with a short mutilated notice of the 
constitution of the courts of justice. 

T. J. D. 

26, Blenheim Crescent, 

NoTTiNG Hill, W. 
March 26, 1891. 


Officers^ or offices of state, magistrates, viagis- 
tracies = apycLi (archae), particularly the chief execu- 
tive offices of government. I do not often use 
' magistrate ' or * magistracy,' on account of the 
limited meaning it has got to have in English. 
Aristotle commonly uses ' office ' instead of ' officer. 
Archon (a^^wv), as will be seen early in the book, 
is the special designation of the highest officers 
of state, of whom the senior (Eponymus) gave 
his name to the year, like the Roman consuls, e.g., 
' in the archonship of Eukleides.' 

People, popular party or side^hrnj^ai (demus) 
implying the possession of political rights, as will 
often be clear from the context, even when no 
specific exercise of such rights is referred to. 

The masses — 0/ rroXkot (hoi polloi, * the many ') 
and tI 'ttXtJOo's (to plethos, ' the multitude '), includ- 
ing ' the people,' or ' popular party,' and such as 
are not, or at least may not be, in possession of 
political rights ; a more general term than * the 


X Explanation of Terms, 

people,' for which, however, in the original it is 
sometimes used indifferently. 

The Council = BovXyj (Boiile), the great council or 
deliberative assembly of the state, corresponding 
roughly to the Roman Senate. Its powers and 
duties are described chap. xlv. foil. 

Assemd/y = ^EKxXrj(TLa (ekklesia), the great legisla- 
tive assembly of the people (or citizens), described 
chap, xliii. foil. ; its Presidents = '^rpuroDnig (prytanes); 
presidency, their office and its tenure, chap, xliii. 

Chairmen = 'np(iihp(ii (proedri), chosen by the 
' presidents ' out of their own number, chap. xliv. 

Juror =hi-KacTyig (dikast) ; not a real equivalent, 
as the dikasts acted 2iS Judges as well zs, jurors, and 
sat in very much larger bodies than our juries. 

Tyra7it, tyranny = r\jpavvo? (a lord), rvpavns : a 
' tyrant ' in Greek political language means one 
who has unconstitutionally usurped power in a free 
state, like Peisistratus. It -does not, as with us, 
imply the abuse of such power- indeed, Peisis- 
tratus' rule was often spoken of as ' the Golden 
Age.' Chap. xvi. 

Ta/ent = rdXanov, about ;£25o (with a purchas- 
ing power sufficient to build a trireme, chap, xxii.) ; 
divided into 60 minae, each mina containing 100 
drachmae, a drachma being worth about a franc, 
and containing six odots. 


.... swearing by sacred objects according K^ionr ^" 
to merit. And the guilt of pollution having 
been brought home to them, their dead bodies 
were cast out of their tombs, and their family- 
was banished for ever. On this Epimenides 
the Cretan purified the city. 

After this it came to pass that the upper chap. ii. 

^ ^^ Theoligar- 

classes and the people were divided by sStudoT' 
party-strife for a long period, for the form 
of government was in all respects oligar- 
chical ; indeed, the poor were in a state of 
bondage to the rich, both themselves, their 
wives, and their children, and were called 


o '• 

2 The Constitution of Athens. 

Pelatae (bond-slaves for hire), and Hekte- 
mori (paying a sixth of the produce as rent) ; 
for at this rate of hire they used to work the 
lands of the rich. Now, tlie_ji5dioLe_pf the 
land was in the hands of a few, and if the cul- 
tivators did not pay their rents, they became 
subject to bondage, both they and their 
children, and were bound to their creditors 
on the security of their persons, up to the 
time of Solon. For he was the first to come 
forward as the champion of the people. The 
hardest and bitterest thing then to the 
majority was that they had no share in the 
offices of government ; not but what they 
were dissatisfied with everything else, for in 
nothingj^so to say, had they any share. 
Chap. III. Now, the form of the old govern men tbefore 
tim^?^(? the time of Draco was of this kind. Officers 
of state were appointed on the basis of merit 
and wealth, and at first remained in office for 

The Constitution of Athens. 3 

life, but afterwards for a period of ten years. 
And the greatest and earliest of the officers 
of state were the king, and commander-in- 
chief, and archon ; and earliest of these was 
the office of king, for this was established at 
the beginning ; next followed that of com- 
mander-in-chief, owing to some of the kings 
proving unwarlike, and it was for this 
reason that they sent for Ion when the need 
arose ; and last (of the three) was the archon- 
ship — for most authorities say it was estab- 
lished in the time of Medon, but some in the 
time of Acastus; and they adduce as evi- 
dence the fact that the nine^archons swear 
to exercise their office just as they did in the 
time of Acastus — as the Codridae having 
retired in the time of his kingship . . . Now, 
which of the two accounts is correct is of little < 
importance, but there is no doubt of the fact 
having actually' occurred in these times; and 


4 The Constitution of Athens. 

that it was the last of these offices that was 
established, there is further evidence . . . . 
that the archon administers just like the 
king and the commander-in-chief, but .... 
for which reason it is only recently that the 
office has become important, its dignity 
having been increased by the privileges 
that have been added to it. Thesmothetae"^ 
were appointed many years afterwards, being 
elected to their offices from the first for a 
year, for the purpose of recording the enact- 
ments in writing, and preserving them against 
the trial of such as transgressed the law ; for 
which reason it was the sole office that was 
not established for more than a year. So 

■^ Thesmothetes. As this word means 'law-giver,' 
'legislator,' it seems better, to prevent misapprehen- 
sion, to retain it in its Greek form. This passage tells 
us why they were originally appointed ; frequent 
references are made to them elsewhere in the book, 
and their duties will be found detailed in chap. lix. 

The Constitution of Athens. 

far, therefore, these take precedence of 

others. The nine archons did not all live 

together, but the king occupied what is now 

called the Boukolium, near the Prytaneum 

(in confirmation of which even to this day 

the marriage of the king's wife with 

Dionysus takes place here), and the archon . 

resides in the Prytaneum, and the com- J 'C/K v^ « « 

mander-in-chief in the Epilyceum. This/^^^*^ 

was formerly called the Polemarchaeum, but 
from the time that Epilycus^ when polemarch, 
rebuilt and furnished it, it was called Epily- 
ceum : and the Thesmothetae occupied the 
Thesmotheteum. But in the time of Solon 
they all lived together in the Thesmotheteum. 
And they had power to decide law-suits 
finally, and not as now merely to hold a 
preliminary inquiry. Such, then,"? were the 
arrangements in respect of the officers of state. 
The duty of the council of the Areopagitae 

6 The Constitution of Athens. 

was to jealously guard the laws, and it ad- 
ministered most of the affairs of state, and 
those the most important, both by punishing 
and fining all offenders with authority ; for 
the election of the archons was on the basis 
of merit and wealth, and of them the Areo- 
pagitae were composed ; this is the reason 
why it is the only office that continues to be 
held for life up to the present time. 
iSac'^J's^^" Now, this is a sketch of the first form of 
government. And after this, at no long 
interval, when Aristaechmus was archon, 
Draco made his laws ; and this constitution 
was as follows. Share in the government 
was assigned to those who provided them- 
selves with arms ; and they chose for the 
nine archons and the treasurers such as were 
possessed of property to the value of not less 
than ten minae free of all encumbrances, and 
for the other minor offices such as provided 

The Constitution of Athens. 7 

themselves with arms, and for generals and 
commanders of cavalry such as could show 
property of not less than a hundred minae 
free of all encumbrances, and children born in 
lawful wedlock above ten years of age ; these 
were to be the presidents of the council and 
generals and commanders of cavalry . . . 
up to the time of the audit of their accounts 
.... and receiving from the same rating as 
the generals and commanders of cavalry. 
The Council was to consist of four hundred 
~^~and one, selected by lot from the whole 
body of citizens ; such as were over thirty 
years of age were to obtain this and the 
other offices by lot, and the same man 
was not to hold office twice before all had 
had their turn ; and then appointment was 
to be made afresh by lot. If any member 
-of the Council, when there was a sitting of 
the Council or Assembly, was absent from 

8 The Constitution of Athens. 

the meeting, he had to pay a fine, the 
Pentakosiomedimnos (the possessor of land 
which produced five hundred medimni* 
yearly) three drachmae, the Knight two, and 
the Zeugitae (those who possessed a team of 
oxen) one. And the council of Areopagus 
was the guardian of the laws, and jealously 
watched the magistrates to see that they 
administered their offices according to the 
laws. And an injured party had the right of 
bringing his indictment before the council 
of the Areopagitae, on showing in contra- 
vention of what law he had sustained his 
injury. (But all this was of no avail, because) 
the lower classes were bound on the security 
ot their persons, as has been said, and the 
land was in the hands of a few. 
Chap V. Such beingf the constitution in the body 

Civil dis- 

SoTon"*' politic, and the bulk of the people being in 
^ The medimnus=about i^ bushel. 

The Constitution of Athens. 9 

bondage to the few, the people was in a state 
of opposition to the upper classes. As strife 
ran high, and the two parties had faced each 
other for a considerable time, they agreed to 
choose Solon as mediator and archon, and 
entrusted the constitution to him after he had 
composed a poem in elegiac metre, of which 
the beginning is ^s follows : 

* I ponder, and within my soul lie woes, 
As I look on the most honourable land in Ionia ;' 

for he ever took the lead, fighting and 
disputing vigorously for each side against the 
other, and afterwards recommended them 
both to put an end to the existing strife. 
Now, in power of speech and reputation Solon 
ranked among the first, but in property and 
position among the moderately rich, as is 
admitted by all, and as he himself bears 
witness in these verses, where he recommends 
the rich not to be grasping : 

lo The Constitution of Athens. 

* Do ye, quieting in your bosoms your strong hearts, 
Who of many good things have had your fill even to 

With what is moderate nourish your mighty desire ; 

for neither will 
We yield, nor shall you have all else as you wish.' 

And in his poems generally he fastens on the 
rich the blame of these divisions ; and it is 
for this reason, at the beginning of his elegy, 
he says that he fears the love of money and 
over-weening pride, attributing to them the 
enmity that existed. 
Chap. VI. Now, Solon, when he had got to be at the 

Solon ; 

agamst ^ead of affairs, made the people free both for 


the present and the future, by forbidding 
loans on the security of the person, and he 
made laws, and a cancelling of all debts both 
private and public ; this they call Seisachtheia 
(the disburdening ordinance), as having 
shaken off their burden. It is in regard to 
these measures that men try to attack his 

The Constitution of Athens. it 

character. For it happened that when Solon 
was about to make the Seisachtheia, he an- 
nounced it first to some of the upper class, 
and then, as the popular side say, his friends 
stole a march upon him, while the possessors 
of property bring the injurious charge that he 
made a profit himself. 

For these friends borrowed money and 
bought up a great quantity of land, and as the 
cancelling of debts took place not long after- 
wards, they became at once rich ; this, they say, 
is the origin of the class who afterwards had 
the reputation of being rich from of old. Not 
but what the account of the popular side is 
the more trustworthy ; for it is not reasonable 
that in all other respects he should have 
shown himself so moderate and impartial — 
while it rested entirely with himself whether, 
or not, he would, by introducing his laws in 
an underhand way, make himself master of 

12 The Constitution of Athens. 

the state, and so an object of hatred to both 
sides, as also, whether, or not, he would 
prefer honour and the salvation of the state 
to any greed for his own gain — it is not 
reasonable, I say, to suppose that in such 
petty and unworthy matters he would defile 
himself. That he possessed such power, and 
'- remedied the distempered state of affairs, both 
he himself records in many passages of his 
poems, and all others agree. This charge, 
therefore, should be adjudged false. 
Chap. VII. So he established a constitution and made 

His consti- 
tution, other laws, and they ceased to use the 

laws of Draco, except in matters of homi- 
cide. They inscribed the laws on the 
tablets,* and placed them in the court 
where the king archon sat, and all swore 
to abide by them ; and the nine archons, 

■* These were of a triangular pyramidical form, 
written on the three sides and turned round on a pivot. 

The Constitution of Athens. 13 

swearing beside the stone, declared that 
they would make an offering of a gold 
statue if they transgressed any of the laws ; 
hence it is that they so swear even to this 
day. And he ratified the laws for a hundred 
years, and constituted the government in the 
following way : He divided property qualifi- 
cations into four ratings, just as a division /^ 
had existed before, viz., the Pentakosio- 

medimnos, the Knight, the Zeugites, and the 

Thes (poorest class). He assigned as officers 

of state out of Pentakosiomedimni and 

Knights and Zeugitae, the nine archons and 

the treasurers, and the government-sellers* 

and the Eleven and the Kolakratse, to each 

class assigning office in proportion to the 

magnitude of its assessment. To the class 

* Government-sellers. Their duties are described 
in chap, xlvii., and those of 'the Eleven' in chap. lii. 
The Kolakratffi in old times had the general charge 
of the finances. 

14 The Constitution of Athens. 

of Thetes he gave a share only in the 
Assembly and courts of justice. And all 
had to class as Pentakosiomedimni who, 
from their own property, made five hundred 
measures, dry and wet combined, and in the 
class of Knights such as made three hundred, 
or, as some say, were able to keep a horse : 
the latter bring as evidence both the name of 
the class, as if it had been given from that 
fact, as well as the votive offerings of men of 
old ; for there is an offering in the Acropolis 
of a figure of Diphilus with the following 
inscription : 

'Anthemion dedicated this figure of Diphilus to the 

When he exchanged the thetic rating for the knightly 


And there stands beside it a horse, witnessing 
that it means the class of Knights. Not but 
what it is more reasonable that they were 
classified by measures just in the same way as 

The Constitution of Athens. 15 

the Pentakosiomedimni. And all had to be 
rated as Zeugits e who made two hundred 
measures combined ^ and all the rest as 
Thetes, having no share in any office of 
state; for which reason even now, if any- 
one going to be elected to an office were 
asked in what class he was rated, he would 
never think of saying in that of the 

He caused the officers of state to be ap- chap. viii. 

