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Full text of "Ancient Classic Texts before 400 B.C."

350 BC 

THE ATHENIAN CONSTITUTION 

by Aristotle 
translated by Sir Frederic G. Kenyon 
Parti 

...[They were tried] by a court empanelled from among the noble 
families, and sworn upon the sacrifices. The part of accuser 
was taken 

by Myron. They were found guilty of the sacrilege, and their bodies 
were cast out of their graves and their race banished for 
evermore. In 

view of this expiation, Epimenides the Cretan performed a 
purification 
of the city. 

Part 2 

After this event there was contention for a long time between the 
upper classes and the populace. Not only was the constitution at 
this time oligarchical in every respect, but the poorer classes, 
men, women, and children, were the serfs of the rich. They were 
known as Pelatae and also as Hectemori, because they cultivated the 
lands of the rich at the rent thus indicated. The whole 
country was in 

the hands of a few persons, and if the tenants failed to pay their 
rent they were liable to be haled into slavery, and their children 
with them. All loans secured upon the debtor's person, a custom 
which prevailed until the time of Solon, who was the first to appear 
as the champion of the people. But the hardest and bitterest part of 
the constitution in the eyes of the masses was their state 
of serfdom. 

Not but what they were also discontented with every other feature of 
their lot; for, to speak generally, they had no part nor share in 
anything. 



Part 3 



Now the ancient constitution, as it existed before the time of 
Draco, was organized as follows. The magistrates were elected 
according to qualifications of birth and wealth. At first they 
governed for life, but subsequently for terms of ten years. The 
first magistrates, both in date and in importance, were the King, 
the Polemarch, and the Archon. The earliest of these offices was 
that of the King, which existed from ancestral antiquity. To this 
was added, secondly, the office of Polemarch, on account of some of 
the kings proving feeble in war; for it was on this account that Ion 
was invited to accept the post on an occasion of pressing need. The 
last of the three offices was that of the Archon, which most 
authorities state to have come into existence in the time of Medon. 
Others assign it to the time of Acastus, and adduce as proof the 
fact that the nine Archons swear to execute their oaths 'as in the 
days of Acastus,' which seems to suggest that it was in his time 
that the descendants of Codrus retired from the kingship in 
return for 

the prerogatives conferred upon the Archon. Whichever way it may be, 
the difference in date is small; but that it was the last of these 
magistracies to be created is shown by the fact that the 
Archon has no 

part in the ancestral sacrifices, as the King and the Polemarch 
have, but exclusively in those of later origin. So it is only at a 
comparatively late date that the office of Archon has become of 
great importance, through the dignity conferred by these later 
additions. The Thesmothetae were many years afterwards, when these 
offices had already become annual, with the object that they might 
publicly record all legal decisions, and act as guardians of 
them with 

a view to determining the issues between litigants. Accordingly 
their office, alone of those which have been mentioned, was never of 
more than annual duration. 

Such, then, is the relative chronological precedence of these 
offices. At that time the nine Archons did not all live together. 
The King occupied the building now known as the Boculium, near the 
Prytaneum, as may be seen from the fact that even to the present day 



the marriage of the King's wife to Dionysus takes place there. The 
Archon lived in the Prytaneum, the Polemarch in the Epilyceum. The 
latter building was formerly called the Polemarcheum, but after 
Epilycus, during his term of office as Polemarch, had rebuilt it and 
fitted it up, it was called the Epilyceum. The Thesmothetae occupied 
the Thesmotheteum. In the time of Solon, however, they all came 
together into the Thesmotheteum. They had power to decide cases 
finally on their own authority, not, as now, merely to hold a 
preliminary hearing. Such then was the arrangement of the 
magistracies. The Council of Areopagus had as its constitutionally 
assigned duty the protection of the laws; but in point of fact it 
administered the greater and most important part of the government 
of the state, and inflicted personal punishments and fines summarily 
upon all who misbehaved themselves. This was the natural consequence 
of the facts that the Archons were elected under qualifications of 
birth and wealth, and that the Areopagus was composed of 
those who had 

served as Archons; for which latter reason the membership of the 
Areopagus is the only office which has continued to be a 
life-magistracy to the present day. 

Part 4 

Such was, in outline, the first constitution, but not very long 
after the events above recorded, in the archonship of Aristaichmus, 
Draco enacted his ordinances. Now his constitution had the following 
form. The franchise was given to all who could furnish 
themselves with 

a military equipment. The nine Archons and the Treasurers 
were elected 

by this body from persons possessing an unencumbered property of not 
less than ten minas, the less important officials from those 
who could 

furnish themselves with a military equipment, and the generals 
[Strategi] and commanders of the cavalry [Hipparchi] from those who 
could show an unencumbered property of not less than a hundred 
minas, and had children born in lawful wedlock over ten years of 
age. These officers were required to hold to bail the Prytanes, the 



Strategi, and the Hipparchi of the preceding year until 

their accounts 

had been audited, taking four securities of the same class as that 

to which the Strategi and the Hipparchi belonged. There was 

also to be 

a Council, consisting of four hundred and one members, elected by 

lot from among those who possessed the franchise. Both for this and 

for the other magistracies the lot was cast among those who were 

over thirty years of age; and no one might hold office twice until 

every one else had had his turn, after which they were to 

cast the lot 

afresh. If any member of the Council failed to attend when 

there was a 

sitting of the Council or of the Assembly, he paid a fine, to the 

amount of three drachmas if he was a Pentacosiomedimnus, two 

if he was 

a Knight, and One if he was a Zeugites. The Council of Areopagus was 

guardian of the laws, and kept watch over the magistrates to see 

that they executed their offices in accordance with the laws. Any 

person who felt himself wronged might lay an information before the 

Council of Areopagus, on declaring what law was broken by the wrong 

done to him. But, as has been said before, loans were 

secured upon the 

persons of the debtors, and the land was in the hands of a few. 

Part 5 

Since such, then, was the organization of the constitution, and 
the many were in slavery to the few, the people rose against 
the upper 

class. The strife was keen, and for a long time the two parties were 
ranged in hostile camps against one another, till at last, by common 
consent, they appointed Solon to be mediator and Archon, and 
committed 

the whole constitution to his hands. The immediate occasion of his 
appointment was his poem, which begins with the words: 

I behold, and within my heart deep sadness has claimed its place, 



As I mark the oldest home of the ancient Ionian race 
Slain by the sword. 

In this poem he fights and disputes on behalf of each party in 
turn against the other, and finally he advises them to come to terms 
and put an end to the quarrel existing between them. By birth and 
reputation Solon was one of the foremost men of the day, but 
in wealth 

and position he was of the middle class, as is generally agreed, and 
is, indeed, established by his own evidence in these poems, where he 
exhorts the wealthy not to be grasping. 

But ye who have store of good, who are sated and overflow, 
Restrain your swelling soul, and still it and keep it low: 
Let the heart that is great within you he trained a lowlier way; 
Ye shall not have all at your will, and we will not for ever obey. 

Indeed, he constantly fastens the blame of the conflict on the 
rich; and accordingly at the beginning of the poem he says that he 
fears' the love of wealth and an overweening mind', evidently 
meaning that it was through these that the quarrel arose. 

Part 6 

As soon as he was at the head of affairs, Solon liberated 
the people 

once and for all, by prohibiting all loans on the security of the 
debtor's person: and in addition he made laws by which he cancelled 
all debts, public and private. This measure is commonly called the 
Seisachtheia [= removal of burdens], since thereby the people had 
their loads removed from them. In connexion with it some persons try 
to traduce the character of Solon. It so happened that, when he was 
about to enact the Seisachtheia, he communicated his 
intention to some 

members of the upper class, whereupon, as the partisans of 
the popular 

party say, his friends stole a march on him; while those who wish to 
attack his character maintain that he too had a share in the fraud 



himself. For these persons borrowed money and bought up a 

large amount 

of land, and so when, a short time afterwards, all debts were 

cancelled, they became wealthy; and this, they say, was the origin 

of the families which were afterwards looked on as having 

been wealthy 

from primeval times. However, the story of the popular party 

is by far 

the most probable. A man who was so moderate and public-spirited in 

all his other actions, that when it was within his power to put his 

fellow-citizens beneath his feet and establish himself as tyrant, he 

preferred instead to incur the hostility of both parties by placing 

his honour and the general welfare above his personal 

aggrandisement, is not likely to have consented to defile 

his hands by 

such a petty and palpable fraud. That he had this absolute power is, 

in the first place, indicated by the desperate condition the 

country; moreover, he mentions it himself repeatedly in his 

poems, and 

it is universally admitted. We are therefore bound to consider this 

accusation to be false. 



Part 7 



Next Solon drew up a constitution and enacted new laws; and the 
ordinances of Draco ceased to be used, with the exception of those 
relating to murder. The laws were inscribed on the wooden stands, 
and set up in the King's Porch, and all swore to obey them; and the 
nine Archons made oath upon the stone, declaring that they would 
dedicate a golden statue if they should transgress any of them. This 
is the origin of the oath to that effect which they take to the 
present day. Solon ratified his laws for a hundred years; and the 
following was the fashion in which he organized the constitution. He 
divided the population according to property into four classes, just 
as it had been divided before, namely, Pentacosiomedimni, Knights, 
Zeugitae, and Thetes. The various magistracies, namely, the nine 
Archons, the Treasurers, the Commissioners for Public Contracts 
(Poletae), the Eleven, and Clerks (Colacretae), he assigned to the 



Pentacosiomedimni, the Knights, and the Zeugitae, giving offices to 
each class in proportion to the value of their rateable property. To 
who ranked among the Thetes he gave nothing but a place in the 
Assembly and in the juries. A man had to rank as a 
Pentacosiomedimnus if he made, from his own land, five hundred 
measures, whether liquid or solid. Those ranked as Knights who made 
three hundred measures, or, as some say, those who were able to 
maintain a horse. In support of the latter definition they adduce 
the name of the class, which may be supposed to be derived from this 
fact, and also some votive offerings of early times; for in the 
Acropolis there is a votive offering, a statue of Diphilus, bearing 
this inscription: 

The son of Diphilus, Athenion hight, 
Raised from the Thetes and become a knight, 
Did to the gods this sculptured charger bring, 
For his promotion a thank-offering. 

And a horse stands in evidence beside the man, implying that this 
was what was meant by belonging to the rank of Knight. At the same 
time it seems reasonable to suppose that this class, like the 
Pentacosiomedimni, was defined by the possession of an income of a 
certain number of measures. Those ranked as Zeugitae who made two 
hundred measures, liquid or solid; and the rest ranked as Thetes, 
and were not eligible for any office. Hence it is that even at the 
present day, when a candidate for any office is asked to 
what class he 
belongs, no one would think of saying that he belonged to the Thetes. 