■•■ bolons cou- 

pointed by lot from candidates whom each of r<'\°"pw^ 
the tribes selected. For each selected len for ^^"tlf^^M^ 
the_iiine_archons ; hence it is that it is still at |^j.^-^w^ 
the practice of the tribes for each to appoint ^tddO 
ten by lot, and then to appoint by lot 
from them. And evidence that they caused 
qualified persons to be appointed by lot 
is afforded by the law regarding the trea- 
surers, which law they have continued to 
make use of even to this day, for it ordains 

KKjL^tMXL^ t) tAu^ Y*gU>v-----l^ArAS"'^U 


1 6 The Constitution of Athens, 

that treasurers should be appointed by 
lot from Pentakosiomedimni. Solon, then, 
thus legislated regarding the nine archons. 
For in old days the council on Mars' Hill 
decided, after citation, on its owh authority 
who was the proper man for each of the 
offices of state, and invested him accordingly, 
making the appointment for a year. Now, 
there were four tribes just as before, and four 
tribe -kings. Each tribe was divided into 
three Trittyes (thirds of a tribe) and twelve 
Naukrariae. Magistrates of the Naukrariae 
were appointed, viz., the Naukrari, who had 
charge of the current revenues and expen- 
diture ; and, this is the reason why (as is 
probable) it is ordained in the laws of Solon, 
by which they are no longer governed, that 
the Naukrari should get in the moneys and 
make disbursements from the Naukraric funds. 
He made the Council four hundred, a hundred 

The Constitution of Athens. 17 

from each tribe, and he assigned to the council 
of the Areopagitae the duty of still watching 
over the laws generally, just as before it had 
been the overseer of the administration, and 
jealously guarded the greater number, and 
those the most important, of the interests of 
the citizens, and corrected offenders, having 
authority to fine and punish, and reported to 
the state the punishments it inflicted, without 
recording the reasons of those punishments, 
and sat in judgment on those who combined 
for the overthrow of the people, in con- 
formity with Solon's legislation. Now, these 
were the duties that he assigned in their case. 
And seeing that the state was often torn by 
faction, and that some of the citizens from 
indifference stood aloof, of his own motion he 
passed a law specially directed against them 
as follows — that anyone who, when the state 
was divided into parties, did not take up arms 



1 8 The Constitution of Athens. 

and side with one or the other, should be de- 
prived of his political rights, and have no part 
in the state. 
How^sof(^' Such, then, were his institutions regarding 

gave power 

to the people, the ofBcers of state. Now, the following are 
the three provisions of the constitution of 
Solon which appear to be the most favourable 
to the people : first and foremost, the prohibi- 
tion of loans on the security of the person ; 
then the right accorded to anyone who wished 
to seek in the courts a remedy for his 
wrongs ; and third (by which, most of all, 
they say the masses have acquired power), the 
right of appeal to the court of justice ; for 
when the people is master of the vote, it 
becomes master of the government. Its 
power was still further augmented at this 
time by the want of simplicity in the framing 
of the laws, and the uncertainty in their 
interpretation, for as in the case of the 

The Constitution of Athens. 19 

law regarding inheritances and only daughters 
and heiresses, it was inevitable that disputes 
should arise, and consequently that the courts 
of law would be the judges in all matters 
public as well as private. Now, some think 
that he made his laws uncertain with the ex- 
press purpose of giving the people some con- 
trol over the judicial power. Not that this is 
probable, the explanation rather being that 
he was unable to embrace in his laws what 
was best as a general rule and in every 
particular instance ; for it is not right to 
infer his intention from what is now taking 
place, but it should be looked for rather in 
the general spirit of his constitution. 

In his laws, then, he seems to have intro- chap. x. 

Reforms the 

duced these measures in favour of the people, w/igEnd 

1 . 1 • 1 • 1 measures. 

but prior to his legislation to have instituted 
the cancelling of debts, and afterwards the 
increase in measures and weights, as well as 

2 — 2 

20 The Constitution of Athens, 

in the current coin. For it was in his time 
also that the measures were made larger than 
the Pheidonean standard, as well as the mina, 
which had formerly contained about seventy 
drachmae. Now, the ancient standard coin 
was a double drachma. And he made the 
weight for the current coin sixt5'(-three) 
minse to the talent, and additional minae were 
assigned to the stater and all other weights. 
Chap. XI. When he had drawn up the constitution in 

Goes abroad. 

the way that has been described, and every- 
body came to him and made themselves dis- 
agreeable about the laws, some blaming and 
others criticising, as he did not wish either to 
disturb these arrangements, or to become an 
object of hatred by his presence, he deter- 
mined to go abroad for ten years, proposing 
to combine trade with observation and to 
reside in Egypt, in the neighbourhood of the 
city of Canopus. He came to this determin- 

The Constitution of Athens. 21 

ation because he did not think it right that 
he personally should explain his laws, but his 
view was that each individual should do what 
was prescribed by them. It was his ill-for- 
tune too that many of the upper classes 
had now become his enemies on account 
of the cancelling of debts, and that both 
factions had changed their attitude in con- 
sequence of the actual settlement proving 
to be contrary to their expectation. For 
the people thought that he would make a re- 
distribution of property, and the upper ranks 
that he would restore again the old order of 
things. Having disappointed these expecta- 
tions, he found himself in opposition to both 
sides, and although it was in his power, by com- 
bining with either side, if he wished, to make 
himself absolute, he chose rather to become an 
object of hatred to both after he had saved his 
country and passed the most excellent laws. 

22 The Constitution of Athens. 

ThTtisd"' That this was the position of affairs all 

mony of his . , . t t i • i r * 

own poems, without cxception agrcc, and he himselt in 

his poetry refers to it in the following words : 

•' For to the people I gave such privilege as suffices, 

Neither taking away from or aiming at honour. 

But such as possessed power, and from their wealth 

were leaders, 
Them I counselled to retain nothing unseemly. 
I stood with my mighty shield thrown around both, 
And suffered not either to triumph unrighteously.' 

And again when expressing his opinion as to 

how the people ought to be treated : 

The people in this way would follow best with its 

Under neither too slack nor too strait a control. 
For satiety is the parent of insolence, whenever great 

prosperity follows 
Men whose disposition is not well ordered.' 

And again, read where he speaks about such 
as wished to divide the land among them- 
selves : 

* And they came on the spoil with a wealth of hope,' 
And they thought each of them to find great pros- 

The Constitution of Athens. 23 

And that I, though talking smoothly, would manifest a 
harsh spirit. 

Vain were their thoughts then, and now angered with 

With eyes askance all regard me like enemies. 

Not rightly ; for what I said, with the help of the gods, 
I have accomplished ; 

But other things I was attempting in vain, nor does it 
please me 

To do aught by force of tyranny, or of our rich father- 

That the bad should have an equal share with the 

And again also about the distress of the 
poor, and those who were before in bondage, 
but were made free by the cancelling of debts : 

' But for what reason I the people whirling 

On the axle .... 

She best would bear witness in Time's justice. 

Mightiest mother of Olympian gods, 

Black Earth, whose boundaries fixed 

In many places I formerly plucked up, 

She who was before in bondage, but now is free. 

And I brought back to Athens, to their god-founded 

Fatherland, many who had been sold, one unjustly. 

24 The Constitution of Athens. 

Another justly, and the poor who from necessity 
Were exiles, no longer giving utterance to 
The Attic tongue, in many directions wandering about ; 
Those who on this very spot were suffering 
Unseemly bondage, trembling at the ways of their 

Free I set. This too by the strength 
Of lav/, fitting might and right together. 
I wrought and went through with it as I promised. 
And laws equally for the good man and the bad, 
To each fitting straight justice, 
I drew up. Another taking the goad as I did, 
An evil-minded and wealth-loving man, 
Would not have controlled the people. For if I had 

What pleased my enemies at that time, 

•5«- -X- -X- -5^ -X- 

Of many men would this city have been widowed. 
For these reasons, girding myself with strength on all 

I bore me as a wolf amid many hounds.' 

And again, when he reproaches them for the 
complaints that each side afterwards levelled 
against him : 

' If it is right to reproach the people plainly. 
What they now possess, still sleeping, 

The Constitution of Athens. 25 

Tliey ne'er had looked on with their eyes. 

All who are more powerful and in might better 

Would commend and claim me as their friend.' 

For he says that if ever anybody obtained 
this honour, he did : 

' He would not have controlled the people, or stopt 
Before he had disturbed and carried off the beestings ; 
But I between them in the gap like a barrier 
Planted myself.' 

These, then, were the reasons why Solon chap. xiii. 

^ Party 

went and lived abroad. immeSeiy 


After he had left his country, although the 
city was still in an unquiet state, for four years 
they lived in peace ; but in the fifth year after 

the magistracy of Solon th ey did not a] 
an archon, owing to the factions which 
prevailed ; and a second time in the fifth year, 
for the same reason, they did not appoint to 
the office. And after this, in the same period, 
Damasias was elected archon, and continued/ 
in office for two years and two months, until 

26 The Constitution of Athens. 

he was driven from it by force. Then they 
decided, on account of the strength of party 
feeling, to elect ten archons, five from the 
nobles, three from the landowners, and two 
from the handicraftsmen ; and these held 
office the year after Damasias, thus making 
it clear that the archon possessed the greatest 
power, for it is evident that they were always 
engaged in party strife about this office. And 
they continued generally in an unhealthy 
state in their relations with one another, some 
on the score of office, and making a pretext 
of the cancelling of debts, for they had 
become poor men in consequence ; some 
from discontent at the government, because 
the change had been great; and others be- 
cause of their rivalry with one another. The 
divisions were_three : one the party of the 
Shore, at the head of which was Megakles, 
the son of Alkmseon, and they had the 

The Constitution of Athens. 27 

reputation of aiming, most of all, at a 

moderate government ; and the second, the 

party of the Plain, who sought an oligarchy, 

with Lykurgus as their leader ; and the thjrd, 

the party of the Mountain, at the head of 

which stood Peisistratus, with the character 

of being a strong partisan of the people. 

And the ranks of this party had been 
swollen by such as had been relieved of 
their debts in consequence of their poverty, 
and by such as were not of pure blood from 
motives of fear.* Evidence of this is afforded 
by the fact that after the establishment of 
tyrants they made a proclamation that it 
was not fitting that many should participate 
in the government. And each party took its 
name from the district in which they culti- 
vated the land. 

Peisistratus, with his character of being a Chap. xiv. 


strong partisan of the people and the great ^H^ryriliT- 

bis exile and 

* No doubt a return of the aristocratic government, return. 

2 8 The Constitution of Athens. 

reputation that he had made in the war 
against the Megarians, by covering himself 
with wounds and then pretending that he 
had suffered this treatment from the opposite 
faction, succeeded in persuading the people 
to give him a body-guard, on the proposal 
of Aristion. When he had got the club- 
bearers, as they were called, he rose up with 
them against the people, and seized the 
Acropolis in the thirty-second year after the 
passing of the laws in the archonship of 
Komeas. The tale goes that Solon, when 
Peisistratus asked for the guard, spoke 
against it, and said that he was wiser than 
some and braver than others ; for that he 
was wiser than all such as did not know that 
Peisistratus was aiming at absolute power, 
and braver than such as who, although they 
knew this, held their peace. When his words 
availed nothing, taking up his arms before 

The Constitution of Athens. 29 

the doors, he said that he had come to the 
rescue of his country as far as he was able 
(for he was by this time an exceedingly old 
man), and called upon everybody else to 
follow his example. Solon effected nothing 
at the time by his exhortations. And Peisis- 
tratus, after he had possessed himself of the 
supreme power, administered the state more 
like a citizen than a tyrant. But as his 
power was not yet firmly rooted, the parties 
of Megakles and Lykurgus came to an agree- 
ment, and drove him out in the sixth year 
after his first establishment in the archonship 
of Hegesias. In the twelfth year after this, 
Megakles, being harassed by the rival parties, 
again made proposals to Peisistratus on the 
condition that he should marry his daughter, 
and brought him back again in quaint and 
exceedingly simple fashion. For he first 
spread a report that Athena was bringing 

30 The Constitution of Athens. 

back Peisistratus ; then, having found a tall 
and beautiful woman — as Herodotus says of 
the deme of the Pseanes, but as some say, 
a Thracian, a seller of garlands of Kolyttus, 
whose name was Phye — he dressed her up so as 
to look like the goddess, and so brought back 
the tyrant with him. In this way Peisistratus 
made his entry, riding in a chariot with the 
woman sitting by his side, and the citizens, 
doing obeisance, received them in wonderment. 
Chap. xy. His first return from exile took place in 

How he dis- 
people.^ ^ this way. After this, when he was driven 

out the second time, about the seventh year 
after his return — for he did not retain his 
power long, but being unwilling to unite him- 
self to the daughter of Megakles, for fear of 
giving offence to both factions, went secretly 
,. away — he first took part in colonizing a 
place in the neighbourhood of the Thermaean 
Gulf, which is called Rhaekelus, arrd thence 

The Constitution of Athens. 31 

passed on to the parts about Pangseus. 
There he made money and hired soldiers, 
and coming to Eretria in the eleventh year, 
again he made his first attempt to recover 
his power by force,, with the good-will of 
many, particularly of the Thebans and 
Lygdamis of Naxos, besides the knights 
who were at the head of the government in 
Eretria. And having been victorious in the 
battle at Pallene,* and recovered the supreme 
power, he stripped the people of their arms, 
and was now firmly seated in the tyranny. 
He went to Naxos also and established 
Lygdamis in- power. Now, he stripped the 
people of their arms after the following 
fashion : Ordering a review under arms in 
the Anakeum, he pretended to make an 
attempt to harangue them, but spoke in a 

* Literally, at Pallenis, i.e.^ the temple of Pallenis 
Athena^ Herodotus, i., 62 ; Pallene being a deme of 
Attica, where Athena had a temple. 

32 The Constitution of Athens. 

low voice ; and when they said they could 
not hear, he bade them go up to the propy- 
laea of the Acropolis, that he might be heard 
the better. Whilst he continued addressing 
them, those who had been appointed for the 
purpose took away the arms of the people, 
and shut them up in the neighbouring build- 
ings of the Thesaeum. They then came and in- 
formed Peisistratus. After finishing his speech, 
he told the people what had been done about 
their arms, saying that they had no need to be 
surprised or out of heart, but bade them go home 
and attend to their own affairs, adding that 
all public matters would now be his concern. 
His'^^o^m-' ^^^ tyranny of Peisistratus was at first 

ment mode- ... 

rate and estabHshcd m this way, and experienced the 


changes just enumerated. As we have said, 
Peisistratus administered the government with 
moderation, and more like a citizen than a 
tyrant. For, in applying the laws, he was 

The Constitution of Athens. 33 

humane and mild, and towards ofifenders 
clement, and, further, he used to advance 
money to the needy for their agricultural 
operations, thus enabling them to carry on 
the cultivation of their lands uninterruptedly. 
And this he did with two objects : that they 
might not live in the city, but being scattered 
over the country, and enjoying moderate 
means and engaged in their own affairs, they 
might have neither the desire nor the leisure 
to concern themselves with public matters. 
At the same time he had the advantage of a 
greater revenue from the careful cultivation 
of the land ; for he took a tithe of the 
produce. It was for this reason, too, that he 
instituted jurors throughout the demes, and 
often, leaving the capital, made tours in the 
country, seeing matters for himself, and re- 
conciling such as had differences, so that they 
might have no occasion to come to the city 


34 'J^h^ Constitution of Athens. 

and neglect their lands. It was on such 
a tour that the incident is said to have 
occurred about the man in Hymettus, who 
was cultivating what was afterwards called 
the ' No-Tax-Land.' For seeing a man 
delving at rocks with a wooden peg and 
working away, he wondered at his using such 
a tool, and bade his attendants ask what the 
spot produced. ' Every ill and every woe 
under the sun,' replied the man, ' and Peisis- 
tratus must take his tithe of these ills and 
these woes.' Now, the man made this answer 
not knowing who he was ; but Peisistratus, 
pleased at his boldness of speech and love of 
work, gave him immunity from all taxes. 
And he never interfered with the people in 
any other way indeed during his rule, but ever 
cultivated peace and watched over it in times 
of tranquillity. And this is the reason why 
it often passed as a proverb that the tyranny 

The Constitution of Athens. 35 

of Peisistratus was the life of the Golden Age ; 
for it came to pass afterwards, through the 
insolence of his sons, that the government 
became much harsher. But what more than 
any other of his qualities made him a favourite 
was his popular sympathies and kindness of 
disposition. For while in all other matters 
it was his custom to govern entirely ac- 
cording to the laws, so he never allowed 
himself any unfair advantage, and on one 
occasion when he was cited before the Areo- 
pagus on a charge of murder, he appeared 
himself in his own defence, and his accuser, 
getting frightened, withdrew from the suit. 
It was for such reasons also, that he remained 
tyrant for a long period, and when he lost his 
power easily recovered it again ; for most of 
the upper classes and of the popular side 
desired it, since he helped the one by his 
intercourse with them, and the other by his 

36 The Constitution of Athens. 

assistance in their private affairs, and from 
his natural disposition could adapt himself to 
both. The laws of the Athenians regarding 
tyrants were mild in these times, all of 
them, and particularly the one relating to 
any attempt at tyranny, for their law stood 
as follows : * These are the ordinances of the 
Athenians, inherited from their fathers : who- 
ever rises up to make himself a tyrant, or 
assists in establishing a tyranny, shall be 
deprived of his political rights, both himself 
and his family^ 
chai'. So Peisistratus retained his power till he 

by his sons, bccame an old man and fell sick and died 
during the archonship of Philoneos, having 
lived three-and-thirty years from the time 
that he first established himself as tyrant. 
Of this period he continued in power nine- 
teen years, for he was in exile the remainder 
of the time. It is evident therefore that 

The Constitution of Athens. 37 

they talk nonsense who assert that Peisis- 
tratus was beloved of Solon, and that he was 
general in the war with the Megarians about 
Salamis ; for it is impossible from their 
respective ages, if one calculates how long 
either lived, and during whose archonship he 
died. After the death of Peisistratus, his 
sons held sovereign power, conducting the 
government in the same way. There were 
two sons by his wife, Hippias and Hipparchus, 
and two by the Argive woman, Tophon and 
Hegesistratus, otherwise called Thessalus. 
For Peisistratus married from Argos, Timo- 
nassa, the daughter of an Argive, whose 
name was Gorgilus, whom Archinus, Ithe 
Ampraciot of the Kypselidae, previously had 
to wife. From this union arose his friend- 
ship with the Argives, and they fought on his 
side to the number of a thousand at the battle 
of Pallene, Peisistratus having brought them 

38 The Constitution of Athens. 

with him. Some say that he married his 
Argive wife during his first exile, others that 
he did so when he was in possession of his 
xvm Hippias and Hipparchus were at the head 


and ^ of affairs by right of their claims and their 

Anstogeiton. "^ ° 

ages ; Hippias, being the elder, and by 
nature fitted for state affairs, and endowed 
with good sense, presided over the govern- 
ment. But Hipparchus was fond of trifling, 
amorous, and a votary of the Muses ; 
it was he who sent for Anacreon and 
Simonides, and the rest of the poets, with 
their companions. Thessalus was much 
younger, and in his manner of life over- 
bearing and insolent. And from him came 
the beginning of all their ills. For being 
enamoured of Harmodius, and meeting with 
no response to his affection, he could not 
restrain his wrath, but took every opportunity 

The Constitution of Athens. 39 

of displaying the bitterness of his hatred. At 
last, when Harmodius' sister was going to act 
as basket-bearer in the Panathenaea, he for- 
bade her, and made use of some abusive 
expressions about Harmodius being a coward, 
the result of which was that Harmodius and 
Aristogeiton were incited to do their deed in 
conjunction with many of their fellow-citizens. 
The celebration of the Panathenaea was pro- 
ceeding, and they were lying in wait for 
Hippias on the Acropolis (now, he happened 
to be following whilst Hipparchus was getting 
the procession ready), when they saw one of 
their fellow-conspirators in friendly conversa- 
tion with Hippias; thinking that he was turn- 
ing informer, and wishing to do something 
before they were arrested, they descended from 
the Acropolis, and without waiting for the rest 
of the conspirators, killed Hipparchus by the 
Leokoreum as he was arranging the pro- 

40 The Constitution of Athens. 

cession. Thus they ruined the whole plot, 
and of their number Harmodius was straight- 
way killed by the spearmen, and Aristogeiton 
was subsequently apprehended, and for a long 
time subjected to outrage. When he was put 
to the torture he accused many who were 
both of illustrious birth and friendly to the 
tyrants. For it was impossible on the spot 
to get any clue to the affair, and the story 
that is told how Hippias disarmed those who 
were taking part in the procession, and thus 
caught such as had daggers upon them, is 
not true ; for at that time armed men did 
not take part in the procession, and the 
practice was introduced by the people in 
after-times. And he accused the friends of 
the tyrants, as the popular side say, on pur- 
pose that they might commit an act of im- 
piety, and show their baseness by destroying 
the guiltless and their own friends ; but some 

The Constitution of Athens. 41 

say, on the other hand, that it was not an 
invention on his part, but he informed 
against such as were actually privy to the 
plot. And at last, when he was unable, do 
what he would, to compass his death, he 
promised to reveal many others, and per- 
suading Hippias to give him his right hand 
as a pledge of his good faith, as he held it he 
reviled him for giving his right hand to the 
murderer of his brother, and so exasperated 
Hippias that he could not restrain his rage, but 
drew his sword and despatched him on the spot. 

In consequence of these events the tyranny chap. xix. 


became much harsher ; for both by the PeSstra- 


vengeance he had taken for his brother, 
and his many executions and banishments, 
Hippias had made himself an object of dis- 
trust and bitter hatred to all. And about the 
fourth year after the death of Hipparchus, 
when things were going badly with him in 

42 The Constitution of Athens. 

the city, he took in hand the fortification of 

Munychia, with the intention of shifting his 

residence to that quarter. Whilst he was 

engaged in this work he was driven out by 

Kleomenes, King of Lacedaemon, as the 

Laconians were perpetually receiving oracles 

inciting them to put an end to the tyranny 

for the following reason. The exiles, at the 

head of whom were the Alkmaeonidae^ were 

not able by their own unassisted efforts to 

effect their return, but failed in every attempt ; 

for they were unsuccessful in their intrigues 

in every instance, and when they fortified 

Lipsydrium by Parnes, in Attica, where some 

of their partizans in the city came to join them, 

they were forced to surrender by the tyrants; 

hence in later days after this calamity, they 

used always to sing in their banquet-songs : 

' Woe ! woe ! Lipsydrium, betrayer of thy fellows. 
What men hast thou destroyed 

The Constitution of Athens. 43 

Good to fight and good to their native land, 

Who then showed of what fathers they were come.' 

Failing, then, in all their attempts, they 
contracted to build the temple at Delphi, 
by which means they became well supplied 
with money for procuring the help of the 
Laconians. For the Pythia was always 
ordering the Lacedaemonians, when they con- 
sulted the oracle, to make Athens free. 
To this it directly incited the Spartiatae, 
although the Peisistratidse were their friends. 
And the friendship that subsisted between 
the Argives and the Peisistratidae contri- 
buted in no less degree to the eagerness of 
the Laconians. At first, then, they de- 
spatched Anchimolus with a force by sea. And 
after his defeat and death, owing to Kineas 
the Thessalian having come to the help of 
the Peisistratidae with a thousand horse, 
being further angered by this incident, they 

44 'J^he Constitution of Athens, 

despatched Kleomenes their king with a 
larger force by land. He first gained a 
victory over the Thessalian horse as they were 
trying to prevent him from entering Attica, 
and then shutting up Hippias in what is 
called the Pelasgic fort, he began to be- 
siege him in conjunction with the Athenians. 
And as he was blockading it, the sons 
of the Peisistratidae happened to be taken 
prisoners when making a sally. Under these 
circumstances the Peisistratidae came to an 
agreement, stipulating for the safety of their 
children ; and having conveyed away their 
property within five days, they handed overi 
the Acropolis to the Athenians in the archon- 
ship of Harpaktides, having held the tyranny 
after the death of their father about seven- 
teen years, the whole period, including that 
of their father's power, amounting to forty- 
nine years. 

The Constitution of Athens. 45 
After the tyranny was put down, the parties i^gorks^^' 

and Kleis- 

arrayed against one another were Isagoras thenes. 
the son of Tisandrus, who was a^riend of the ; 
tyrants, and Kleisthenes, who was of the J^ 
family of the Alkmaeonidse. Being in a \ 
minority in the poHtical clubs, Kleisthenes^^ 
won over the people by giving political rights 
to the masses. But Isagoras, not being 
sufficiently powerful of himself, again called 
in Kleomenes, who was his friend, and pre- 
vailed upon him to help in driving out the 
pollution, because the Alkmaeonidae were 
accounted to be among the number of the 
accursed. And on Kleisthenes secretly 
withdrawing with a few followers, he drove 
out as being under the curse seventy house,- 
holds of the Athenians. After this success 
he made an attempt to overthrow the Council. 
But when the Council resisted, and the people 
gathered in crowds, Kleomenes and Isagoras 

46 The Constitution of Athens, 

with their followers took refuge in the 
Acropolis. And the people, blockading it, 
besieged them for two days, but on the 
third they let Kleomenes and all his followers 
depart on certain terms, and sent for Kleis- 
thenes and the rest of the exiles. When the 
people had made itself master of the govern- 
ment, Kleisthenes became the leader and 
representative of the people. For the expul- 
sion of the tyrants was almost entirely due to 
the Alkmaeonidae, and they continued for 
the most part to carry on a party warfare. 
But even before the Alkmaeonidae, Kedon 
made an attack on the tyrants, and for that 
reason they used to sing about him also at 
banquets : 

* By spear and Kedon, boy, and forget not, 
If it is thine to pour out wine to brave men.' 

Chap. XXI. Thcsc then were the reasons why the 

The consti- 

KiShenes. pcoplc had confidcnce in Kleisthenes. And 


The Constitution of Athens. 47 

at that time, when he was at the head of the 
masses, in the fourth year after the overthrow 
of the tyrants, he first distributed them all 
into ten tribes instead of four as previously, 
wishing to mix them up in order that more 
might have a share in the government ; 
hence the saying, ' not to examine the tribes,' 
as addressed to those who wished to review 
the lists of the families.* Afterwards he 
made the Council five hundred instead of I (T\ 
four hundred, taking fifty from each tribe, for ^ 
at that time there were a hundred from each 
tribe. And the reason why he did not dis- 
tribute them into twelve tribes was that 
he might not have to divide them according 
to the existing Trittyes (third parts of 
tribes) ; for the four tribes were composed of 
twelve Trittyes, .with the result that the masses 
were not intermingled. And he divided 

* Families, i.e., collections of families, 'clans,' 
* houses.' 