Part 8 

The elections to the various offices Solon enacted should 
be by lot, 

out of candidates selected by each of the tribes. Each tribe 
selected ten candidates for the nine archonships, and among these 
the lot was cast. Hence it is still the custom for each tribe to 
choose ten candidates by lot, and then the lot is again cast among 
these. A proof that Solon regulated the elections to office 



according to the property classes may be found in the law still in 
force with regard to the Treasurers, which enacts that they shall be 
chosen from the Pentacosiomedimni. Such was Solon's legislation with 
respect to the nine Archons; whereas in early times the Council of 
Areopagus summoned suitable persons according to its own 
judgement and 

appointed them for the year to the several offices. There were four 
tribes, as before, and four tribe-kings. Each tribe was divided into 
three Trittyes [=Thirds], with twelve Naucraries in each; and the 
Naucraries had officers of their own, called Naucrari, whose duty it 
was to superintend the current receipts and expenditure. Hence, 
among the laws of Solon now obsolete, it is repeatedly written that 
the Naucrari are to receive and to spend out of the Naucraric fund. 
Solon also appointed a Council of four hundred, a hundred from each 
tribe; but he assigned to the Council of the Areopagus the duty of 
superintending the laws, acting as before as the guardian of the 
constitution in general. It kept watch over the affairs of the state 
in most of the more important matters, and corrected offenders, with 
full powers to inflict either fines or personal punishment. The 
money received in fines it brought up into the Acropolis, without 
assigning the reason for the mulct. It also tried those who 
conspired for the overthrow of the state, Solon having enacted a 
process of impeachment to deal with such offenders. Further, since 
he saw the state often engaged in internal disputes, while 
many of the 

citizens from sheer indifference accepted whatever might turn up, he 
made a law with express reference to such persons, enacting that any 
one who, in a time civil factions, did not take up arms with either 
party, should lose his rights as a citizen and cease to have any 
part in the state. 

Part 9 

Such, then, was his legislation concerning the magistracies. There 
are three points in the constitution of Solon which appear to be its 
most democratic features: first and most important, the 
prohibition of 
loans on the security of the debtor's person; secondly, the right of 



every person who so willed to claim redress on behalf of any one to 
whom wrong was being done; thirdly, the institution of the appeal to 
the jury courts; and it is to this last, they say, that the 
masses have 

owed their strength most of all, since, when the democracy is master 
of the voting-power, it is master of the constitution. 
Moreover, since 

the laws were not drawn up in simple and explicit terms (but like 
the one concerning inheritances and wards of state), disputes 
inevitably occurred, and the courts had to decide in every matter, 
whether public or private. Some persons in fact believe that Solon 
deliberately made the laws indefinite, in order that the final 
decision might be in the hands of the people. This, however, is not 
probable, and the reason no doubt was that it is impossible to 
attain ideal perfection when framing a law in general terms; for we 
must judge of his intentions, not from the actual results in the 
present day, but from the general tenor of the rest of his 
legislation. 

Part 10 

These seem to be the democratic features of his laws; but in 
addition, before the period of his legislation, he carried 
through his 

abolition of debts, and after it his increase in the standards of 
weights and measures, and of the currency. During his administration 
the measures were made larger than those of Pheidon, and the mina, 
which previously had a standard of seventy drachmas, was 
raised to the 

full hundred. The standard coin in earlier times was the two-drachma 
piece. He also made weights corresponding with the coinage, 
sixty-three minas going to the talent; and the odd three minas were 
distributed among the staters and the other values. 

Part 11 

When he had completed his organization of the constitution in the 
manner that has been described, he found himself beset by people 



coming to him and harassing him concerning his laws, criticizing 
here and questioning there, till, as he wished neither to alter what 
he had decided on nor yet to be an object of ill will to every one 
by remaining in Athens, he set off on a journey to Egypt, with the 
combined objects of trade and travel, giving out that he should not 
return for ten years. He considered that there was no call for him 
to expound the laws personally, but that every one should obey them 
just as they were written. Moreover, his position at this time was 
unpleasant. Many members of the upper class had been estranged from 
him on account of his abolition of debts, and both parties were 
alienated through their disappointment at the condition of things 
which he had created. The mass of the people had expected him to 
make a complete redistribution of all property, and the upper class 
hoped he would restore everything to its former position, or, at any 
rate, make but a small change. Solon, however, had resisted both 
classes. He might have made himself a despot by attaching himself to 
whichever party he chose, but he preferred, though at the cost of 
incurring the enmity of both, to be the saviour of his 
country and the 
ideal lawgiver. 

Part 12 

The truth of this view of Solon's policy is established alike by 
common consent, and by the mention he has himself made of the matter 
in his poems. Thus: 

I gave to the mass of the people such rank as befitted their need, 
I took not away their honour, and I granted naught to their greed; 
While those who were rich in power, who in wealth were glorious and 

great, 
I bethought me that naught should befall them unworthy their 

splendour and state; 
So I stood with my shield outstretched, and both were sale in its 

sight, 
And I would not that either should triumph, when the triumph was 

not with right. 



Again he declares how the mass of the people ought to be treated: 

But thus will the people best the voice of their leaders obey, 
When neither too slack is the rein, nor violence holdeth the sway; 
For indulgence breedeth a child, the presumption that spurns control, 
When riches too great are poured upon men of unbalanced soul. 

And again elsewhere he speaks about the persons who wished to 
redistribute the land: 

So they came in search of plunder, and their cravings knew no hound, 
Every one among them deeming endless wealth would here be found. 
And that I with glozing smoothness hid a cruel mind within. 
Fondly then and vainly dreamt they; now they raise an angry din, 
And they glare askance in anger, and the light within their eyes 
Burns with hostile flames upon me. Yet therein no justice lies. 
All I promised, fully wrought I with the gods at hand to cheer, 
Naught beyond in folly ventured. Never to my soul was dear 
With a tyrant's force to govern, nor to see the good and base 
Side by side in equal portion share the rich home of our race. 

Once more he speaks of the abolition of debts and of those who 
before were in servitude, but were released owing to the 
Seisachtheia: 

Of all the aims for which I summoned forth 
The people, was there one I compassed not? 
Thou, when slow time brings justice in its train, 

mighty mother of the Olympian gods, 

Dark Earth, thou best canst witness, from whose breast 

1 swept the pillars broadcast planted there, 

And made thee free, who hadst been slave of yore. 
And many a man whom fraud or law had sold 
For from his god-built land, an outcast slave, 
I brought again to Athens; yea, and some, 
Exiles from home through debt's oppressive load, 
Speaking no more the dear ATHENIAN tongue, 
But wandering far and wide, I brought again; 



And those that here in vilest slavery 

Crouched 'neath a master's frown, I set them free. 

Thus might and right were yoked in harmony, 

Since by the force of law I won my ends 

And kept my promise. Equal laws I gave 

To evil and to good, with even hand 

Drawing straight justice for the lot of each. 

But had another held the goad as 

One in whose heart was guile and greediness, 

He had not kept the people back from strife. 

For had I granted, now what pleased the one, 

Then what their foes devised in counterpoise, 

Of many a man this state had been bereft. 

Therefore I showed my might on every side, 

Turning at bay like wolf among the hounds. 

And again he reviles both parties for their grumblings in the 
times that followed: 

Nay, if one must lay blame where blame is due, 
Wer't not for me, the people ne'er had set 
Their eyes upon these blessings e'en in dreams :- 
While greater men, the men of wealthier life, 
Should praise me and should court me as their friend. 

For had any other man, he says, received this exalted post, 

He had not kept the people hack, nor ceased 
Til he had robbed the richness of the milk. 
But I stood forth a landmark in the midst, 
And barred the foes from battle. 

Part 13 

Such then, were Solon's reasons for his departure from the 
country. After his retirement the city was still torn by divisions. 
For four years, indeed, they lived in peace; but in the fifth year 
after Solon's government they were unable to elect an Archon on 



account of their dissensions, and again four years later they 
elected no Archon for the same reason. Subsequently, after a similar 
period had elapsed, Damasias was elected Archon; and he governed for 
two years and two months, until he was forcibly expelled from his 
office. After this, it was agreed, as a compromise, to elect ten 
Archons, five from the Eupatridae, three from the Agroeci, and two 
from the Demiurgi, and they ruled for the year following Damasias. 
It is clear from this that the Archon was at the time the magistrate 
who possessed the greatest power, since it is always in 
connexion with 

this office that conflicts are seen to arise. But altogether 
they were 

in a continual state of internal disorder. Some found the cause and 
justification of their discontent in the abolition of debts, because 
thereby they had been reduced to poverty; others were dissatisfied 
with the political constitution, because it had undergone a 
revolutionary change; while with others the motive was found in 
personal rivalries among themselves. The parties at this time were 
three in number. First there was the party of the Shore, led by 
Megacles the son of Alcmeon, which was considered to aim at 
a moderate 

form of government; then there were the men of the Plain, who 
desired an oligarchy and were led by Lycurgus; and thirdly there 
were the men of the Highlands, at the head of whom was Pisistratus, 
who was looked on as an extreme democrat. This latter party was 
reinforced by those who had been deprived of the debts due to them, 
from motives of poverty, and by those who were not of pure descent, 
from motives of personal apprehension. A proof of this is seen in 
the fact that after the tyranny was overthrown a revision was made 
of the citizen-roll, on the ground that many persons were 
partaking in 

the franchise without having a right to it. The names given to the 
respective parties were derived from the districts in which they 
held their lands. 

Part 14 

Pisistratus had the reputation of being an extreme democrat, and 



he also had distinguished himself greatly in the war with Megara. 