48 The Constitution of Athens. 


the country by demes into thirty parts^ ten 
for the neighbourhood of the city, ten for the 
shore districts, and ten for the interior, and 
calling these Trittyes, he allotted three to 
each tribe, that each might have a part in 
all the different localities. And he made 
fellow-members of the same deme those who 
lived in each of the demes, in order that they 
might not, by calling after the name of the 
father, detect the new citizens, but give them 
their surnames from their demes ; hence it is 
that the Athenians do call themselves by 
their demes. He also established presidents 
of the demes, with the same duties as the 
former Naukrari ; for he also made the 
demes take the place of the Naukrarise. And 
he named some of the demes from their 
localities, and others from their founders ; 
since some of the localities now erected into 
demes had no founders from whom they 

The Constitution of Athens. 49 

could be called.* But the Gene (collections of 
families) and Phratrise (three to a tribe, and 
comprising each thirty Gene) and the priest- 
hoods he allowed each to retain as they had 
come down to them from their forefathers. 
And to the tribes he gave surnames from the 
hundred selected founders whom the Pythia 
appointed, to the number of ten. 
In consequence of these changes the con- ^^\\ 

The times 

stitution became much more popular than immediately 

following ; 

that of Solon ; for it had come to pass buiS^oVa 


that under the tyranny the laws of Solon *"'^"'""'- 

had become a dead letter from disuse, and 

that Kleisthenes had made the others to 

win over the masses, among which was 

passed the law about ostracism. First then 

in the fifth year after this settlement , in the '^^^-^Vi/k-C' 

* Or, they had no names of their own ; these are 
the alternative renderings, as suggested by the British 
Museum editor. 


50 The Constitution of Athens. 

archonship of Hermoukreon they drew up for 
the Council of the five hundred the oath by 
which they swear even to this day ; then they 
chose the generals by tribes, from each tribe 
one, and the polemarch was the commander- 
in-chief. In the twelfth year after this, when 
they had been victorious at Marathon, in the 
archonship of Phaenippus, and two years had 
elapsed since the victory, and the people had 
now grown bold, then it was that for the first 
time they put in force the law about ostra- 
cism. Now this law had been passed by 
reason of their suspicion of those in power, 
because Peisistratus had established himself 
as tyrant when he was a leader of the people 
and a general. The very first man to be 
ostracised was one of his relations, Hippar- 
chus, the son of Charmus of Kolyttus, on 
whose account especially it was that Kleis- 
thenes, wishing to get him banished, passed 

The Constitution of Athens. 51 

the law. For the Athenians allowed all the 
friends of the tyrants, who had not taken any 
part in wrong-doing during the troubles, to 
live in the city, thus displaying the wonted 
clemency of the popular government. Of these 
Hipparchus was the leader and representative. 
At the beginning of the following year, in the 
archonship of Telesinus, they appointed by lot 
the nine archons according to tribes from the 
five hundred, who had been selected by the 
members of demes immediately after the 
tyranny (for formerly they had been all 
elected). And Megakles, the son of Hippo- 
crates of Alopeke, was ostracised. For three 
years then they kept ostracising the friends 
of the tyrants, and after this in the fourth year 
they removed anyone else besides who appeared 
to be too powerful. The first to be ostracised 
of those who were not connected with the 
tyranny was Xanthippus, the son of Ari- 


52 The Constitution of Athens. 

phron. And in the third yea r after this, 
during the archonship of Nicodemus, when 
the mines at Maronea were discovered, and 
the state acquired a hundred talents from 
working them, some counselled the people 
to divide the money among themselves. But 
Themistokles would not allow it, declaring 
that he would not use the money, and urged 
them to advance it on loan to the hundred 
richest men among the Athenians, to each 
a talent, and then recommended, if it met 
their approval, that it should be expended 
in the service of the state, and if not, that 
they should get in the money from those 
who had borrowed it. Getting the money in 
this way, he had a hundred triremes built, 
each of the hundred talents building one ; 
and it was with these ships that they fought 
at Salamis against the barbarians. In these 
times Aristides, the son of Lysimachus, was 

The Constitution of Athens. 53 

ostracised. And in the fourth year, in the 
archonship of Hypsichides, they received back 
all who had been ostracised, in consequence 
of Xerxes' expedition. And for the future 
they made Gersestus and Scyllaeum the pre- 
scribed limits within which ostracised persons 
[ were Jree to live, and in default they were to 
lose their political rights for ever. 

At that time, then, and up to this point in its jfxnf. 
history, the state advanced together with the power by the 


democracy, and gradually increased in power. SkiSTnd 


But after the Median war the council of the 
Areopagus again became powerful, and ad- 
ministered the government, having got the 
leadership, not from any formal decree, but 
from having brought about the sea-fight at 
Salamis. For when the generals had shown 
themselves quite unequal to the emergency, 
and had proclaimed a sauve qui peut, the 
Areopagus came forward with funds, and 

54 '^he Constitution of Athens. 

distributing eight drachmae to each sailor, so 
manned the ships. For this reason they 
yielded to its claims, and the Athenians were 
governed well at this particular period ; for 
circumstances led them to give their at- 
tention to war : they were held in high 
esteem among the Greeks, and made them- 
selves masters of the sea, ^ despite the 
Lacedaemonians. The leaders of the people 
in these days were Aristides, the son of 
Lysimachus, and Themistokles, the son of 
Neokles, the latter devoting himself to mili- 
tary matters, while the former enjoyed the 
reputation of being a sagacious statesman, 
and conspicuous for justice among his con- 
temporaries. They accordingly made use of 
the services of the one in war, and of the other 
in council. The rebuilding of the walls, how- 
ever, was conducted by both of them together, 
notwithstanding their political differences ; 

The Constitution of Athens. 55 

but it was Aristides who urged on the revolt 
of the lonians and the alliance with the 
Lacedaemonians, watching his opportunity 
when the Laconians had been brought into 
ill-odour by the doings of Pausanias. This 
was the reason why it was he who apportioned 
to" the cities the tributes which were first im- 
posed in the third year after the sea-fight at 
Salamis in the archonship of Timosthenes, 
and why he made a treaty with the lonians, 
offensive and defensive, in confirmation of 
which they sunk the bars of iron in the 

After this, when the city was now in good chap. 

1 , . n • 1 1 • 1 Athens lays 

heart and its treasury overflowmg, he advised claims to the 

leadership of 

the people to lay a claim to national supremacy, ^'^^^^^• 

and to leave the country, and come and live 
■* Compare Herodotus, i. 165, telling how the 
Phocaeans, on deserting their native city, sunk iron 
in the sea, and swore never to return till it came up 
again to the surface. 

56 The Constitution of Athens. 

in the city ; saying that there would be the 
means of living for all, for some in military 
service, for others in keeping guard, and for the 
rest in public employments, and that in this 
way they would obtain national supremacy. 
Yielding to these representations, they assumed 
the leadership of Greece, and treated the allies 
in sufficiently lordly fashion, except the 
Chians and Lesbians and Samians ; for these 
they kept as guards of their empire, leaving 
them their forms of government, and not 
interfering with their rule over such subjects 
as they had. They established for the masses 
easy means of subsistence, just in the way 
^ Aristides had shown them ; for from their 

tributes and their taxes and their allies the 
maintenance of more than twenty thousand 
men was provided. There were six thou- 
sand jurors, and sixteen hundred archers, 
and in addition to them twelve hundred 


The Constitution of Athens. 57 

cavalry, five hundred of the Council, and 
guards of the dockyards five hundred, and 
in the city fifty guards, and home magis- 
trates up to seven hundred men, and men 
on foreign service up to seven hundred ;• 
and besides these, when they afterwards en- 
gaged in war, two thousand five hundred 
hoplites, and twenty guard-ships, and other 
ships which brought the tributes, manned 
by two thousand men chosen by lot, and 
further the Prytaneum, and orphans and 
guards of prisoners ; for all these derived 
their maintenance from the public funds. 

The people therefore got its means of Chap. 
support in this way. And for about seventeen ofThe a^^o- 

pagus by 

years after the Persian war the constitution Sd^Themis- 


was mamtamed under the presidency of the 
Areopagitae, although it was gradually losing 
ground. But as the masses were increasing 
in power, Ephialtes, the son of Sophonides, 

58 The Constitution of Athens. 

with the reputation of being incorruptible and 
of entertaining just intentions towards the 
constitution, became leader of the people, 
and made an attack on the council. First 
he made away with many of the Areopagitae, 
bringing actions against them for their ad- 
ministration. Afterwards, in the archonship 
of Konon, he stripped the council of all the 
privileges, in right of which it was the guardian 
of the constitution, and made them over partly 
to the five hundred and partly to the courts 
of justice. And he carried out these measures 
in conjunction with Themistokles, who was 
one of the Areopagitai, and about to be put 
on his trial on the charge of Medism. And 
desiring the overthrow of the council, The- 
mistokles told Ephialtes that the council 
intended to seize him as well as himself, while 
at the same time he told the Areopagitae 
that he would point out to them those who 

The Constitution of Athens. 59 

were banding together for the overthrow of 
the government. And taking the persons 
who were despatched by the council to the 
house of Ephialtes, to point out to them 
those who were meeting together there, he 
joined in earnest conversation with the repre- 
sentatives of the council. And Ephialtes, 
seeing this, in alarm took refuge at the altar 
with only his tunic on. All wondered at 
what had happened, and when the Council 
of the five hundred assembled afterwards, 
Ephialtes and Themistokles brought accusa- 
tions against the Areopagitae, and again 
before the people in the same way, until they 
stripped them of their power. And Ephialtes 
also was got rid of, being treacherously 
murdered not long afterwards by Aristodicus 
of Tanagra. So the council of the Areo- 
pagitae was in this way deprived of its super- 
vision of the state. 

6o The Constitution of Athens. 

xxvL After this, in the course of circumstances, 

Growth of 

thedemoc- thc coHstitution becamc further weakened 


through the zeal of the leaders of the people, 
for in these times, as it fell out, the more 
moderate party was without a leader. Now 
Kimon, the son of Miltiades, was at their 
head, a man comparatively young, and who 
had entered upon public life late. Moreover, 
the greater portion of this party had been 
destroyed in war, which happened in this 
way : The army was enrolled in those times 
from those who were on the list for service, 
and generals were appointed to command 
who had no experience of war, but were held 
in honour for their ancestral glories, the con- 
sequence of which was, that those who went 
to the wars perished by two or three thousand 
at a time. In this way the moderate men, 
both of the people and of the well-to-do, 
were used up. Now, in everything else the 

The Constitution of Athens. 6i 

government was administered differently to 
what it was before, when men gave heed to 
the laws, but the election of the nine archons 
was not disturbed. Still, in the sixth year\ 
after the death of Ephialtes, they decreed 
[that those who were to be balloted for in the 
elections of the nine archons should be 
selected also from the Zeugitse, and the first 
of that class who filled the office was Mnesi- 
^^theides. But all before him had belonged to 
the Knights and Pentakosiomedimni, while 
the Zeugitae used to hold the offices that 
went round in succession (but not the archon- 
ship), unless some oversight of the provisions 
of the laws chanced to occur. In the fifth 
year after this, in the archonship of Lysikrates , 
the thirty jurors were again established, who 
were called after the demes. In the third 
y ear after him, in the archonship of Antidotus, 
owing to the great increase in the number of 


I ^ 


62 The Constitution of Athens. 

citizens, they decreed, on the proposal of 
Perikles, that no one should share in political 
rights unless both his parents were citizens, 
xxvii. After this Perikles came to lead the people. 


He first made a name for himself when, 
as a young man, he called in question the 
accounts of Kimon during his command. 
The constitution then became, in the course 
of events, still more democratical ; for he 
stripped the Areopagitae of some of their 
;^ privileges, and, what was the cardinal 
; point of his policy, urged on the state to ac- 
quire naval power, in consequence of which 
the masses grew bold, and drew the whole 
government more into their own hands. 
And in the forty-ninth year after the sea- 
fight at Salamis, in the archonship of 
Pythodorus, the Peloponnesian war broke 
out, during which the people, shut up as they 
were in the city and accustomed to serve 

The Constitution of Athens. 63 

for pay in the armies, partly of their own 
free will, and partly against their wishes, 
elected to administer the government them- 
selves. And Perikles was the first to intro- 
duce pay for the services of the jurors, 
thus bidding for popularity as against the 
influence that Kimon derived from his 
ample means. For Kimon, as the possessor 
of royal wealth, first discharged the public 
services with great splendour, and afterwards 
supported many of the members of his 
deme. Any of the Lakiadae who liked 
might go to him every day to get their 
rations ; moreover, ail his grounds were left 
unfenced, so that anyone who liked could 
help himself to the fruit. But as Perikles 
did not possess the means of indulging in 
public expenditure of this kind, on the 
advice of Damonides of CEa (who had the 
reputation of being the prompter of Perikles' 

64 The Constitution of Athens. 

wars, for which reason also they ostracised 
him later), since his private property did not 
allow him to provide subsistence for the 
populace, he instituted pay for the jurors. 
And to these causes some assign the de- 
terioration in the conduct of affairs, as the 
appointments to office were designedly made 
more and more by haphazard instead of 
by merit. And bribery in the law courts 
also began to be practised after this, Anytus 
being the first to show how to do it after 
his command at Pylos ; for when he was put 
upon his trial for losing it, he bribed the 
court and was acquitted. 
xxviTi ^° ^°"S ^^^^ ^^ Perikles was at the head of 

His sue- t ^ 1 1 

cessors: thc pcoplc, thc govcmmcnt went on better, 


ThtTcydides, but on his death it became much worse. 