Taking advantage of this, he wounded himself, and by 

representing that 

his injuries had been inflicted on him by his political rivals, he 

persuaded the people, through a motion proposed by Aristion, to 

grant him a bodyguard. After he had got these 'club-bearers', as 

they were called, he made an attack with them on the people 

and seized 

the Acropolis. This happened in the archonship of Corneas, thirty-one 

years after the legislation of Solon. It is related that, when 

Pisistratus asked for his bodyguard, Solon opposed the request, and 

declared that in so doing he proved himself wiser than half 

the people 

and braver than the rest,-wiser than those who did not see that 

Pisistratus designed to make himself tyrant, and braver than 

those who 

saw it and kept silence. But when all his words availed nothing he 

carried forth his armour and set it up in front of his house, saying 

that he had helped his country so far as lay in his power (he was 

already a very old man), and that he called on all others to do the 

same. Solon's exhortations, however, proved fruitless, and 

Pisistratus 

assumed the sovereignty. His administration was more like a 

constitutional government than the rule of a tyrant; but before his 

power was firmly established, the adherents of Megacles and Lycurgus 

made a coalition and drove him out. This took place in the 

archonship of Hegesias, five years after the first establishment of 

his rule. Eleven years later Megacles, being in difficulties in a 

party struggle, again opened-negotiations with Pisistratus, 

proposing that the latter should marry his daughter; and on these 

terms he brought him back to Athens, by a very primitive and 

simple-minded device. He first spread abroad a rumour that Athena 

was bringing back Pisistratus, and then, having found a 

woman of great 

stature and beauty, named Phye (according to Herodotus, of 

the deme of 

Paeania, but as others say a Thracian flower-seller of the deme of 

Collytus), he dressed her in a garb resembling that of the 



goddess and 

brought her into the city with Pisistratus. The latter drove in on a 
chariot with the woman beside him, and the inhabitants of the city, 
struck with awe, received him with adoration. 

Part 15 

In this manner did his first return take place. He did 
not, however, 

hold his power long, for about six years after his return he 
was again 

expelled. He refused to treat the daughter of Megacles as his wife, 
and being afraid, in consequence, of a combination of the 
two opposing 

parties, he retired from the country. First he led a colony 
to a place 

called Rhaicelus, in the region of the Thermaic gulf; and thence he 
passed to the country in the neighbourhood of Mt. Pangaeus. Here he 
acquired wealth and hired mercenaries; and not till ten years had 
elapsed did he return to Eretria and make an attempt to recover the 
government by force. In this he had the assistance of many allies, 
notably the Thebans and Lygdamis of Naxos, and also the Knights who 
held the supreme power in the constitution of Eretria. After his 
victory in the battle at Pallene he captured Athens, and when he had 
disarmed the people he at last had his tyranny securely established, 
and was able to take Naxos and set up Lygdamis as ruler there. He 
effected the disarmament of the people in the following manner. He 
ordered a parade in full armour in the Theseum, and began to make a 
speech to the people. He spoke for a short time, until the people 
called out that they could not hear him, whereupon he bade them come 
up to the entrance of the Acropolis, in order that his voice might 
be better heard. Then, while he continued to speak to them at great 
length, men whom he had appointed for the purpose collected the arms 
and locked them up in the chambers of the Theseum hard by, and came 
and made a signal to him that it was done. Pisistratus accordingly, 
when he had finished the rest of what he had to say, told the people 
also what had happened to their arms; adding that they were not to 
be surprised or alarmed, but go home and attend to their private 



affairs, while he would himself for the future manage all 
the business 
of the state. 

Part 16 

Such was the origin and such the vicissitudes of the tyranny of 
Pisistratus. His administration was temperate, as has been said 
before, and more like constitutional government than a tyranny. Not 
only was he in every respect humane and mild and ready to forgive 
those who offended, but, in addition, he advanced money to the 
poorer people to help them in their labours, so that they might make 
their living by agriculture. In this he had two objects, first that 
they might not spend their time in the city but might be scattered 
over all the face of the country, and secondly that, being 
moderately well off and occupied with their own business, they might 
have neither the wish nor the time to attend to public 
affairs. At the 

same time his revenues were increased by the thorough cultivation of 
the country, since he imposed a tax of one tenth on all the produce. 
For the same reasons he instituted the local justices,' and 
often made 

expeditions in person into the country to inspect it and to settle 
disputes between individuals, that they might not come into the city 
and neglect their farms. It was in one of these progresses that, as 
the story goes, Pisistratus had his adventure with the man of 
Hymettus, who was cultivating the spot afterwards known as 'Tax-free 
Farm'. He saw a man digging and working at a very stony piece of 
ground, and being surprised he sent his attendant to ask what he got 
out of this plot of land. 'Aches and pains', said the man; 
'and that's 

what Pisistratus ought to have his tenth of. The man spoke without 
knowing who his questioner was; but Pisistratus was so 
leased with his 

frank speech and his industry that he granted him exemption from all 
taxes. And so in matters in general he burdened the people as little 
as possible with his government, but always cultivated peace and 
kept them in all quietness. Hence the tyranny of Pisistratus 



was often 

spoken of proverbially as 'the age of gold'; for when his sons 

succeeded him the government became much harsher. But most important 

of all in this respect was his popular and kindly disposition. In 

all things he was accustomed to observe the laws, without giving 

himself any exceptional privileges. Once he was summoned on a charge 

of homicide before the Areopagus, and he appeared in person to make 

his defence; but the prosecutor was afraid to present himself and 

abandoned the case. For these reasons he held power long, 

and whenever 

he was expelled he regained his position easily. The 

majority alike of 

the upper class and of the people were in his favour; the former he 

won by his social intercourse with them, the latter by the 

assistance which he gave to their private purses, and his nature 

fitted him to win the hearts of both. Moreover, the laws in 

reference to tyrants at that time in force at Athens were very mild, 

especially the one which applies more particularly to the 

establishment of a tyranny. The law ran as follows: 'These are the 

ancestral statutes of the ATHENIANS; if any persons shall make an 

attempt to establish a tyranny, or if any person shall join 

in setting 

up a tyranny, he shall lose his civic rights, both himself and his 

whole house.' 

Part 17 

Thus did Pisistratus grow old in the possession of power, and he 
died a natural death in the archonship of Philoneos, three and 
thirty years from the time at which he first established himself as 
tyrant, during nineteen of which he was in possession of power; the 
rest he spent in exile. It is evident from this that the 
story is mere 

gossip which states that Pisistratus was the youthful favourite of 
Solon and commanded in the war against Megara for the recovery of 
Salamis. It will not harmonize with their respective ages, as any 
one may see who will reckon up the years of the life of each of 
them, and the dates at which they died. After the death of 



Pisistratus 

his sons took up the government, and conducted it on the same 

system. He had two sons by his first and legitimate wife, Hippias 

and Hipparchus, and two by his Argive consort, Iophon and 

Hegesistratus, who was surnamed Thessalus. For Pisistratus 

took a wife 

from Argos, Timonassa, the daughter of a man of Argos, named 

Gorgilus; 

she had previously been the wife of Archinus of Ambracia, one of the 

descendants of Cypselus. This was the origin of his friendship with 

the Argives, on account of which a thousand of them were brought 

over by Hegesistratus and fought on his side in the battle 

at Pallene. 

Some authorities say that this marriage took place after his first 

expulsion from Athens, others while he was in possession of the 

government. 

Part 18 

Hippias and Hipparchus assumed the control of affairs on grounds 
alike of standing and of age; but Hippias, as being also naturally 
of a statesmanlike and shrewd disposition, was really the head of 
the government. Hipparchus was youthful in disposition, amorous, and 
fond of literature (it was he who invited to Athens Anacreon, 
Simonides, and the other poets), while Thessalus was much junior in 
age, and was violent and headstrong in his behaviour. It was from 
his character that all the evils arose which befell the house. He 
became enamoured of Harmodius, and, since he failed to win his 
affection, he lost all restraint upon his passion, and in addition 
to other exhibitions of rage he finally prevented the sister of 
Harmodius from taking the part of a basket-bearer in the Panathenaic 
procession, alleging as his reason that Harmodius was a person of 
loose life. Thereupon, in a frenzy of wrath, Harmodius and 
Aristogeiton did their celebrated deed, in conjunction with a number 
of confederates. But while they were lying in wait for Hippias in 
the Acropolis at the time of the Panathenaea (Hippias, at 
this moment, 
was awaiting the arrival of the procession, while Hipparchus was 



organizing its dispatch) they saw one of the persons privy 

to the plot 

talking familiarly with him. Thinking that he was betraying them, 

and desiring to do something before they were arrested, they rushed 

down and made their attempt without waiting for the rest of their 

confederates. They succeeded in killing Hipparchus near the 

Leocoreum while he was engaged in arranging the procession, 

but ruined 

the design as a whole; of the two leaders, Harmodius was 

killed on the 

spot by the guards, while Aristogeiton was arrested, and perished 

later after suffering long tortures. While under the torture he 

accused many persons who belonged by birth to the most distinguished 

families and were also personal friends of the tyrants. At first the 

government could find no clue to the conspiracy; for the current 

story, that Hippias made all who were taking part in the procession 

leave their arms, and then detected those who were carrying secret 

daggers, cannot be true, since at that time they did not bear arms 

in the processions, this being a custom instituted at a later period 

by the democracy. According to the story of the popular party, 

Aristogeiton accused the friends of the tyrants with the deliberate 

intention that the latter might commit an impious act, and 

at the same 

time weaken themselves, by putting to death innocent men who were 

their own friends; others say that he told no falsehood, but was 

betraying the actual accomplices. At last, when for all his 

efforts he 

could not obtain release by death, he promised to give further 

information against a number of other persons; and, having induced 

Hippias to give him his hand to confirm his word, as soon as he had 

hold of it he reviled him for giving his hand to the murderer of his 

brother, till Hippias, in a frenzy of rage, lost control of himself 

and snatched out his dagger and dispatched him. 

Part 19 

After this event the tyranny became much harsher. In consequence 
of his vengeance for his brother, and of the execution and 



banishment of a large number of persons, Hippias became a distrusted 

and an embittered man. About three years after the death of 

Hipparchus, finding his position in the city insecure, he set about 

fortifying Munichia, with the intention of establishing 

himself there. 

While he was still engaged on this work, however, he was expelled by 

Cleomenes, king of Lacedaemon, in consequence of the Spartans being 

continually incited by oracles to overthrow the tyranny. 

These oracles 

were obtained in the following way. The Athenian exiles, 

headed by the 

Alcmeonidae, could not by their own power effect their return, but 

failed continually in their attempts. Among their other 

failures, they 

fortified a post in Attica, Lipsydrium, above Mt. Parnes, and were 

there joined by some partisans from the city; but they were besieged 

by the tyrants and reduced to surrender. After this disaster the 

following became a popular drinking song: 

Ah! Lipsydrium, faithless friend! 
Lo, what heroes to death didst send, 
Nobly born and great in deed ! 
Well did they prove themselves at need 
Of noble sires a noble seed. 