For then, for the first time, the people 
took for its leader a man who was not held 
in respect by such as entertained moderate 

The Constitution of Athens. 6^ 

views ; whereas in former times it had 
always, without exception, been led by 
men of character. For it began with Solon, 
who was the first to come forward as the 
leader of the people ; and next Peisistratus, 
who belonged to the nobles and upper class ; 
and after the overthrow of the tyranny came 
Kleisthenes, who was of the house of the 
Alkmaeonidae, and had no party-leader in 
opposition to him after the banishment of 
Isagoras and his faction. After this Xan- 
thippus was at the head of the people, 
while Miltiades represented the upper classes. 
Next came Themistokles and Aristides; after 
them Ephialtes was at the head of the 
democratic party, and Kimon, the son of 
Miltiades, at the head of the wealthy classes. 
Then Perikles represented the democratic 
party, and Thucydides, who was a connection 
by marriage of Kimon, the other side. On 


66 The Constitution of Athens. 

t'.ie death of Perikle?, Nikias took the lead 
of the nobles, he who met his end in Sicily ; 
and of the democratic party, Kleon, the son 
of Klesenetus. He has the reputation of 
having, more than any other man, led the 
people astray by his impetuosity, and was 
I he first to raise his voice to a shriek from the 
rostra and indulge in abusive language, and 
to harangue with his apron on, while every- 
body else respected the ordinary decencies 
of public speaking. After them Theramenes, 
the son of Hagnon, led the other side, while 
at the head of the people was Kleophon, the 
lyre-maker, who first introduced the payment 
of the two obols. For some time he dis- 
tributed it, but afterwards Kallikrates, the 
Paeanian, put a stop to it, having first 
promised that he would add another obol 
to the two obols. Later on they were both 
condemned to death ; for it is the custom 

The Constitution of Athens. 67 

of the masses, when they discover that they 
have been grossly deceived, to hate those 
who have led them on to do anything that is 
not right. And from Kleophon onward the 
leadership of the people successively passed jf 

without interruption to such men as were the .^^y 
most willing to act boldly and gratify the J/f 
populace, looking only to the immediate 
present. For of those who conducted the 
government at Athens, and succeeded to the 
old rulers, Nikias and Thucydides and 
Theramenes appear to have approved them- 
selves the best. In the case of Nikias and 
Thucydides almost all agree that they 
showed themselves to be not only good and 
honourable men, but also fit to govern, and 
that they administered the state in every 
respect in conformity with the national 
traditions. With regard to Theramenes, 
however, as disturbances in the forms of 


• 68 The Constitution of Athens. 

government occurred in his time, opinions 
differ. Still, he seems to such as do not 
express a mere off-hand opinion, not to 
have overthrown all these forms, as his 
accusers charge him with doing, but to have 
carried on all of them so long as they did 
not contravene the laws; thus acting like a 
man who was able to live under any form 
of government, which is indeed the duty of 
a good citizen, but who would not be a 
party to any that was contrary to the law, 
and so he became an object of hatred. 
XXIX. So long, then, as successes in the war were 

The four 

the"proposais cvcnly balanced, they preserved the de- 

of Pytho- 

dorus. mocracy. But after the reverse in Sicily, 
when the Lacedaemonians became very power- 
ful by their alliance with the king of Persia, 
they were compelled to change the de- 
mocracy and establish the government of the 
four hundred, on the proposal of Melobius 

The Constitution of Athens. 69 

before the decree and Pythodorus moving . . . 
the masses being influenced, beyond all other 
considerations, by the idea that the king 
would gladly take part with them in the war 
if they made the government oligarchical. 
Now, the decree of Pythodorus was as 
follows : that the people should choose, in 
conjunction with the standing committee of 
ten, twenty others from such as were above 
forty years of age, and that they, after swear- 
ing solemnly to pass such measures as they 
might think best for the state, should so 
legislate for its safety; and that it should 
be lawful for anyone else who wished to 
bring forward any bill, that so, out of all, 
they might choose what was best. And 
Kleitophon spoke to the same effect as Pytho- 
dorus, but moved further that those who were 
elected should examine the long-established 
laws which Kleisthenes passed when he 

70 The Constitution of Athens, 

established the democracy, that by listening 
to them also they might decide on what was 
best, for they argued that Kleisthenes' con- 
stitution was not democratic, but on the 
same lines as that of Solon. After their 
election they first moved that it should be 
compulsory on the presidents of the Council 
to put to the vote all proposals about the 
safety of the state ; then they did away with 
indictments for proposing unconstitutional 
measures, and in cases not provided for by 
law, and legal challenges, so that any 
Athenian who wished might assist in the 
deliberations about the matters before them. 
They proposed, further, that if anyone, on 
account of these proceedings, should fine or 
summons anyone, or bring a case into 
court, an information should be laid against 
him, and he should be brought before the 
generals, and the generals should hand him 

The Constitution of Athens. 71 

over to the Eleven to be punished with death. 
After this they drew up the constitution as 
follows : that it should not be lawful to 
expend the incoming moneys for any other 
purpose than the war, and that all offices 
should be held without pay so long as the 
war might last, with the exception of the 
nine archons and the presidents of the 
Council for the time being, but that these 
should receive three obols a day each. They 
proposed, further, to vest all the rest of the 
administration in such of the Athenians as 
were best able both in person and means to 
perform the public services, to the number of 
not less than five thousandj^lqng as the wa/ 
mightjast^; that they should have the power 
also of making treaties with whomever they 
liked ; and that the committee should choose 
ten men from each tribe over forty years of 
age to enrol the five thousand, after having 
taken an oath on perfect sacrifices. 

72 The Constitution of Athens. 

xxx! Those who were appointed, then, drew up 

The constitu- 

po^edVorThe ^hcsc mcasures. And after their ratification 

the five thousand chose a hundred out of their 

own number to make a public record of the 

form of government. So this body drew up 

and pubh'shed the following record. Such as 

were over thirty years of age were to be 

members of the Council for a year, without 

pay ; and from them were to be appointed 

the generals and the nine archons and 

the sacred recorder, and the infantry and 

cavalry commanders, and the chiefs of the 

tribes, the commandants of the forts, the 

treasurers of the sacred funds of Athena and 

all other gods to the number of ten, the 

Hellenotamise,"^ and the treasurers of all 

other sacred funds to the number of twenty, 

who were to control the managers of sacred 

■^ Trustees of the Greeks, appointed by Athens to 
levy the contributions paid by the Greek states towards 
the Persian war. 

The Constitution of Athens. 73 

rites and superintendents, each ten in number; 
and they were to choose all the above out 
of selected candidates, who at the expiration 
of their term should select successors from 
the then members of the Council, but all 
the other officers were to be appointed by 
lot, and not from the Council; and such 
of the Hellenotamise as might be managing 
the funds were not to take part in the 
Council. Further, that they should con- 
stitute four councils from the aforesaid age 
for the future, and of these the division 
to whose lot it fell should act as Council, 
and it should appoint also the rest to act 
according to each lot. That the hundred 
(who were drawing up the constitution) 
should apportion both themselves and the 
others into four divisions, as fairly as 
possible, and appoint them in turn by lot, 
and they should form the Council for a 

74 '^he Constitution of Athens, 

year. That they should recommend such 
measures as appeared hkely to them to be 
the best in regard to the public money, with 
a view to its safe-keeping and expenditure on 
what was necessary, and about everything 
else as best they could ; further, if they 
should wish to take counsel on any matter 
in a larger body than their own, each of 
them should call in to his assistance any 
assessor he liked from such as were of the 
same age. That they should make the 
sittings of the Council once every five days, 
unless they required more. That the Council 
should appoint by lot the nine archons, but 
that they should select by vote five who had 
been appointed by lot out of the Council, and 
out of them one should be appointed by lot 
every day to put the question. That the 
before-mentioned five should appoint by lot 
those who wished to present themselves 

The Constitution of Athens. 75 

before the Council, first regarding sacred 
matters, next for the heralds, thirdly for 
embassage, and fourthly about all other 
matters. That the generals should have the 
management of matters connected with the 
war department, whenever it might be neces- 
sary to make any proposal without casting 
lots. Lastly, that anyone who failed to be 
present at the appointed hour in the chamber 
of the Council when it was sitting, should 
pay a fine of a drachma for each day, unless 
he had obtained leave of absence from the 

Such was the constitution they drew up to chap. 
serve for the future ; but for the immediate tion arpro-^' 

posed for the 

present its provisions were as follows : That p'Je'^lntf^^ 
the Council should consist of four hundred as 

instituted by their fathers, forty from each 
tribe, from such candidates as the tribesmen 
might select above thirty years of age. That 

76 The Constitution of Athens. 

they should appoint the officers of state, draw 
up the form of oath to be taken, and do 
whatever they judged expedient concerning 
the laws and audits of accounts and every- 
thing else. That they should govern by the 
established laws regarding matters of state, 
and should not have the right of altering 
them or passing different ones. For the 
present they should make choice of the 
generals out of the whole body of the 
five thousand, and the Council, after its 
appointment, should hold a review under 
arms, and should choose ten men and a 
secretary for them ; these on their election 
were to hold office for the coming year 
with full powers, and, as occasion might re- 
quire, concert measures in common with the 
Council. That they should choose one 
commander of cavalry and ten chiefs of 
tribes ;* but for the future the Council was 
* Especially as commanders of cavalry. 

The Constitution of Athens. 77 

to make choice of them in conformity with 

the written law. In respect of all other 

offices, except the Council and the generals, 

it should not be lawful for them or anyone 

else to hold the same office more than once. 

And for the remainder of the time the four 

hundred should be distributed into the four 

lots .... 

So the hundred who were chosen by the 

five hundred drew up this constitution. Chap. 
^ xxxii. 

When its provisions, on the motion of Aristo- ment^oTSe' 

four hundred. 

machus, had been ratified by the masses, the 
Council was dissolved in the archonship of 
Kallias before it had completed its term, on 
the 14th of the month Thargelion,^ and the 
four hundred entered on office on the 21st of 
Thargelion, while the Council elected by lot 
ought to have entered on office on the 14th 

* This month corresponds to from the middle of 
May to the middle of June ; Skirophorion, a few lines 
further on, is the following month. 

78 The Constitution of Athens. 

of Skirophorion. The oligarchy then was 
estabh'shed in this way in the archonship of 
Kallias, about a hundred years after the 
expulsion of the tyrants, its establishment 
being mainly due to Peisander, Antiphon and 
Theramenes, men of good antecedents, and 
with a character for intelligence and prudence. 
On the introduction ot this form of govern- 
ment the five thousand were only nominally 
appointed, but the four hundred, in conjunc- 
tion with the ten who were invested with 
full powers, entering the council-chamber, 
assumed the management of affairs. Sending 
an embassy to the Lacedaemonians, they 
proposed putting an end to the war on the 
terms that each side should retain what they 
held, but withdrew from further negotiation 
when the Lacedaemonians refused to listen to 
any proposal which did not include the sur- 
render of their maritime supremacy. 

The Constitution of Athens. 79 

The government of the four hundred lasted xxxm 

, __ ., It lasted four 

about four month?, and of this body Mnasilo- months, and 

was good. 

chus was archon for the space of two months 
during the archonship of Theopompus * who 
held office the remaining two months. But 
after the defeat in the sea-fight at Eretria, 
and the revolt of the whole of Euboea except 
Oreus, being more incensed at this calamity 
than at any that had ever hitherto befallen 
them (for Euboea was of greater advantage 
to them than Attica), the Athenians put 
down the four hundred, and gave the 
management of affairs to the five thousand 
under arms (referred to above), after passing 
a vote that anyone who received pay should 
be ineligible for offices of state. The over- 
throw of the four hundred was mainly due 
to Aristokrates and Theramenes, who did not 

* He being the archon who gave his name to the 
year (Eponymus). 

8o The Constitution of Athens. 

approve of their doings, for they managed 
everything themselves, without ever referring 
to the five thousand. But the administration 
seems to have been good at this time, con- 
sidering that a war was being carried on, 
and that the form of government was a 
military one. 
XXXIV. However, the people quickly stripped them 


^gospo- of their power : for in the seventh year from 

tami, Lysan- *■ ' ^ 

establish- the overthrow of the four hundred, in the 

ment of the 

oligarchy, ^^chonship of KalHas of Angele, after the 
sea-fight at Arginusse, 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 Lacedaemonians wished to retire from 

The Constitution of Athens. 8i 

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 Lacedaemonians 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 ^Egospotami, 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 


82 The Constitution of Athens, 

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. 
Chap So the thirty were established in this way 

ancftheTr^ iu thc archonship of Pythodorus. Being now 


masters of the state, they neglected all the 

The Constitution of Athens. 83 

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 
Peira^us, 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 ex- 
ample, in the matter of a man's giving his 


84 The Constitution of Athens. 

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 

The Constitution of Athens. 85 

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. 

When the state was drifting in this way, Chap. 


Theramenes, indignant at their proceedings, xlSmSenes. 
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 The- 
ramenes, then, fearing that he might consti- 
tute 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 govern- 
ment. Theramenes again found fault with 
this arrangement, on the following grounds : 
first, that although they professed a desire to 

86 The Constitution of Athens. 

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 in- 
consistent, 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, 
xxxvii When winter had now set in, and Thrasy- 
puA^o death, bulus and the exiles had seized Phyle, the 

and the 

a^nTc'alfeX; 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 

The Constitution of Athens. 87 

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 destruc- 
tion of the fort in Eetionsea, or had in any way ^ 
acted in opposition to the four hundred, or the v^ 
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 thou- 
sand, and in every way indulged freely in 
cruelty and evil-doing. Sending ambassadors 
to Lacedaemon, they brought accusations 

88 The Constitution of Athens, 

against Theramenes, and asked for help, in 
compliance with which the Lacedaemonians 
despatched Kallibius as governor (Harmost), 
with about seven hundred men, who on their 
arrival garrisoned the Acropolis, 
xxxvni. After this, when the exiles from Phyle had 

End of the 

thirty.and scizcd Munvchia and been victorious in an 

reconcilia- •' 

parties. 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 market-place, 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 Lacedaemon, asking for help and borrow- 
ing money. When those who had a voice in 
the government were displeased at this, fear- 
ing that they might be deposed from power, 

The Constitution of Athens. 89 

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-opera- 
tion. Notably at their head stood Rhinon 
the Paeanian, and Phayllus, the son of 

90 The Constitution of Athens, 

Acherdes; they indeed, both before the arrival 
of Pausanias, were in constant negotiation 
with the party at Peirseus, and after his 
arrival actively assisted him in bringing 
about their return. For the peace was con- 
cluded as well as the reconciliation by Pau- 
sanias, king of the Lacedaemonians, in con- 
junction with the ten mediators, who after- 
wards arrived from Lacedaemon, 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. 