Having failed, then, in very other method, they took the contract 
for rebuilding the temple at Delphi, thereby obtaining ample funds, 
which they employed to secure the help of the 
Lacedaemonians. All this 

time the Pythia kept continually enjoining on the Lacedaemonians who 
came to consult the oracle, that they must free Athens; till finally 
she succeeded in impelling the Spartans to that step, although the 
house of Pisistratus was connected with them by ties of hospitality. 
The resolution of the Lacedaemonians was, however, at least equally 
due to the friendship which had been formed between the house of 
Pisistratus and Argos. Accordingly they first sent Anchimolus by sea 
at the head of an army; but he was defeated and killed, through the 
arrival of Cineas of Thessaly to support the sons of Pisistratus 



with a force of a thousand horsemen. Then, being roused to anger by 

this disaster, they sent their king, Cleomenes, by land at 

the head of 

a larger force; and he, after defeating the Thessalian cavalry when 

they attempted to intercept his march into Attica, shut up Hippias 

within what was known as the Pelargic wall and blockaded him there 

with the assistance of the Athenians. While he was sitting 

down before 

the place, it so happened that the sons of the Pisistratidae were 

captured in an attempt to slip out; upon which the tyrants 

capitulated 

on condition of the safety of their children, and surrendered the 

Acropolis to the Athenians, five days being first allowed them to 

remove their effects. This took place in the archonship of 

Harpactides, after they had held the tyranny for about 

seventeen years 

since their father's death, or in all, including the period of their 

father's rule, for nine-and-forty years. 

Part 20 

After the overthrow of the tyranny, the rival leaders in the state 
were Isagoras son of Tisander, a partisan of the tyrants, and 
Cleisthenes, who belonged to the family of the Alcmeonidae. 
Cleisthenes, being beaten in the political clubs, called in 
the people 

by giving the franchise to the masses. Thereupon Isagoras, finding 
himself left inferior in power, invited Cleomenes, who was united to 
him by ties of hospitality, to return to Athens, and persuaded him 
to 'drive out the pollution', a plea derived from the fact that the 
Alcmeonidae were suppposed to be under the curse of 
pollution. On this 

Cleisthenes retired from the country, and Cleomenes, entering Attica 
with a small force, expelled, as polluted, seven hundred Athenian 
families. Having effected this, he next attempted to dissolve the 
Council, and to set up Isagoras and three hundred of his partisans 
as the supreme power in the state. The Council, however, 
resisted, the 



populace flocked together, and Cleomenes and Isagoras, with their 
adherents, took refuge in the Acropolis. Here the people sat down 
and besieged them for two days; and on the third they agreed to let 
Cleomenes and all his followers de art, while they summoned 
Cleisthenes and the other exiles back to Athens. When the people had 
thus obtained the command of affairs, Cleisthenes was their chief 
and popular leader. And this was natural; for the Alcmeonidae were 
perhaps the chief cause of the expulsion of the tyrants, and for the 
greater part of their rule were at perpetual war with them. But even 
earlier than the attempts of the Alcmeonidae, one Cedon made 
an attack 

on the tyrants; when there came another popular drinking song, 
addressed to him: 

Pour a health yet again, boy, to Cedon; forget not this duty to do, 
If a health is an honour befitting the name of a good man and true. 

Part 21 

The people, therefore, had good reason to place confidence in 
Cleisthenes. Accordingly, now that he was the popular leader, three 
years after the expulsion of the tyrants, in the archonship of 
Isagoras, his first step was to distribute the whole population into 
ten tribes in place of the existing four, with the object of 
intermixing the members of the different tribes, and so securing 
that more persons might have a share in the franchise. From 
this arose 

the saying 'Do not look at the tribes', addressed to those who 
wished to scrutinize the lists of the old families. Next he made the 
Council to consist of five hundred members instead of four hundred, 
each tribe now contributing fifty, whereas formerly each had sent a 
hundred. The reason why he did not organize the people into twelve 
tribes was that he might not have to use the existing division into 
trittyes; for the four tribes had twelve trittyes, so that he would 
not have achieved his object of redistributing the 
population in fresh 

combinations. Further, he divided the country into thirty groups of 
demes, ten from the districts about the city, ten from the coast, 



and ten from the interior. These he called trittyes; and he assigned 

three of them by lot to each tribe, in such a way that each should 

have one portion in each of these three localities. All who lived in 

any given deme he declared fellow-demesmen, to the end that the new 

citizens might not be exposed by the habitual use of family 

names, but 

that men might be officially described by the names of their demes; 

and accordingly it is by the names of their demes that the Athenians 

speak of one another. He also instituted Demarchs, who had the same 

duties as the previously existing Naucrari,-the demes being made to 

take the place of the naucraries. He gave names to the demes, some 

from the localities to which they belonged, some from the persons 

who founded them, since some of the areas no longer corresponded to 

localities possessing names. On the other hand he allowed 

every one to 

retain his family and clan and religious rites according to 

ancestral custom. The names given to the tribes were the ten 

which the 

Pythia appointed out of the hundred selected national heroes. 

Part 22 

By these reforms the constitution became much more democratic than 
that of Solon. The laws of Solon had been obliterated by 
disuse during 

the period of the tyranny, while Cleisthenes substituted new 
ones with 

the object of securing the goodwill of the masses. Among 
these was the 

law concerning ostracism. Four year after the establishment of this 
system, in the archonship of Hermocreon, they first imposed upon the 
Council of Five Hundred the oath which they take to the present day. 
Next they began to elect the generals by tribes, one from each 
tribe, while the Polemarch was the commander of the whole army. 
Then, eleven years later, in the archonship of Phaenippus 
they won the 

battle of Marathon; and two years after this victory, when the 
people had now gained self-confidence, they for the first time made 



use of the law of ostracism. This had originally been passed as a 
precaution against men in high office, because Pisistratus took 
advantage of his position as a popular leader and general to make 
himself tyrant; and the first person ostracized was one of his 
relatives, Hipparchus son of Charmus, of the deme of Collytus, the 
very person on whose account especially Cleisthenes had enacted the 
law, as he wished to get rid of him. Hitherto, however, he had 
escaped; for the Athenians, with the usual leniency of the 
democracy, allowed all the partisans of the tyrants, who had not 
joined in their evil deeds in the time of the troubles to remain in 
the city; and the chief and leader of these was Hipparchus. Then in 
the very next year, in the archonship of Telesinus, they for 
the first 

time since the tyranny elected, tribe by tribe, the nine Archons by 
lot out of the five hundred candidates selected by the demes, all 
the earlier ones having been elected by vote; and in the same year 
Megacles son of Hippocrates, of the deme of Alopece, was ostracized. 
Thus for three years they continued to ostracize the friends of the 
tyrants, on whose account the law had been passed; but in the 
following year they began to remove others as well, including any 
one who seemed to be more powerful than was expedient. The first 
person unconnected with the tyrants who was ostracized was 
Xanthippus son of Ariphron. Two years later, in the archonship of 
Nicodemus, the mines of Maroneia were discovered, and the 
state made a 

profit of a hundred talents from the working of them. Some persons 
advised the people to make a distribution of the money among 
themselves, but this was prevented by Themistocles. He refused to 
say on what he proposed to spend the money, but he bade them lend it 
to the hundred richest men in Athens, one talent to each, 
and then, if 

the manner in which it was employed pleased the people, the 
expenditure should be charged to the state, but otherwise the state 
should receive the sum back from those to whom it was lent. On these 
terms he received the money and with it he had a hundred triremes 
built, each of the hundred individuals building one; and it was with 
these ships that they fought the battle of Salamis against the 
barbarians. About this time Aristides the son of Lysimachus was 



ostracized. Three years later, however, in the archonship of 

Hypsichides, all the ostracized persons were recalled, on account of 

the advance of the army of Xerxes; and it was laid down for 

the future 

that persons under sentence of ostracism must live between Geraestus 

and Scyllaeum, on pain of losing their civic rights irrevocably. 

Part 23 

So far, then, had the city progressed by this time, growing 
gradually with the growth of the democracy; but after the 
Persian wars 

the Council of Areopagus once more developed strength and assumed 
the control of the state. It did not acquire this supremacy by 
virtue of any formal decree, but because it had been the cause of 
the battle of Salamis being fought. When the generals were utterly 
at a loss how to meet the crisis and made proclamation that every 
one should see to his own safety, the Areopagus provided a 
donation of 

money, distributing eight drachmas to each member of the 
ships' crews, 

and so prevailed on them to go on board. On these grounds 
people bowed 

to its prestige; and during this period Athens was well 
administered. At this time they devoted themselves to the 
prosecution of the war and were in high repute among the Greeks, so 
that the command by sea was conferred upon them, in spite of the 
opposition of the Lacedaemonians. The leaders of the people during 
this period were Aristides, of Lysimachus, and Themistocles, son of 
Lysimachus, and Themistocles, son of Neocles, of whom the latter 
appeared to devote himself to the conduct of war, while the 
former had 

the reputation of being a clever statesman and the most 
upright man of 

his time. Accordingly the one was usually employed as general, the 
other as political adviser. The rebuilding of the fortifications 
they conducted in combination, although they were political 
opponents; 



but it was Aristides who, seizing the opportunity afforded by the 

discredit brought upon the Lacedaemonians by Pausanias, guided the 

public policy in the matter of the defection of the Ionian 

states from 

the alliance with Sparta. It follows that it was he who made 

the first 

assessment of tribute from the various allied states, two years 

after the battle of Salamis, in the archonship of Timosthenes; and 

it was he who took the oath of offensive and defensive alliance with 

the Ionians, on which occasion they cast the masses of iron into the 

sea. 

Part 24 

After this, seeing the state growing in confidence and much wealth 
accumulated, he advised the people to lay hold of the leadership of 
the league, and to quit the country districts and settle in the 
city. He pointed out to them that all would be able to gain a living 
there, some by service in the army, others in the garrisons, 
others by 

taking a part in public affairs; and in this way they would 
secure the 

leadership. This advice was taken; and when the people had 
assumed the 

supreme control they proceeded to treat their allies in a more 
imperious fashion, with the exception of the Chians, Lesbians, and 
Samians. These they maintained to protect their empire, leaving 
their constitutions untouched, and allowing them to retain whatever 
dominion they then possessed. They also secured an ample maintenance 
for the mass of the population in the way which Aristides had 
pointed out to them. Out of the proceeds of the tributes and 
the taxes 

and the contributions of the allies more than twenty thousand 
persons were maintained. There were 6,000 jurymen, 1,600 
bowmen, 1,200 

Knights, 500 members of the Council, 500 guards of the dockyards, 
besides fifty guards in the Acropolis. There were some 700 
magistrates 



at home, and some 700 abroad. Further, when they subsequently went 

to war, there were in addition 2,500 heavy-armed troops, twenty 

guard-ships, and other ships which collected the tributes, with 

crews amounting to 2,000 men, selected by lot; and besides 

these there 

were the persons maintained at the Prytaneum, and orphans, and 

gaolers, since all these were supported by the state. 

Part 25 

Such was the way in which the people earned their livelihood. The 
supremacy of the Areopagus lasted for about seventeen years after 
the Persian wars, although gradually declining. But as the 
strength of 

the masses increased, Ephialtes, son of Sophonides, a man with a 
reputation for incorruptibility and public virtue, who had become 
the leader of the people, made an attack upon that Council. First of 
all he ruined many of its members by bringing actions against them 
with reference to their administration. Then, in the archonship of 
Conon, he stripped the Council of all the acquired prerogatives from 
which it derived its guardianship of the constitution, and assigned 
some of them to the Council of Five Hundred, and others to the 
Assembly and the law-courts. In this revolution he was assisted by 
Themistocles, who was himself a member of the Areopagus, but was 
expecting to be tried before it on a charge of treasonable dealings 
with Persia. This made him anxious that it should be overthrown, and 
accordingly he warned Ephialtes that the Council intended to arrest 
him, while at the same time he informed the Areopagites that he 
would reveal to them certain persons who were conspiring to subvert 
the constitution. He then conducted the representatives delegated by 
the Council to the residence of Ephialtes, promising to show them 
the conspirators who assembled there, and proceeded to converse with 
them in an earnest manner. Ephialtes, seeing this, was seized with 
alarm and took refuge in suppliant guise at the altar. Every one was 
astounded at the occurrence, and presently, when the Council of Five 
Hundred met, Ephialtes and Themistocles together proceeded 
to denounce 
the Areopagus to them. This they repeated in similar fashion in the 



Assembly, until they succeeded in depriving it of its power. Not 
long afterwards, however, Ephialtes was assassinated by 
Aristodicus of 

Tanagra. In this way was the Council of Areopagus deprived of its 
guardianship of the state. 

Part 26 

After this revolution the administration of the state became more 
and more lax, in consequence of the eager rivalry of candidates for 
popular favour. During this period the moderate party, as it 
happened, 

had no real chief, their leader being Cimon son of Miltiades, who 
was a comparatively young man, and had been late in entering public 
life; and at the same time the general populace suffered great 
losses by war. The soldiers for active service were selected at that 
time from the roll of citizens, and as the generals were men of no 
military experience, who owed their position solely to their family 
standing, it continually happened that some two or three thousand of 
the troops perished on an expedition; and in this way the best men 
alike of the lower and the upper classes were exhausted. 
Consequently in most matters of administration less heed was paid to 
the laws than had formerly been the case. No alteration, however, 
was made in the method of election of the nine Archons, except that 
five years after the death of Ephialtes it was decided that the 
candidates to be submitted to the lot for that office might be 
selected from the Zeugitae as well as from the higher classes. The 
first Archon from that class was Mnesitheides. Up to this 
time all the 

Archons had been taken from the Pentacosiomedimni and Knights, while 
the Zeugitae were confined to the ordinary magistracies, 
save where an 

evasion of the law was overlooked. Four years later, in the 
archonship 

of Lysicrates, thirty 'local justices', as they as they were called, 
were re-established; and two years afterwards, in the archonship of 
Antidotus, consequence of the great increase in the number of 
citizens, it was resolved, on the motion of Pericles, that no one 



should admitted to the franchise who was not of citizen birth by 
both parents. 

Part 27 

After this Pericles came forward as popular leader, having first 
distinguished himself while still a young man by prosecuting Cimon 
on the audit of his official accounts as general. Under his auspices 
the constitution became still more democratic. He took away some of 
the privileges of the Areopagus, and, above all, he turned the 
policy of the state in the direction of sea power, which caused the 
masses to acquire confidence in themselves and consequently to take 
the conduct of affairs more and more into their own hands. Moreover, 
forty-eight years after the battle of Salamis, in the archonship of 
Pythodorus, the Peloponnesian war broke out, during which 
the populace 

was shut up in the city and became accustomed to gain its livelihood 
by military service, and so, partly voluntarily and partly 
involuntarily, determined to assume the administration of the state 
itself. Pericles was also the first to institute pay for service in 
the law-courts, as a bid for popular favour to counterbalance the 
wealth of Cimon. The latter, having private possessions on a regal 
scale, not only performed the regular public services magnificently, 
but also maintained a large number of his fellow-demesmen. Any 
member of the deme of Laciadae could go every day to Cimon's 
house and 

there receive a reasonable provision; while his estate was guarded 
by no fences, so that any one who liked might help himself to the 
fruit from it. Pericles' private property was quite unequal to this 
magnificence and accordingly he took the advice of Damonides of Oia 
(who was commonly supposed to be the person who prompted Pericles in 
most of his measures, and was therefore subsequently ostracized), 
which was that, as he was beaten in the matter of private 
possessions, 

he should make gifts to the people from their own property; and 
accordingly he instituted pay for the members of the juries. Some 
critics accuse him of thereby causing a deterioration in the 
character 



of the juries, since it was always the common people who put 

themselves forward for selection as jurors, rather than the men of 

better position. Moreover, bribery came into existence after 

this, the 

first person to introduce it being Anytus, after his command 

at Pylos. 

He was prosecuted by certain individuals on account of his loss of 

Pylos, but escaped by bribing the jury. 

Part 28 

So long, however, as Pericles was leader of the people, things 
went tolerably well with the state; but when he was dead there was a 
great change for the worse. Then for the first time did the people 
choose a leader who was of no reputation among men of good standing, 
whereas up to this time such men had always been found as leaders of 
the democracy. The first leader of the people, in the very beginning 
of things, was Solon, and the second was Pisistratus, both 
of them men 

of birth and position. After the overthrow of the tyrants there was 
Cleisthenes, a member of the house of the Alcmeonidae; and he had no 
rival opposed to him after the expulsion of the party of Isagoras. 
After this Xanthippus was the leader of the people, and Miltiades of 
the upper class. Then came Themistocles and Aristides, and after 
them Ephialtes as leader of the people, and Cimon son of Miltiades 
of the wealthier class. Pericles followed as leader of the 
people, and 

Thucydides, who was connected by marriage with Cimon, of the 
opposition. After the death of Pericles, Nicias, who 
subsequently fell 

in Sicily, appeared as leader of the aristocracy, and Cleon son of 
Cleaenetus of the people. The latter seems, more than any 
one else, to 

have been the cause of the corruption of the democracy by his wild 
undertakings; and he was the first to use unseemly shouting 
and coarse 

abuse on the Bema, and to harangue the people with his cloak girt up 
short about him, whereas all his predecessors had spoken decently 



and in order. These were succeeded by Theramenes son of Hagnon as 
leader of the one party, and the lyre-maker Cleophon of the 
people. It 

was Cleophon who first granted the twoobol donation for the 
theatrical 

performances, and for some time it continued to be given; but then 
Callicrates of Paeania ousted him by promising to add a third obol 
to the sum. Both of these persons were subsequently condemned to 
death; for the people, even if they are deceived for a time, in the 
end generally come to detest those who have beguiled them into any 
unworthy action. After Cleophon the popular leadership was occupied 
successively by the men who chose to talk the biggest and pander the 
most to the tastes of the majority, with their eyes fixed only on 
the interests of the moment. The best statesmen at Athens, 
after those 

of early times, seem to have been Nicias, Thucydides, and 
Theramenes. As to Nicias and Thucydides, nearly every one agrees 
that they were not merely men of birth and character, but also 
statesmen, and that they ruled the state with paternal care. On the 
merits of Theramenes opinion is divided, because it so happened that 
in his time public affairs were in a very stormy state. But those 
who give their opinion deliberately find him, not, as his critics 
falsely assert, overthrowing every kind of constitution, but 
supporting every kind so long as it did not transgress laws; thus 
showing that he was able, as every good citizen should be, to live 
under any form of constitution, while he refused to countenance 
illegality and was its constant enemy. 

Part 29 

So long as the fortune of the war continued even, the Athenians 
preserved the democracy; but after the disaster in Sicily, when the 
Lacedaemonians had gained the upper hand through their alliance with 
the king of Persia, they were compelled to abolish the democracy and 
establish in its place the constitution of the Four Hundred. The 
speech recommending this course before the vote was made by 
Melobius, and the motion was proposed by Pythodorus of Anaphlystus; 
but the real argument which persuaded the majority was the 



belief that 

the king of Persia was more likely to form an alliance with them if 

the constitution were on an oligarchical basis. The motion of 

Pythodorus was to the following effect. The popular Assembly was to 

elect twenty persons, over forty years of age, who, in conjunction 

with the existing ten members of the Committee of Public 

Safety, after 

taking an oath that they would frame such measures as they thought 

best for the state, should then prepare proposals for the public. 

safety. In addition, any other person might make proposals, 

so that of 

all the schemes before them the people might choose the best. 

Cleitophon concurred with the motion of Pythodorus, but 

moved that the 

committee should also investigate the ancient laws enacted by 

Cleisthenes when he created the democracy, in order that they might 

have these too before them and so be in a position to decide wisely; 

his suggestion being that the constitution of Cleisthenes was not 

really democratic, but closely akin to that of Solon. When the 

committee was elected, their first proposal was that the Prytanes 

should be compelled to put to the vote any motion that was offered 

on behalf of the public safety. Next they abolished all indictments 

for illegal proposals, all impeachments and pubic prosecutions, in 

order that every Athenian should be free to give his counsel on the 

situation, if he chose; and they decreed that if any person imposed 

a fine on any other for his acts in this respect, or 

prosecuted him or 

summoned him before the courts, he should, on an information being 

laid against him, be summarily arrested and brought before the 

generals, who should deliver him to the Eleven to be put to death. 

After these preliminary measures, they drew up the 

constitution in the 

following manner. The revenues of the state were not to be spent on 

any purpose except the war. All magistrates should serve without 

remuneration for the period of the war, except the nine Archons and 

the Prytanes for the time being, who should each receive 

three obols a 

day. The whole of the rest of the administration was to be 



committed, for the period of the war, to those Athenians who 
were most 

capable of serving the state personally or pecuniarily, to the 
number of not less than five thousand. This body was to have full 
powers, to the extent even of making treaties with whomsoever they 
willed; and ten representatives, over forty years of age, were to be 
elected from each tribe to draw up the list of the Five Thousand, 
after taking an oath on a full and perfect sacrifice. 