The Constitution of Athens. 91 

Now, the reconciliation was efifected in xxxix 

the archonship of Eukleides on the follow- reconcilia- 

ing terms: Such Athenians as had re- 
mained 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 temple should be common to 
both, and under the charge of the heralds 
and Eumolpidae in conformity with the 
ancient customs. It should not be law- 
ful 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 

92 The Constitution of Athens, 

appraisers on either side, and he should 
take the price which they fixed. Any Eleu- 
sinians 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 

The Constitution of Athens. 93 

even these should be excluded if they sub- 
mitted 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. 

The reconciliation being concluded on chap. xl. 

Its conclu- 

these terms, all who had sided with the 'SS?. 
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 re- 
maining 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 

94 '^he Constitution of Athens. 

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 encourage- 
ment 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 

The Constitution of Athens. 95 

treated their late calamities in the most excel- 
lent 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 Lacedaemonians 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 starting- 
point 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 distri- 
bution 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. 

This was the course of events at the later ^"j^/- 

11 t • t 1 < Rec.ipitula- 

period, but at that time the people, having tion of the 

96 The Constitution of Athens, 

preceding made itself master of the state, established the 

changes ; 

eign power form of govemmeiit as it now exists, in the 

of the people. 

archonship of Pythodorus. And it appears 
that the people rightly assumed the supreme 
authority by reason of its having accom- 
plished unaided the return of the exiles. 
(0 This change was the. eleventh in order. First 
, OAU^Un A came the «MHfctefcMM- of those who united 
Jtj^X^ »v*-»J^ them into one people at the beginning, viz.. 
Wot ^*^v Ion and his followers ; for it was then for 
si 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 
ot 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. 


The Constitution of Athens, 97 

Fourthly, the tyranny of Peisistratus. Fifthly, 
after the overthrow of the tyrants, the con- 
stitution 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 follow- 
ing 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 


98 The Constitution of Athens. 

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 presi- 
dents had to pass many measures, to secure 
the presence of the masses for the confir- 
mation 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 

The Constitution of Athens. 99 

The present constitution is as follows : ^\\- 
Political rights belong to those whose parents citizenship ; 

training of 

are citizens on both sides. When they are * ^ ^p^^^'- 
eighteen years old they are enrolled as 
members of their deme. When a candidate 
is proposed, the members of the deme decide 
by vote about him on oath ; first, if they 
consider him to be of the proper legal age ; 
if they decide against it, he returns to 
the class of children ; and secondly, if he is 
freeborn and his birth according to the laws. 
Then, if they decide that he is not freeborn, 
the candidate appeals to the court of justice, 
and the members of the deme choose of their 
number five plaintiffs, and if it is decided 
that he is not rightly enrolled, the state sells 
him ; but if he gains the day, it is compulsory 
on the deme to enrol him as a member. After 
this the Council examines the candidates who 
have been enrolled, and if any is found to be 


100 The Constitution of Athens. 

less than eighteen years old, it fines the 
members of the deme who enrolled him. 
When they have passed as Ephebi (i.e., arrived 
at man's estate), their fathers assemble in 
their tribes, and on oath select three of their 
tribesmen above forty years of age, whom 
they consider to be most worthy and suitable 
to have charge of the Ephebi, and from them 
the people votes one of each tribe, selected as 
their moderator and superintendent in every- 
thing from the whole body of Athenians. 
And, taking charge of the Ephebi, first they 
make a circuit of the sacred places, then they 
proceed to Peiraeus, and some of the Ephebi 
garrison Munychia, and the rest the shore. 
The people votes them also two gymnastic- 
masters and teachers, who instruct them in 
the use of arms, shooting, hurling, and work- 
ing the catapult. It gives for maintenance 
to the moderators a drachma a day each, and 

The Constitution of Athens, loi 

to the Ephebi four obols each. And each 
moderator, taking the money of his own 
tribesmen, buys what is necessary for all in 
common (for they take their meals together 
by their tribes), and provides for everything 
else. They pass their first year in this way. 
The next, at a meeting of the Assembly in the 
theatre, they display before the people their 
drill-practice, and receiving a spear and shield 
from the state, patrol the country and live in 
garrisons. They act as guards for their two 
years, wearing cloaks, and have immunity 
from all public burdens. They are not 
allowed either to bring or defend an action, 
to prevent their being connected in any way 
with business, except in cases of inheritance 
and of an only daughter and heiress, or where 
a question of family priesthood arises. On 
the expiry of the two years they at once rank 
with the rest. Such, then, are the regulations 

I02 The Constitution of Athens. 

regarding the enrolment of citizens and the 
XLui They appoint by lot to all the offices 

Election to , , . , , . . . i • i 

offices, by belonging to the administration which comes 

lot or vote. 

round in turn, except the military treasurer, 
and those who have charge of the funds for 
seats in the theatre and the superintendent 
of the springs. For these they vote, and 
those who are appointed hold office from 
Panathensea to Panathensea. They vote also 
all the offices of the war department. And 
the Council is elected by lot to the number of 
five hundred, fifty from each tribe. And 
each of the tribes presides in turn as lot may 
assign, the first four thirty-six days each, and 
the six last thirty-five days each; for they 
reckon the year by the moon. The presidents 
first dine together in the Rotunda, at the 
expense of the state, then they assemble the 
Council and the people ; the Council every 

The Constitution of Athens. 103 

day, unless there is a holiday, and the people 
four times during each presidency. They 
give public notice of all matters to be trans- 
acted by the Council, and what is to be taken 
each day, and what is not their business. 
They give public notice also of the meetings 
of the Assembly, one an ordinary one to 
confirm by vote magistrates if they are 
thought to discharge their duties efficiently, 
and to arrange about food and the protection 
of the country, and for such as want to prefer 
indictments to bring in such bills on this day, 
and to read out the registers of confiscations 
as well as the applications to the archon to 
be put in possession in cases of inheritance 
and of only daughters and heiresses, so that 
everybody may know if a case has gone by 
default. At the sixth presidency, in addition 
to what has just been stated, the opportunity 
is given of voting in cases of ostracism to 

I04 The Constitution of Athens, 

confirm or otherwise, and of proceeding with 
the public prosecutions of common informers, 
both Athenians and resident-aliens up to 
three of each, where a promise has been 
made to the people and not performed. 
Another Assembly is assigned for supplica- 
tions, so that anyone who wants may propose 
a supplication for anything he likes, either 
public or private, and discuss it with the 
people. The other two Assemblies attend to 
all other matters, and the laws ordain that at 
these meetings proposals should be con- 
sidered to the number of three respectively 
regarding things sacred (or sacred moneys), 
heralds and embassies, and things profane (or 
public moneys). They sometimes deliberate 
even without any previous voting. The 
heralds and ambassadors come first before 
the presidents, and the bearers of letters 
deliver them into their hands. 

The Constitution of Athens. 105 
Now, there is one chief president, elected ^J^^p. 

The Council 

by lot ; he holds office a day and a night, continued. 
and it is not lawful for the same man to 
be appointed for a longer time, or to be 
appointed twice. He keeps the keys of the 
temples, in which are deposited the public 
moneys and records, as well as the state seal, 
and is obliged to remain in the Rotunda, as is 
also the third part of the presidents which 
he may order to do so. When the presidents 
summon the Council or people, he appoints 
by lot the nine chairmen (proedri), one from 
each tribe, except the tribe that presides, 
and from them again one as chief president, 
and he passes over to them the order of 
business. On receipt of it they preserve 
order, propose the matters to be deliberated 
on, decide the votings, and arrange things 
generally. They have power also to break 
up the meeting. It is not lawful to be chief 

io6 The Ccnstitution of Athens. 

president more than once in the year, while 
it is lawful to be a chairman (proedrus) once 
in each presidency. They elect boards of 
ten of generals and commanders of cavalry 
and of the other military officers of state in 
the Assembly, as the people may determine ; 
these elections are made by the presidency 
after the sixth, when the omens are favour- 
able, but a preliminary ordinance must be 
passed about these elections also. 
Chap. Now the Couucil formerly had power to 
the^power°of punish by fines, to imprison, and to put to 

putting to 

death. death. But on one occasion, as it was con- 
ducting Lysimachus to the executioner, who 
was awaiting him, Eukleides of Alopeke took 
him out of their hands, declaring that it was 
not right for any citizen to be put to death 
without the verdict of a court of law. On a 
trial being held in court, Lysimachus was 
acquitted, and got the surname of ' the man 


The Constitution of Athens, 107 

' who escaped the cudgel/ Then the people 
deprived the Council of its power of putting 
to death and imprisoning and punishing by 
fines, and carried a law that in cases where 
the Council passed sentences or punished, the 
Thesmothetae should bring the sentences and 
punishments before the court of justice, and 
that the vote of the jurors should be final. 
Now, the Council can try most of the officers 
of state, particularly such as have the 
management of money ; but their decision is 
not final, and there is an appeal to the court 
of justice. Private individuals also have the 
right of indicting any officers of state they 
like for violating the laws, while such as are 
so indicted have also an appeal to the court 
of justice, if the Council finds them guilty. It 
examines also the members who are to com- 
pose the Council for the following year, and 
the nine archons. Formerly it had the power 

io8 The Constitution of Athens. 

of rejection, but now in such cases there is an 
appeal to the court of justice. In the above 
matters then the Council does not possess 
final authority. Further, it submits pre- 
liminary ordinances to the people, and it is 
not lawful for the people to pass any measure 
which has not been thus submitted, or of 
which the presidents have not previously 
given public notice. For it is on these very 
grounds that the successful mover of a bill 
makes himself liable to an indictment for pro- 
posing unconstitutional measures. 
xLVh It superintends also the triremes, their 

The Council 

continued, equipment and their docks, and has new 
ships built, triremes or quadriremes, which- 
ever the people votes, and equipment for 
them and docks. But the people votes 
designers for the vessels. And if they fail 
to hand over these quite complete to the new 
Council, they cannot get the present, for they 

The Constitution of Athens. 109 

get it during the following Council. It builds 
the triremes, choosing ten constructors out 
of the whole body. It examines also all 
public buildings, and if it decides that any 
wrong has been committed, it makes a pre- 
sentment to the people against the offender, 
and if it finds him guilty, hands him over to 
a court of justice. 

It assists also in the management of all ^"^Jv 
the remaining offices for the most part. surerJoT 

Athena ; the 

For first there are the treasurers (of the felS'"^"'' 
temple) of Athena, ten in number, and 
appointed by lot, one from each tribe, from 
the Pentakosiomedimni according to Solon's 
law — for the law is still in force — and chief 
of them is he on whom the lot falls, however 
poor he may -be. And they take over the 
image of Athena, and the victories, and all 
her other decorations, and the funds, in the 
presence of the Council. Then there are the 

no The Constitution of Athens. 

government-sellers, ten in number, one being 
appointed by lot from each tribe. These 
farm out all the contracts and sell the pro- 
ductions of the mines, and, in conjunction 
with the military treasurer, and the presi- 
dents of funds for the payment of seats at the 
theatre, in the presence of the Council, ratify 
the farming of the taxes to him to whom the 
Council votes it ; and they sell, in the 
presence of the Council, all the workable 
metals which are sold, both what have been 
sold for three years and what have been con- 
tracted for . . . and the property of those 
who have been banished by the Areopagus, 
and the archons confirm these transactions. 
They put up a public register on white 
tablets of the taxes that have been farmed 
out for a year . . . they pass over to the 
Council. They put up a public notice 
separately, in ten lists, of such as in each 

The Constitution of Athens. 1 1 1 

presidency have to make payments, and 
separately of such as have to do so at the 
end of the year, making a list for every pay- 
ment, and separately of those in the ninth 
presidency. They give similar notice of the 
lands and houses which have been let and 
sold in the court of justice, for they also sell 
these . . . the sale price of houses must be 
paid for in five years, of land in ten. And 
they pay for these in the ninth presidency 
. . . and the king ratifies the lettings . . . 
and the letting of these also is for ten years, 
payment being made in the ninth presidency ; 
for these reasons the largest amounts of 
money are collected in this presidency. Now 
the tablets on which the payments are re- 
corded are brought to the Council, and the 
public notary keeps them. When payment 
is made he hands over to the receivers these 

112 The Constitution of Athens, 

very . . . But the rest is stored away 
separately. . . . 
xLvm. There are ten receivers appointed by lot 

There- ^^ ^ 

audftors. by tribes. When they have received the lists, 
they cancel the moneys as they are paid in in 
the presence of the Council in the council- 
chamber, and again return the lists to the 
public notary. If anyone fails in payment the 
fact is then recorded, and the reason why ; and 
he must pay the deficit or go to prison, and 
the Council has authority by law both to 
compel payment and to commit to prison. 
On the first day they receive the moneys 
and apportion them to the offices, and on 
the following they bring forward the appor- 
tionment, after recording it on a tablet, and 
draw up the list in the council-chamber, and 
... in the Council, if anyone, be he either 
magistrate or private individual, is known to 
have acted unfairly in the apportionment ; 