Part 30 

These were the recommendations of the committee; and when they had 
been ratified the Five Thousand elected from their own number a 
hundred commissioners to draw up the constitution. They, on their 
appointment, drew up and produced the following 
recommendations. There 

should be a Council, holding office for a year, consisting 
of men over 

thirty years of age, serving without pay. To this body should belong 
the Generals, the nine Archons, the Amphictyonic Registrar 
(Hieromnemon), the Taxiarchs, the Hipparchs, the Phylarch, the 
commanders of garrisons, the Treasurers of Athena and the other 
gods, ten in number, the Hellenic Treasurers (Hellenotamiae), the 
Treasurers of the other non-sacred moneys, to the number of twenty, 
the ten Commissioners of Sacrifices (Hieropoei), and the ten 
Superintendents of the mysteries. All these were to be appointed by 
the Council from a larger number of selected candidates, chosen from 
its members for the time being. The other offices were all to be 
filled by lot, and not from the members of the Council. The Hellenic 
Treasurers who actually administered the funds should not 
sit with the 

Council. As regards the future, four Councils were to be created, of 
men of the age already mentioned, and one of these was to be 
chosen by 

lot to take office at once, while the others were to receive it in 
turn, in the order decided by the lot. For this purpose the hundred 
commissioners were to distribute themselves and all the rest as 
equally as possible into four parts, and cast lots for 



precedence, and 

the selected body should hold office for a year. They were to 

administer that office as seemed to them best, both with reference 

to the safe custody and due expenditure of the finances, and 

generally 

with regard to all other matters to the best of their 

ability. If they 

desired to take a larger number of persons into counsel, each member 

might call in one assistant of his own choice, subject to the same 

qualification of age. The Council was to sit once every five days, 

unless there was any special need for more frequent sittings. The 

casting of the lot for the Council was to be held by the 

nine Archons; 

votes on divisions were to be counted by five tellers chosen by lot 

from the members of the Council, and of these one was to be selected 

by lot every day to act as president. These five persons were to 

cast lots for precedence between the parties wishing to appear 

before the Council, giving the first place to sacred matters, the 

second to heralds, the third to embassies, and the fourth to 

all other 

subjects; but matters concerning the war might be dealt with, on the 

motion of the generals, whenever there was need, without balloting. 

Any member of the Council who did not enter the Council-house at the 

time named should be fined a drachma for each day, unless he was 

away on leave of absence from the Council. 

Part 31 

Such was the constitution which they drew up for the time to come, 
but for the immediate present they devised the following 
scheme. There 

should be a Council of Four Hundred, as in the ancient constitution, 
forty from each tribe, chosen out of candidates of more than thirty 
years of age, selected by the members of the tribes. This Council 
should appoint the magistrates and draw up the form of oath 
which they 

were to take; and in all that concerned the laws, in the examination 
of official accounts, and in other matters generally, they might act 



according to their discretion. They must, however, observe the laws 

that might be enacted with reference to the constitution of 

the state, 

and had no power to alter them nor to pass others. The 

generals should 

be provisionally elected from the whole body of the Five 

Thousand, but 

so soon as the Council came into existence it was to hold an 

examination of military equipments, and thereon elect ten persons, 

together with a secretary, and the persons thus elected should hold 

office during the coming year with full powers, and should have the 

right, whenever they desired it, of joining in the deliberations of 

the Council. The Five thousand was also to elect a single 

Hipparch and 

ten Phylarchs; but for the future the Council was to elect these 

officers according to the regulations above laid down. No office, 

except those of member of the Council and of general, might be held 

more than once, either by the first occupants or by their 

successors. With reference to the future distribution of the Four 

Hundred into the four successive sections, the hundred commissioners 

must divide them whenever the time comes for the citizens to join in 

the Council along with the rest. 

Part 32 

The hundred commissioners appointed by the Five Thousand 
drew up the 

constitution as just stated; and after it had been ratified by the 
people, under the presidency of Aristomachus, the existing Council, 
that of the year of Callias, was dissolved before it had 
completed its 

term of office. It was dissolved on the fourteenth day of the month 
Thargelion, and the Four Hundred entered into office on the 
twenty-first; whereas the regular Council, elected by lot, ought to 
have entered into office on the fourteenth of Scirophorion. Thus was 
the oligarchy established, in the archonship of Callias, just about 
a hundred years after the expulsion of the tyrants. The chief 
promoters of the revolution were Pisander, Antiphon, and Theramenes, 



all of them men of good birth and with high reputations for ability 

and judgement. When, however, this constitution had been 

established, the Five Thousand were only nominally selected, and the 

Four Hundred, together with the ten officers on whom full powers had 

been conferred, occupied the Council-house and really 

administered the 

government. They began by sending ambassadors to the Lacedaemonians 

proposing a cessation of the war on the basis of the existing 

Position; but as the Lacedaemonians refused to listen to them unless 

they would also abandon the command of the sea, they broke off the 

negotiations. 

Part 33 

For about four months the constitution of the Four Hundred lasted, 
and Mnasilochus held office as Archon of their nomination for two 
months of the year of Theopompus, who was Archon for the remaining 
ten. On the loss of the naval battle of Eretria, however, and the 
revolt of the whole of Euboea except Oreum, the indignation of the 
people was greater than at any of the earlier disasters, since they 
drew far more supplies at this time from Euboea than from Attica 
itself. Accordingly they deposed the Four Hundred and committed the 
management of affairs to the Five Thousand, consisting of persons 
Possessing a military equipment. At the same time they voted that 
pay should not be given for any public office. The persons chiefly 
responsible for the revolution were Aristocrates and Theramenes, who 
disapproved of the action of the Four Hundred in retaining the 
direction of affairs entirely in their own hands, and referring 
nothing to the Five Thousand. During this period the constitution of 
the state seems to have been admirable, since it was a time 
of war and 

the franchise was in the hands of those who possessed a military 
equipment. 

Part 34 

The people, however, in a very short time deprived the 
Five Thousand 



of their monopoly of the government. Then, six years after the 
overthrow of the Four Hundred, in the archonship of Callias 
of Angele, 

battle of Arginusae took place, of which the results were, 
first, that 

the ten generals who had gained the victory were all condemned by a 
single decision, owing to the people being led astray by persons who 
aroused their indignation; though, as a matter of fact, some of the 
generals had actually taken no part in the battle, and others were 
themselves picked up by other vessels. Secondly, when the 
Lacedaemonians proposed to evacuate Decelea and make peace on the 
basis of the existing position, although some of the Athenians 
supported this proposal, the majority refused to listen to them. In 
this they were led astray by Cleophon, who appeared in the Assembly 
drunk and wearing his breastplate, and prevented peace being made, 
declaring that he would never accept peace unless the Lacedaemonians 
abandoned their claims on all the cities allied with them. They 
mismanaged their opportunity then, and in a very short time they 
learnt their mistake. The next year, in the archonship of Alexias, 
they suffered the disaster of Aegospotami, the consequence of which 
was that Lysander became master of the city, and set up the Thirty 
as its governors. He did so in the following manner. One of the 
terms of peace stipulated that the state should be governed 
according to 'the ancient constitution'. Accordingly the 
popular party 

tried to preserve the democracy, while that part of the upper class 
which belonged to the political clubs, together with the exiles who 
had returned since the peace, aimed at an oligarchy, and those who 
were not members of any club, though in other respects they 
considered 

themselves as good as any other citizens, were anxious to restore 
the ancient constitution. The latter class included Archinus, 
Anytus, Cleitophon, Phormisius, and many others, but their most 
prominent leader was Theramenes. Lysander, however, threw his 
influence on the side of the oligarchical party, and the popular 
Assembly was compelled by sheer intimidation to pass a vote 
establishing the oligarchy. The motion to this effect was proposed 
by Dracontides of Aphidna. 



Part 35 

In this way were the Thirty established in power, in the 
archonship of Pythodorus. As soon, however, as they were masters of 
the city, they ignored all the resolutions which had been passed 
relating to the organization of the constitution, but after 
appointing 

a Council of Five Hundred and the other magistrates out of a 
thousand selected candidates, and associating with themselves ten 
Archons in Piraeus, eleven superintendents of the prison, and three 
hundred lash-bearers' as attendants, with the help of these 
they kept 

the city under their own control. At first, indeed, they behaved 
with moderation towards the citizens and pretended to administer the 
state according to the ancient constitution. In pursuance of this 
policy they took down from the hill of Areopagus the laws of 
Ephialtes 

and Archestratus relating to the Areopagite Council; they also 
repealed such of the statutes of Solon as were obscure, and 
abolished the supreme power of the law-courts. In this they 
claimed to 

be restoring the constitution and freeing it from 
obscurities; as, for 

instance, by making the testator free once for all to leave his 
property as he pleased, and abolishing the existing limitations in 
cases of insanity, old age, and undue female influence, in order 
that no opening might be left for professional accusers. In other 
matters also their conduct was similar. At first, then, they acted 
on these lines, and they destroyed the professional accusers 
and those 

mischievous and evil-minded persons who, to the great 
detriment of the 

democracy, had attached themselves to it in order to curry 
favour with 

it. With all of this the city was much pleased, and thought that the 
Thirty were doing it with the best of motives. But so soon 
as they had 



got a firmer hold on the city, they spared no class of citizens, but 

put to death any persons who were eminent for wealth or birth or 

character. Herein they aimed at removing all whom they had reason to 

fear, while they also wished to lay hands on their 

possessions; and in 

a short time they put to death not less than fifteen hundred persons. 

Part 36 

Theramenes, however, seeing the city thus falling into ruin, was 
displeased with their proceedings, and counselled them to cease such 
unprincipled conduct and let the better classes have a share in the 
government. At first they resisted his advice, but when his 
proposals came to be known abroad, and the masses began to associate 
themselves with him, they were seized with alarm lest he should make 
himself the leader of the people and destroy their despotic power. 
Accordingly they drew up a list of three thousand citizens, to whom 
they announced that they would give a share in the constitution. 
Theramenes, however, criticized this scheme also, first on the 
ground that, while proposing to give all respectable citizens a 
share in the constitution, they were actually giving it only to 
three thousand persons, as though all merit were confined within 
that number; and secondly because they were doing two inconsistent 
things, since they made the government rest on the basis of 
force, and 

yet made the governors inferior in strength to the governed. 
However, they took no notice of his criticisms, and for a long time 
put off the publication of the list of the Three Thousand and kept 
to themselves the names of those who had been placed upon it; and 
every time they did decide to publish it they proceeded to strike 
out some of those who had been included in it, and insert others who 
had been omitted. 

Part 37 

Now when winter had set in, Thrasybulus and the exiles occupied 
Phyle, and the force which the Thirty led out to attack them met 
with a reverse. Thereupon the Thirty decided to disarm the 



bulk of the 

population and to get rid of Theramenes; which they did in the 
following way. They introduced two laws into the Council, which they 
commanded it to pass; the first of them gave the Thirty 
absolute power 

to put to death any citizen who was not included in the list of the 
Three Thousand, while the second disqualified all persons from 
participation in the franchise who should have assisted in the 
demolition of the fort of Eetioneia, or have acted in any way 
against the Four Hundred who had organized the previous oligarchy. 
Theramenes had done both, and accordingly, when these laws were 
ratified, he became excluded from the franchise and the Thirty had 
full power to put him to death. Theramenes having been thus removed, 
they disarmed all the people except the Three Thousand, and in every 
respect showed a great advance in cruelty and crime. They also sent 
ambassadors to Lacedaemonian to blacken the character of Theramenes 
and to ask for help; and the Lacedaemonians, in answer to their 
appeal, sent Callibius as military governor with about seven hundred 
troops, who came and occupied the Acropolis. 

Part 38 

These events were followed by the occupation of Munichia by the 
exiles from Phyle, and their victory over the Thirty and their 
partisans. After the fight the party of the city retreated, and next 
day they held a meeting in the marketplace and deposed the 
Thirty, and 

elected ten citizens with full powers to bring the war to a 
termination. When, however, the Ten had taken over the 
government they 

did nothing towards the object for which they were elected, but sent 
envoys to Lacedaemonian to ask for help and to borrow money. 
Further, finding that the citizens who possessed the franchise were 
displeased at their proceedings, they were afraid lest they should 
be deposed, and consequently, in order to strike terror into them 
(in which design they succeeded), they arrested Demaretus, one of 
the most eminent citizens, and put him to death. This gave 
them a firm 



hold on the government, and they also had the support of 
Callibius and 

his Peloponnesians, together with several of the Knights; for some 
of the members of this class were the most zealous among the 
citizens to prevent the return of the exiles from Phyle. When, 
however, the party in Piraeus and Munichia began to gain the upper 
hand in the war, through the defection of the whole populace to 
them, the party in the city deposed the original Ten, and elected 
another Ten, consisting of men of the highest repute. Under their 
administration, and with their active and zealous cooperation, the 
treaty of reconciliation was made and the populace returned to the 
city. The most prominent members of this board were Rhinon of 
Paeania and Phayllus of Acherdus, who, even before the arrival of 
Pausanias, opened negotiations with the party in Piraeus, and after 
his arrival seconded his efforts to bring about the return of the 
exiles. For it was Pausanias, the king of the Lacedaemonians, who 
brought the peace and reconciliation to a fulfillment, in 
conjunction with the ten commissioners of arbitration who arrived 
later from Lacedaemonian, at his own earnest request. Rhinon and his 
colleagues received a vote of thanks for the goodwill shown 
by them to 

the people, and though they received their charge under an oligarchy 
and handed in their accounts under a democracy, no one, either of 
the party that had stayed in the city or of the exiles that had 
returned from the Piraeus, brought any complaint against them. On 
the contrary, Rhinon was immediately elected general on 
account of his 
conduct in this office. 

Part 39 

This reconciliation was effected in the archonship of Eucleides, 
on the following terms. All persons who, having remained in the city 
during the troubles, were now anxious to leave it, were to be free 
to settle at Eleusis, retaining their civil rights and 
possessing full 

and independent powers of self-government, and with the free 
enjoyment 



of their own personal property. The temple at Eleusis should 

be common 

ground for both parties, and should be under the superintendence of 

the Ceryces, and the Eumolpidae, according to primitive custom. The 

settlers at Eleusis should not be allowed to enter Athens, nor the 

people of Athens to enter Eleusis, except at the season of the 

mysteries, when both parties should be free from these restrictions. 

The secessionists should pay their share to the fund for the common 

defence out of their revenues, just like all the other Athenians. If 

any of the seceding party wished to take a house in Eleusis, the 

people would help them to obtain the consent of the owner; 

but if they 

could not come to terms, they should appoint three valuers on either 

side, and the owner should receive whatever price they 

should appoint. 

Of the inhabitants of Eleusis, those whom the secessionists wished 

to remain should be allowed to do so. The list of those who 

desired to 

secede should be made up within ten days after the taking of 

the oaths 

in the case of persons already in the country, and their actual 

departure should take place within twenty days; persons at 

present out 

of the country should have the same terms allowed to them after 

their return. No one who settled at Eleusis should be capable of 

holding any office in Athens until he should again register 

himself on 

the roll as a resident in the city. Trials for homicide, 

including all 

cases in which one party had either killed or wounded another, 

should be conducted according to ancestral practice. There 

should be a 

general amnesty concerning past events towards all persons except 

the Thirty, the Ten, the Eleven, and the magistrates in Piraeus; and 

these too should be included if they should submit their accounts in 

the usual way. Such accounts should be given by the magistrates in 

Piraeus before a court of citizens rated in Piraeus, and by the 

magistrates in the city before a court of those rated in the city. 



On these terms those who wished to do so might secede. Each party 
was to repay separately the money which it had borrowed for the war. 
Part 40 

When the reconciliation had taken place on these terms, those who 
had fought on the side of the Thirty felt considerable 
apprehensions, and a large number intended to secede. But as they 
put off entering their names till the last moment, as people will 
do, Archinus, observing their numbers, and being anxious to retain 
them as citizens, cut off the remaining days during which the list 
should have remained open; and in this way many persons were 
compelled 

to remain, though they did so very unwillingly until they recovered 
confidence. This is one point in which Archinus appears to have 
acted in a most statesmanlike manner, and another was his subsequent 
prosecution of Thrasybulus on the charge of illegality, for a motion 
by which he proposed to confer the franchise on all who had 
taken part 

in the return from Piraeus, although some of them were notoriously 
slaves. And yet a third such action was when one of the returned 
exiles began to violate the amnesty, whereupon Archinus haled him to 
the Council and persuaded them to execute him without trial, telling 
them that now they would have to show whether they wished to 
preserve the democracy and abide by the oaths they had taken; for if 
they let this man escape they would encourage others to imitate him, 
while if they executed him they would make an example for 
all to learn 

by. And this was exactly what happened; for after this man had been 
put to death no one ever again broke the amnesty. On the 
contrary, the 

Athenians seem, both in public and in private, to have behaved in 
the most unprecedentedly admirable and public- spirited way with 
reference to the preceding troubles. Not only did they blot out all 
memory of former offences, but they even repaid to the 
Lacedaemonians out of the public purse the money which the Thirty 
had borrowed for the war, although the treaty required each 
party, the 
party of the city and the party of Piraeus, to pay its own debts 



separately. This they did because they thought it was a necessary 
first step in the direction of restoring harmony; but in 
other states, 

so far from the democratic parties making advances from their own 
possessions, they are rather in the habit of making a general 
redistribution of the land. A final reconciliation was made with the 
secessionists at Eleusis two years after the secession, in the 
archonship of Xenaenetus. 
Part 41 

This, however, took place at a later date; at the time of which we 
are speaking the people, having secured the control of the state, 
established the constitution which exists at the present day. 
Pythodorus was Archon at the time, but the democracy seems to have 
assumed the supreme power with perfect justice, since it had 
effected its own return by its own exertions. This was the eleventh 
change which had taken place in the constitution of Athens. The 
first modification of the primaeval condition of things was when Ion 
and his companions brought the people together into a community, for 
then the people was first divided into the four tribes, and the 
tribe-kings were created. Next, and first after this, having now 
some semblance of a constitution, was that which took place in the 
reign of Theseus, consisting in a slight deviation from absolute 
monarchy. After this came the constitution formed under Draco, when 
the first code of laws was drawn up. The third was that 
which followed 

the civil war, in the time of Solon; from this the democracy took 
its rise. The fourth was the tyranny of Pisistratus; the fifth the 
constitution of Cleisthenes, after the overthrow of the tyrants, of 
a more democratic character than that of Solon. The sixth was that 
which followed on the Persian wars, when the Council of Areopagus 
had the direction of the state. The seventh, succeeding this, was 
the constitution which Aristides sketched out, and which Ephialtes 
brought to completion by overthrowing the Areopagite Council; under 
this the nation, misled by the demagogues, made the most serious 
mistakes in the interest of its maritime empire. The eighth was the 
establishment of the Four Hundred, followed by the ninth, 
the restored 



democracy. The tenth was the tyranny of the Thirty and the Ten. The 
eleventh was that which followed the return from Phyle and Piraeus; 
and this has continued from that day to this, with continual 
accretions of power to the masses. The democracy has made itself 
master of everything and administers everything by its votes in the 
Assembly and by the law-courts, in which it holds the supreme power. 
Even the jurisdiction of the Council has passed into the hands of 
the people at large; and this appears to be a judicious change, 
since small bodies are more open to corruption, whether by actual 
money or influence, than large ones. At first they refused to allow 
payment for attendance at the Assembly; but the result was 
that people 

did not attend. Consequently, after the Prytanes had tried many 
devices in vain in order to induce the populace to come and 
ratify the 

votes, Agyrrhius, in the first instance, made a provision of one 
obol a day, which Heracleides of Clazomenae, nicknamed 'the king', 
increased to two obols, and Agyrrhius again to three. 