The Constitution of Athens. 113 

and they put the question of his guilt to the 
vote. Further, the members of the Council 
appoint by lot from their own body tellers to 
the number of ten to account to the magis- 
trates in each presidency. They appoint by 
lot also auditors, one from each tribe, and two 
assessors to each auditor, who are obliged to 
sit in the markets, which are called after 
those who have given their names to each 
tribe ; and if anyone wishes at his own suit 
to prefer an audit against any of those 
who have given in their accounts within five 
days of their being given in, he writes on 
a white tablet his name and the name 
of the defendant, and the offences with 
which he charges him, and taking the valua- 
tion he decides upon, hands it over to the 
auditor. The auditor receives it, and if, after 
a hearing, he convicts, he hands over private 
cases to the jurors for the demes, which 


1 14 The Constitution of Athens. 

represent the particular tribe, while public 
cases he refers to the Thesmothetse. The 
Thesmothetae, if they entertain the suit, in 
their turn bring the audit before the court 
of justice, and the decision of the jurors is 
xLix". Further, the Council holds a muster of the 

The Council 

mufte?ofthe ^orscs, and if anyone having the means is 
found to keep his horse badly, it fines him in 
its keep ; and to such as are unable to keep 
one, or unwilling to remain Knights, they 
bring up a wheel . . . , and he who is so 
treated is dishonoured. It holds also a 
muster of the cavalry scouts, to ascertain 
who appear to be fitted for such service, 
and the man against whom there is a show 
of hands is dismounted. It holds a muster 
also of the unmounted scouts, and if the 
show of hands is unfavourable, the man is 
no longer retained in the service. The 

The Constitution of Athens. 115 

registrars, whom the people appoints to the 
number of ten, make a list of the Knights. 
These pass over their names to the com- 
manders of cavalry and the chiefs of the 
tribes, who take over the list and bring it 
to the Council. Then opening the tablet, 
in which the names of the Knights are signed 
and sealed, they cancel such of those as 
have been previously enrolled and solemnly 
swear that they are unable on physical 
grounds to serve as Knights; and they 
summon those who have been entered on 
the register, and whoever swears solemnly 
that he is unable to serve either on physical 
grounds or by reason of his means, they let 
him go ; but the members of the Council 
decide by vote, in the case of any who does 
not so swear, whether he is fit to serve or 
not. If they decide that he is, they put him 
on the register, and if not, they let him also 

ii6 The Constitution of Athens. 

go. At one time the Council used to decide 
also about the plans for public buildings and 
the state-robe (peplos) of Athena, but now 
this is done by the court of justice on whom 
the lot falls ; for the Council was thought to 
show favour in its decisions. It assists also 
in superintending the making of the vic- 
tories and prizes for the Panathenaea in 
conjunction with the military treasurer. The 
Council examines also the disabled ; for 
there is a law ordering it to examine such 
as are worth less than three minae, and are 
physically so maimed as to be incapable of 
doing any work, and to give them from the 
public purse maintenance of two obols a day 
each ; and a dispenser is appointed for them 
by lot. Further, it takes a part in the manage- 
ment of all the remaining offices, to speak 
generally. Such then are the various functions 
of the Council's administration. 

The Constitution of Athens. 117 

Ten officers are appointed by lot to keep suTJlyorspf 

temples ; city 

the temples in repair, and they expend the magistrates. 
thirty minae assigned by the receivers in re- 
pairing such as most require it. Ten city 
magistrates are similarly appointed, of whom 
five exercise their office in Peiraeus and five in 
the city. Their duties are to see that the female 
flute-players and harpists and lute-players are 
not hired at more than two drachmae, and 
if there is competition in the case of any 
of these employments they cast lots, and let 
it out to him on whom the lot falls. They 
make provision also against any dung-col- 
lector throwing down his dung near the wall, 
and prevent the building of houses in the 
highways, and the carrying of fences over 
the highways, and the constructing of water- 
pipes above ground with an outflow on the 
road, and making doors to open on the 
street. Lastly, they remove such as die on 

ii8 The Constitution of Athens, 

the highways, having public officers for this 
Chap. lt. Clcrks of the market are also appointed by 

Clerks of the ^^ -^ 

S>ectoJsoT' lot, five for Peiraius and five for the city. 

weights and 

measures, Jhcir duty, as prcscribcd by law, is to see 
that commodities of all descriptions are sold 
pure and unadulterated. Appointed by lot 
also are the inspectors of weights and 
measures, five for the city and five for 
Peiraeus ; they look after measures and 
weights of all kinds, that sellers may use 
just ones. The corn-watchers appointed 
by lot used to be five for Peiraeus and five 
for the city, but now there are twenty for the 
city and fifteen for Peiraeus. They take 
measures to ensure, first, that the white 
(unprepared) corn in the market shall be 
offered for sale on fair terms, then that the 
- millers shall sell their meal at prices based on 
the cost of the barley, and the bakers their 

The Constitution of Athens. 119 

bread at prices based on the cost of the 
wheat, and of the weight that they fix ; for 
the law commands them to fix it. They 
appoint by lot ten superintendents of the 
market, and their duty is to superintend the 
markets, and of the corn that is imported 
into the corn-market to compel the merchants 
to bring two-thirds into the city. 

They appoint the Eleven also by lot to look T^e^Eievin'; 

suits decided 

after prisoners, and in the case of thieves and ^^nth.^ 
kidnappers and footpads who are committed 
to prison, if they confess, to punish them with 
death ; but if they demand a trial, to bring 
them before the court of justice, and if they 
are acquitted to let them go, but if not, to 
put them to death at once ; at the same time 
they have to produce before the court the 
inventories of the lands and houses of 
criminals, and to deliver over to the 
government - sellers what is decided to be 

I20 The Constitution of Athens. 

confiscated, and to prefer the indictments ; 
for this last is the duty of the Eleven, except 
that in some cases it devolves on the Thesmo- 
thetae. They appoint by lot also five officers, 
one for two tribes, to receive informations, 
and bring into court the cases which have to 
be decided within a month of their commence- 
ment. These suits are heard without fees in 
the case of a debtor not paying, and of a 
person borrowing at twelve per cent, and 
defrauding, and of anyone in the market- 
place wishing to work and borrowing from 
anybody on a pretext, and, further, in cases 
of assault, subscriptions, dealings, slaves, 
cattle, the fitting out of a trireme for the 
public service, and banking. Now they 
institute and adjudicate on such suits 
within the month, and the receivers act 
similarly both on behalf of and against the 
farmers of the taxes, having power to adju- 

The Constitution of Athens. 121 

dicate in cases up to ten drachmae, but 
taking all others which have to be decided 
within the month into court. 

They appoint by lot also forty, four from Chap. liii. 


each tribe, before whom parties bring all Sratlrs. 
other suits. Their number was formerly 
thirty, and they used to administer justice 
by going on circuit throughout the demes, 
but after the oligarchy of the Thirty they 
were increased to forty. Cases up to ten 
drachmae they have full power to decide, 
but such as are above this amount they pass 
over to the arbitrators. These take them 
over, and if they are unable to effect a 
settlement, state their opinions, and if both 
sides are satisfied with their recommendations 
and abide by them, the suit is at an end. 
But if one of the parties appeals to the court, 
they put the evidence and challenges and 
laws into vases, using a separate vase l^^ih 

122 The Constitution of Athens. 

for the plaintiff and the defendant, and signing 
and sealing them, with the judgment of the 
arbitrator recorded on a tablet attached, they 
hand them over to the adjudicators of the 
tribe to which the defendant belongs. These 
adjudicators take them over and bring them 
into the court, which is composed of two 
hundred and one for amounts within a thou- 
sand drachmae, and of four hundred and one 
for amounts above a thousand. They are 
not allowed to make use of any laws or 
challenges or evidence other than what is 
received from the arbitrator and contained 
in the vases. Arbitrators must be sixty 
years of age; and this is evident from the 
archons and Eponymi. For there are ten 
Eponymi^ of the tribes and forty-two of the 

* Eponymi — i.e., giving their names to the tribes 
and the forty-two ages, viz., from eighteen to sixty, the 
period of military service. 

The Constitution of Athens. 123 

ages, and the Ephebi in former days at the 
time of their enrolment had their names 
registered on white tablets, and the name of 
the archon in whose time they were enrolled 
was added to the register as well as that of 
the Eponymus who had acted as arbitrator in 
the previous year; but now their names are 
inscribed on a brass pillar, and the pillar 
stands before the council-chamber near the 
statues of the ten Eponymi of the tribes. 
And the forty, taking the last one of the 
Eponymi, assign the arbitrations to them, 
and by lot in what cases each shall act. For 
the law ordains forfeiture of political rights 
in the case of anyone of the proper age failing 
to act as arbitrator, unless he happens to be 
filling any other office, or to be abroad ; in 
such cases only is exemption granted. Any- 
one who has been wronged by an arbitrator 
is free to indict him before the jurors, but if 

124 ^-^^ Constitution of Athens. 

their verdict goes against him he loses his 
political rights, as the laws ordain ; but even 
then there is the right of appeal. They make 
use also of the names of the Eponymi with 
regard to military expeditions, and when they 
send out a body of young men, they publicly 
notify from and up to what archon and 
Eponymus they are to serve. 
Chap. liv. They appoijnt also by lot the following 
audito'rs; officer^ Fivc surveyors of roads, who have 

secretaries. ' 

public workmen assigned to them, and whose 
duty it is to keep the roads in repair ; and 
ten auditors with ten advocates to assist 
them. To these last all office-holders are 
bound to submit their accounts, for they 
alone check the accounts of such as are 
responsible, and lay their audits before the 
court. If they convict anyone of theft, the 
jurors find him guilty of theft, and he is 
fined ten times the amount of what has been 

The Constitution of Athens. 125 

detected ; and if they convict anyone of 
taking bribes, and the jurors find him guilty, 
they condemn him in the amount of the 
bribes, and in addition he has to pay a fine 
of ten times that amount ; and if they find 
him guilty of a wrong they condemn him in 
the amount of the wrong, and he is fined 
this amount simply if it is paid before the 
ninth presidency : if not, it is doubled ; but 
the tenfold fine is not doubled. They 
appoint also by lot an officer who is called 
the secretary for the presidency, and is at 
the head of the secretaries, and keeps the 
decrees that are passed, and makes minutes 
of all proceedings, and sits by the Council. 
Now, in former times he was elected by vote, 
and men of the highest distinction and 
character used to be appointed to the office ; 
for his name is inscribed on pillars, attached 
to treaties of alliance and friendship with 

126 The Constitution of Athens. 

foreigners, and public measures (or, citizen- 
ships) ; but now the election is made by lot. 
They appoint by lot also a second secretary for 
the laws, who sits by the Council, and he also 
makes a copy of all of them. The people 
also by vote elects a secretary to read out 
documents to itself and the Council, and his 
authority does not extend further. It 
appoints also by lot ten superintendents of 
sacred rites, who have the designation of 
' for the sacrifices,' and perform the sacrifices 
appointed by oracle, and when there is occa- 
sion to obtain good omens, obtain them in 
conjunction with the diviners. It appoints 
by lot also ten others, who are designated 
by the year, and perform certain sacrifices ; 
they superintend all the festivals celebrated 
at intervals of five years, with the single 
exception of the Panathenaea, as follows : 
one at Delos (where it is celebrated also 

The Constitution of Athens, 127 

every seven years), the second the Brau- 
ronia, the third the Heraklea, and the fourth 
the Panathenaea at Eleusis ; and none of 

them occurs in the same year They 

appoint by lot also a governor for Salamis 
and a demarch for Peiraeus, who hold the 
Dionysia in both places and appoint Choregi 
(to defray the expenses of bringing out a 

These then are the officers appointed by ^^hap. lv. 

'■ ^ ' 1 he archons ; 

lot, and their powers in their several depart- ap^ointS.^'^^ 
ments are as has been just described. Now 
as to those who have the title of the nine 
archons, an account has been already given 
of how they were appointed at first. But 
now they appoint by lot six Thesmothetae 
and a secretary for them, and further, an 
archon and king and commander-in-chief 
severally from each tribe. And they are 
first examined in the Council by the five 

128 The Constitution of Athens. 

hundred, except the secretary, who is examined 
only in the court just like all other officers of 
state (for all who are appointed either by 
lot or vote hold office only after examination), 
but the nine archons are examined before 
the Council and again in court. In former 
days no one could hold office if he were 
rejected by the Council, but now there is 
appeal to the court, and with it rests the 
decision regarding the examination. The 
questions asked in the examination are as 
follows : First, who is your father, and of 
what deme ? and who your father's father, and 
who your mother, and who your mother's 
father, and of what deme? and, after this, if 
Apollo is his family and Zeus his household 
god, and where their temples are ; then, if 
they have tombs, and where they are ; and, 
last, if he treats his parents well, and pays 
his taxes, and has duly performed his military 

The Constitution of Athens, 129 

service. Having asked these questions, the 
examiner says, * Call your witnesses to these 
facts.' When the witnesses are produced he 
asks further, * Has anyone any accusation to 
bring against this man ?' and if no one comes 
forward, after giving opportunity for accu- 
sation and defence, he proposes the show of 
hands in the Council and in the court the 
vote. And if no one wants to accuse, he at 
once gives his vote. Formerly one only 
put his pebble into the urn, but now all 
must do so. Further, the right exists of 
passing a vote about them with the object, 
if any bad man gets his accusers out of 
the way, of putting it in the power of the 
jurors to reject him. When the examination 
has been concluded in this way, they walk 
up to the stone underneath which are the 
treasuries, and on which the arbitrators take 
their oath and declare their awards, and 


1 30 The Constitution of Athens. 

witnesses solemnly swear to their evidence. 
Mounting this stone, they swear that they 
will discharge the duties of their office faith- 
fully and according to the laws, and that they 
will not take bribes in connection with their 
office, and if they should they will make a 
votive offering of a gold statue. After this 
oath they walk to the Acropolis, and take 
it again in the same terms there, and after 
this they enter upon their office. 
Chap. lvi. The archon and king and commander-in- 

rhe archon ° 

hS^duuS? chief take assessors, two each, whomever 
they like; these are examined in the court 
before they can act, and after appointment 
are responsible for their official conduct. 
The archon, as soon as ever he enters on 
office, first makes proclamation that, what- 
ever a man possessed before he entered on 
office, that he shall possess and be master 
of to the end of his term of office. Then he 

The Constitution of Athens. 131 

provides Choregi for the tragic poets, the three 
richest men of all the Athenians. Formerly 
he used also to provide five for the comic 
poets, but for them the tribes now con- 
tribute. After receiving the Choregi brought 
by the tribes for the Dionysia for men and 
boys and comic actors, and for the Thargelia 
for men and boys (those for the Dionysia 
being furnished by tribes, and for the Thar- 
gelia, one for two tribes, each of the two 
tribes contributing its quota for these), he 
makes the challenges and brings forward the 
excuses. . . . For the Choregus who furnishes 
boys must be more than forty years of age. 
He appoints also for Delos Choregi, and the 
chief priest for the vessel with thirty benches 
that takes the young men. And he used to 
superintend the processions of the festival in 
honour of Asklepius, when the initiated keep 
within doors, and of the great Dionysia, in 


132 The Constitution of Athens. 

conjunction with its superintendents, whom 
in former days the people used to vote to the 
number of ten, and they used to defray out 
of their own pockets the expenses of the 
procession ; but now it appoints by lot one 
from each tribe, and gives a hundred minae 
to the preparations for it. He superin- 
tends also the procession in the Thargelia 
and that in honour of Zeus the Saviour. 
He too manages the games of the Dionysia, 
as well as of the Thargelia. Leave to make 
public indictments and bring private actions 
is obtained from him, and after holding a 
preliminary inquiry, he brings them into 
court as follows : ill-treatment of the young 
(in which anyone can prosecute who likes, 
without incurring any penalty), ill-treatment 
of orphans (these are against their guardians), 
ill-treatment of an heir (these are against his 
guardian and those whom he lives with), 

The Constitution of Athens. 133 

damage to a house belonging to an orphan 
(these are also against the guardians), mental 
derangement (when anyone accuses another of 
ruining himself by reason of mental derange- 
ment), the appointment of distributers when 
anyone refuses to divide property that is held 
in common, appointment of. guardians, settle- 
ment of disputed claims of guardianship, if 
several wish to make a man guardian of the 
same female ward, and settlement of disputed 
claims in cases of inheritances and only 
daughters and heiresses. He superintends 
also the charge of orphans and heirs, and of all 
such women as on the death of their husbands 
claim to be pregnant. He has power also to 
punish wrong- doers, or to bring them before the 
court. He lets also the houses of orphans and 
heirs . . . and becomes distributer and receives 
the mortgages . . . gives the children the food 
which he gets in. So he superintends all these 

134 ^^^ Constitution of Athens. 
Thekb^"* '^^^ kiiigj i^ the first place, has the 

archon ; his .... 

duties. management of the mysteries m conjunction 
with the superintendents whom the people 
elect, two in number, out of the whole body 
of Athenians, one from the Eumolpidae and 
one from the Heralds ; and secondly of the 
Lenaean Dionysia . . . this procession then 
the king and the superintendents conduct 
in common ; but the king arranges the 
games. He arranges also all the torch- 
races. And it is he, so to say, who manages 
all the ancient sacrifices. Leave to bring 
actions for profaneness is obtained from him, 
and in the case of any dispute about priest- 
hood he awards the penalty. It is he who 
adjudicates all disputes about honours 
between families and priests. From him leave 
is obtained to bring the action in all cases 
of murder, and it is he who proclaims inter- 
diction from customary rights. Now, there 

The Constitution of Athens. 135 

are actions both for murder and wounding. 
In murder of malice prepense, the case is 
tried in the Areopagus, and so with poison- 
ing and arson ; for the only cases that the 
Council tries are homicide, unintentional or 
intentional, if the person killed is a servant, 
either a resident-alien or foreigner, and the 
trial is then held in the Palladium. If a 
person admits an act of homicide, but justi- 
fies it as legal, as catching an adulterer, 
or in war from not knowing who he was, or 
when competing in a contest, they hold the 
trial in the Palladium. If a person has to 
remain in exile on a charge of murder or 
wounding, under circumstances in which the 
relatives may relent, the trial is held in the 
Phreatto ; and he makes his defence in a 
boat moored off the shore, and commis- 
sioners appointed by lot conduct the trial, 
except in cases that come before the Areo- 

136 The Constitution of Athens. 

Ch ' V. 

The com- 

pagus : and the king introduces the suit and 
they try it . . . and in the open air. And 
the king, when he tries the case, takes off his 
crown. The accused for the rest of the time 
is not allowed to take part in religious ser- 
vices, and no one can bring the charge 
against him; then entering the temple he 
makes his defence; and when anyone 
declares who has committed the act, he 
obtains leave to bring an action against him. 
And the king and the tribe-kings try all 
cases concerning things without life, as well 
as all animals. 

The commander-in-chief makes sacrifices 
in the feast of Artemis the huntress and 
Enualios, and arranges the funeral games 
held in honour of such as have been killed 
in war. Leave is obtained from him to bring 
such private suits as may arise with the 
resident - aliens, those who pay alike (a 

The Constitution of Athens. 137 

favoured class of resident-aliens), and the 
friends of the state. It is his duty to take 
and divide ten parts, and apportion to each 
tribe the part that falls to its lot, and assign 
the judges of the tribe to the arbitrators. 
And he himself brings into court the actions 
against freed men for default to their patrons, 
and against resident-aliens for not choosing a 
patron, and cases of inheritance and only 
daughters and heiresses for the resident- 
aliens, and in all matters generally the com- 
mander-in-chief acts for the resident-aliens in 
the same way as the archon does for the 

To the Thesmothetae belongs first the right p^" Th^^J^^^l 
of publicly notifying on what days the courts functions. 
of law are to sit, and then of assigning them 
to the magistrates ; for as they assign, the 
magistrates must use them. Further, they 
bring before the people all bills of indictment 

138 The Constitution of Athens. 

and condemnations by show of hands, and 
votes directing public prosecutions, and in- 
dictments for proposing unconstitutional 
measures and bad laws, and the audits of the 
chairmen (proedri) and chief president of the 
Council, and of the generals. And public 
indictments are brought before them in which 
small money deposits are made, viz., in the 
case of an alien for usurping civic rights, and 
for bribing the judges to declare him a 
citizen, and of having obtained acquittal in 
such actions by means of bribery, and of false 
accusation, and bribes, and false-registering, 
and false citation, and intention to kill, and 
state-debtors for getting their names cancelled 
before payment, and adultery. They intro- 
duce also the examinations for all offices of 
state, and the rejected candidates for member- 
ship in the deme, and condemnations by the 
Council. They introduce also private suits, 

The Constitution of Athens. 139 

concerned with trade, mines, and slaves for 
slandering a freeman. They assign by lot to 
the magistrates all their courts, both public 
and private. They ratify the judicial agree- 
ments with the subject cities, and bring in 
the suits arising from them, as well as false 
evidence in the Areopagus. And the nine 
archons, together with the secretary of the 
Thesmothetae, appoint by lot all the jurors, 
each those of his own tribe. Such then are 
the duties of the nine archons. 

They appoint also by lot ten directors of -j^gXectors 

1 M rr^i r of games; 

games, one for each tribe. They, after ^he sacred 
approval, hold office for four years, and 
manage the procession of the Panathenaea, 
the musical and gymnastic contests and the 
horse-races, and, in conjunction with the 
Council, have Athena's state-robe and the 
vases made, and apportion to the successful 
competitors the oil which is made from the 

140 The Constitution of Athens. 

sacred olives. And the archon levies the tax 
from the owners of the grounds in which the 
sacred olives grow, a kotyle and a half (i.e., 
about three-quarters of a pint) for each stem, 
whereas in former times the state used to sell 
the produce, and if anyone dug up or broke a 
sacred olive-tree, the council of Areopagus 
used to try, and if it found him guilty, punish 
him with death. Since the owner of the 
land has contributed the oil, the law indeed 
has continued in force, but the trial has 
become a dead-letter, while the oil from the 
cuttings, but not from the stems, still belongs 
to the state. The archon then, having 
collected what accrues during his tenure of 
office, hands it over to the treasurers in the 
Acropolis,, and is not allowed to go up to 
the Acropolis before he has handed over the 
whole of it to the treasurers. The treasurers 
then keep it in the Acropolis till the cele- 

The Constitution of Athens. 141 

bration of the Panathenaea, when they measure 
it out to the directors of games, and they 
again to the victorious competitors. Isfow 
for the victors in the musical contests the 
prizes are of silver and gold, in those for 
manliness spears, and for the gymnastic 
games and horse-races olive-oil. 

They elect by vote also to all offices, chap. lxi. 

•^ ^ ' Election by 

without exception, connected with the war offices°of war 


department, the generals in former times 
being elected one from each tribe, but now 
from all. They assign them their duties by 
vote, appointing one to the command of the 
hoplites, who leads the members of his deme 
if they go on foreign service ; one in com- 
mand of the country which he protects, and 
who, if war breaks out in it, takes part in the 
war ; two in command of Peiraeus, the one for 
Munychia, the other for the shore, who have 
charge of Phyle and matters in the Peiraeus ; 

142 The Constitution of Athens. 

and one to the command of the symmoriae 
(companies, consisting of sixty members each, 
of the twelve hundred wealthiest citizens), who 
makes out the list of those who have to fit 
out a trireme for the public service, and allows 
them challenges, and brings into court their 
cases for adjudication ; the rest they com- 
mission according to circumstances. A vote 
is passed in each presidency as to their 
conduct in office ; if it is adverse, the 
trial is held in court, and in case of con- 
viction a proper punishment or fine is 
awarded ; while in case of acquittal, the 
accused continues in office for the remainder 
of his term. They have the power when on 
service of placing under arrest anyone not 
conforming to discipline, and publicly pro- 
claiming his name, and inflicting a fine; 
to the last however they rarely resort. 
They appoint also by vote ten commanders 

The Constitution of Athens. 143 

of divisions, one for each tribe, and he 
commands his tribesmen and appoints cap- 
tains, and further two commanders of cavalry- 
out of the whole body of citizens. These 
take command of the knights, five tribes 
being assigned to each, and are invested 
with the same powers as the generals possess 
in the case of the hoplites, while in their 
case also a vote is passed on their conduct. 
They appoint by lot also chiefs of tribes, one 
for the tribe, to command the knights in the 
same way as commanders of divisions do the 
hoplites. They vote also a commander of 
cavalry for Lemnos to superintend the 
knights there, and a treasurer for the sacred 
trireme Paralus, and another for that of 

Now the officers of state appointed by lot chap. 

^ LXII. 

were in former times those so appointed, ro^ofnclT^'''^ 
together with the nine archons, from the 

144 ^'^^ Constitution of Athens. 

whole tribe, and the election of the officers 
now appointed in the Theseum was distri- 
buted among the demes ; but since the demes 
used to sell these offices, they have elected 
to them also by lot from the whole tribe, 
except the members of the Council and the 
guards, which they now assign to the mem- 
bers of the demes. They receive pay first 
for all other assemblies a drachma, but for the 
ordinary assembly a drachma and a half; 
then in the courts three obols ; then the 
Council five obols .... again, the nine 
archons receive for maintenance four obols 
each, and maintain besides a herald and a 
flute-player, while the governor of Salamis 
receives a drachma a day. The directors of 
games dine in the Prytaneum during the 
month of Hecatombaeon,* in which the Pana- 

* This month extended from the middle of July to 
the middle of August. 

The Constitution of Athens. 145 

thensea are celebrated, beginning on the 
fourth of the month. The Amphictyones 
who are sent to Delos receive a drachma a 
day during the time they are there ; and the 
magistrates who are commissioned to Samos, 
Scyros, Lemnos or Imbros receive in every 
case money for their maintenance. It is 
allowable to hold military offices several 
times, but not a single other one, except 
that you may be twice a member of the 
The nine archons elect by lot the jurors ^»^{^ 

... 1 .1 1 Appoint- 

for the courts by tribes, while the secretary mem of 

' jurors. 

to the Thesmothetae is elected from the tenth 
tribe. The entrances into the courts are ten, 
one for each tribe ; the balloting-urns twenty, 
two for each tribe ; and the boxes a hun- 
dred, ten for each tribe ; there are ten other 
boxes besides, in which are cast the tablets 
of the jurors on whom the lot falls. And 


146 The Constitution of Athens. 

two balloting - urns and staves are placed 
at each entrance for each juror, and tickets 
are put in the urn to the number of the 
staves, and on them are written the letters of 
the alphabet, beginning from the eleventh (/), 
corresponding in number to the courts that 
are to be supplied with jurors. Anyone may 
serve above thirty years of age, who is not 
a debtor to the state and has not suffered 
deprivation of political rights ; but if anyone 
serves who has not the right to do so he 
is indicted in the court, and if found guilty, 
the jurors inflict upon him such punishment 
or penalty as he seems to deserve. If he 
is fined, he must remain in prison till he has 
paid the former debt on account of which 
he was indicted, and any additional fine that 
the court may impose. Each juror has a 
tablet made of boxwood, on which is in- 
scribed his own name, with his father's and 

The Constitution of Athens. 147 

his deme, and one of the letters of the alpha- 
bet up to k ; for the jurors are distributed 
by tribes into ten groups, and are about equal 
in number for each letter. After the Thesmo- 
thetes has allotted the additional letters to 
be assigned to the jurors, the attendant brings 
and puts up on each court the letter which 
has been drawn. 





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