Part 42 

The present state of the constitution is as follows. The franchise 
is open to all who are of citizen birth by both parents. They are 
enrolled among the demesmen at the age of eighteen. On the 
occasion of 

their enrollment the demesmen give their votes on oath, first 
whether the candidates appear to be of the age prescribed by the law 
(if not, they are dismissed back into the ranks of the boys), and 
secondly whether the candidate is free born and of such parentage as 
the laws require. Then if they decide that he is not a free man, he 
appeals to the law-courts, and the demesmen appoint five of their 
own number to act as accusers; if the court decides that he has no 
right to be enrolled, he is sold by the state as a slave, but if he 
wins his case he has a right to be enrolled among the 
demesmen without 

further question. After this the Council examines those who have 
been enrolled, and if it comes to the conclusion that any of them is 
less than eighteen years of age, it fines the demesmen who enrolled 



him. When the youths (Ephebi) have passed this examination, their 
fathers meet by their tribes, and appoint on oath three of their 
fellow tribesmen, over forty years of age, who, in their opinion, 
are the best and most suitable persons to have charge of the youths; 
and of these the Assembly elects one from each tribe as guardian, 
together with a director, chosen from the general body of Athenians, 
to control the while. Under the charge of these persons the youths 
first of all make the circuit of the temples; then they proceed to 
Piraeus, and some of them garrison Munichia and some the south 
shore. The Assembly also elects two trainers, with subordinate 
instructors, who teach them to fight in heavy armour, to use the bow 
and javelin, and to discharge a catapult. The guardians receive from 
the state a drachma apiece for their keep, and the youths four obols 
apiece. Each guardian receives the allowance for all the members of 
his tribe and buys the necessary provisions for the common 
stock (they 

mess together by tribes), and generally superintends everything. In 
this way they spend the first year. The next year, after giving a 
public display of their military evolutions, on the occasion when 
the Assembly meets in the theatre, they receive a shield and spear 
from the state; after which they patrol the country and spend their 
time in the forts. For these two years they are on garrison duty, 
and wear the military cloak, and during this time they are 
exempt from 

all taxes. They also can neither bring an action at law, nor have 
one brought against them, in order that they may have no excuse for 
requiring leave of absence; though exception is made in cases of 
actions concerning inheritances and wards of state, or of any 
sacrificial ceremony connected with the family. When the two years 
have elapsed they thereupon take their position among the other 
citizens. Such is the manner of the enrollment of the 
citizens and the 
training of the youths. 

Part 43 

All the magistrates that are concerned with the ordinary routine 
of administration are elected by lot, except the Military Treasurer, 



the Commissioners of the Theoric fund, and the Superintendent of 
Springs. These are elected by vote, and hold office from one 
Panathenaic festival to the next. All military officers are also 
elected by vote. 

The Council of Five Hundred is elected by lot, fifty from each 
tribe. Each tribe holds the office of Prytanes in turn, the order 
being determined by lot; the first four serve for thirty-six days 
each, the last six for thirty-five, since the reckoning is by lunar 
years. The Prytanes for the time being, in the first place, mess 
together in the Tholus, and receive a sum of money from the state 
for their maintenance; and, secondly, they convene the 
meetings of the 

Council and the Assembly. The Council they convene every day, unless 
it is a holiday, the Assembly four times in each prytany. It is also 
their duty to draw up the programme of the business of the 
Council and 

to decide what subjects are to be dealt with on each particular da, 
and where the sitting is to be held. They also draw up the programme 
for the meetings of the Assembly. One of these in each prytany is 
called the 'sovereign' Assembly; in this the people have to 
ratify the 

continuance of the magistrates in office, if they are 
performing their 

duties properly, and to consider the supply of corn and the 
defence of 

the country. On this day, too, impeachments are introduced by those 
who wish to do so, the lists of property confiscated by the state 
are read, and also applications for inheritances and wards of state, 
so that nothing may pass unclaimed without the cognizance of any 
person concerned. In the sixth prytany, in addition to the business 
already stated, the question is put to the vote whether it is 
desirable to hold a vote of ostracism or not; and complaints against 
professional accusers, whether Athenian or aliens domiciled 
in Athens, 

are received, to the number of not more than three of either class, 
together with cases in which an individual has made some promise to 
the people and has not performed it. Another Assembly in each 
prytany is assigned to the hearing of petitions, and at this meeting 



any one is free, on depositing the petitioner's 
olive-branch, to speak 

to the people concerning any matter, public or private. The two 
remaining meetings are devoted to all other subjects, and the laws 
require them to deal with three questions connected with religion, 
three connected with heralds and embassies, and three on secular 
subjects. Sometimes questions are brought forward without a 
preliminary vote of the Assembly to take them into consideration. 

Heralds and envoys appear first before the Prytanes, and 
the bearers 
of dispatches also deliver them to the same officials. 

Part 44 

There is a single President of the Prytanes, elected by lot, who 
presides for a night and a day; he may not hold the office for more 
than that time, nor may the same individual hold it twice. He keeps 
the keys of the sanctuaries in which the treasures and public 
records of the state are preserved, and also the public seal; and he 
is bound to remain in the Tholus, together with one-third of the 
Prytanes, named by himself. Whenever the Prytanes convene a 
meeting of 

the Council or Assembly, he appoints by lot nine Proedri, one from 
each tribe except that which holds the office of Prytanes 
for the time 

being; and out of these nine he similarly appoints one as President, 
and hands over the programme for the meeting to them. They 
take it and 

see to the preservation of order, put forward the various subjects 
which are to be considered, decide the results of the votings, and 
direct the proceedings generally. They also have power to dismiss 
the meeting. No one may act as President more than once in the year, 
but he may be a Proedrus once in each prytany. 

Elections to the offices of General and Hipparch and all other 
military commands are held in the Assembly, in such manner as the 
people decide; they are held after the sixth prytany by the first 
board of Prytanes in whose term of office the omens are favourable. 
There has, however, to be a preliminary consideration by the Council 



in this case also. 
Part 45 

In former times the Council had full powers to inflict fines and 
imprisonment and death; but when it had consigned Lysimachus to the 
executioner, and he was sitting in the immediate expectation 
of death, 

Eumelides of Alopece rescued him from its hands, maintaining that no 
citizen ought to be put to death except on the decision of a court 
of law. Accordingly a trial was held in a law-court, and Lysimachus 
was acquitted, receiving henceforth the nickname of 'the man from 
the drum-head'; and the people deprived the Council thenceforward of 
the power to inflict death or imprisonment or fine, passing 
a law that 

if the Council condemn any person for an offence or inflict a fine, 
the Thesmothetae shall bring the sentence or fine before the 
law-court, and the decision of the jurors shall be the final 
judgement 
in the matter. 

The Council passes judgement on nearly all magistrates, especially 
those who have the control of money; its judgement, however, is not 
final, but is subject to an appeal to the lawcourts. Private 
individuals, also, may lay an information against any magistrate 
they please for not obeying the laws, but here too there is an 
appeal to the law-courts if the Council declare the charge 
proved. The 

Council also examines those who are to be its members for the 
ensuing year, and likewise the nine Archons. Formerly the Council 
had full power to reject candidates for office as unsuitable, but 
now they have an appeal to the law-courts. In all these matters, 
therefore, the Council has no final jurisdiction. It takes, however, 
preliminary cognizance of all matters brought before the 
Assembly, and 

the Assembly cannot vote on any question unless it has first been 
considered by the Council and placed on the programme by the 
Prytanes; 
since a person who carries a motion in the Assembly is liable to an 



action for illegal proposal on these grounds. 

Part 46 

The Council also superintends the triremes that are already in 
existence, with their tackle and sheds, and builds new triremes or 
quadriremes, whichever the Assembly votes, with tackle and sheds to 
match. The Assembly appoints master-builders for the ships by vote; 
and if they do not hand them over completed to the next Council, the 
old Council cannot receive the customary donation-that being 
normally given to it during its successor's term of office. For the 
building of the triremes it appoints ten commissioners, chosen from 
its own members. The Council also inspects all public buildings, and 
if it is of opinion that the state is being defrauded, it reports 
the culprit to the Assembly, and on condemnation hands him 
over to the 
law-courts. 

Part 47 

The Council also co-operates with other magistrates in 
most of their 

duties. First there are the treasurers of Athena, ten in number, 
elected by lot, one from each tribe. According to the law of 
Solon-which is still in force-they must be Pentacosiomedimni, but in 
point of fact the person on whom the lot falls holds the office even 
though he be quite a poor man. These officers take over charge of 
the statue of Athena, the figures of Victory, and all the other 
ornaments of the temple, together with the money, in the presence of 
the Council. Then there are the Commissioners for Public Contracts 
(Poletae), ten in number, one chosen by lot from each tribe, who 
farm out the public contracts. They lease the mines and taxes, in 
conjunction with the Military Treasurer and the Commissioners of the 
Theoric fund, in the presence of the Council, and grant, to the 
persons indicated by the vote of the Council, the mines which are 
let out by the state, including both the workable ones, which are 
let for three years, and those which are let under special 
agreements years. They also sell, in the presence of the Council, 



the property of those who have gone into exile from the court of the 

Areopagus, and of others whose goods have been confiscated, and the 

nine Archons ratify the contracts. They also hand over to the 

Council lists of the taxes which are farmed out for the 

year, entering 

on whitened tablets the name of the lessee and the amount paid. They 

make separate lists, first of those who have to pay their 

instalments in each prytany, on ten several tablets, next of 

those who 

pay thrice in the year, with a separate tablet for each instalment, 

and finally of those who pay in the ninth prytany. They also 

draw up a 

list of farms and dwellings which have been confiscated and sold by 

order of the courts; for these too come within their province. In 

the case of dwellings the value must be paid up in five years, and 

in that of farms, in ten. The instalments are paid in the ninth 

prytany. Further, the King-archon brings before the Council 

the leases 

of the sacred enclosures, written on whitened tablets. These too are 

leased for ten years, and the instalments are paid in the prytany; 

consequently it is in this prytany that the greatest amount of money 

is collected. The tablets containing the lists of the instalments 

are carried into the Council, and the public clerk takes charge of 

them. Whenever a payment of instalments is to be made he takes from 

the pigeon-holes the precise list of the sums which are to 

be paid and 

struck off on that day, and delivers it to the Receivers-General. 

The rest are kept apart, in order that no sum may be struck 

off before 

it is paid. 

Part 48 

There are ten Receivers-General (Apodectae), elected by lot, one 
from each tribe. These officers receive the tablets, and strike off 
the instalments as they are paid, in the presence of the Council in 
the Council-chamber, and give the tablets back to the public 
clerk. If 



any one fails to pay his instalment, a note is made of it on the 
tablet; and he is bound to pay double the amount of the deficiency, 
or, in default, to be imprisoned. The Council has full power by the 
laws to exact these payments and to inflict this imprisonment. They 
receive all the instalments, therefore, on one day, and portion the 
money out among the magistrates; and on the next day they 
bring up the 

report of the apportionment, written on a wooden notice-board, and 
read it out in the Council-chamber, after which they ask publicly in 
the Council whether any one knows of any malpractice in reference to 
the apportionment, on the part of either a magistrate or a private 
individual, and if any one is charged with malpractice they take a 
vote on it. 

The Council also elects ten Auditors (Logistae) by lot from its 
own members, to audit the accounts of the magistrates for each 
prytany. They also elect one Examiner of Accounts (Euthunus) by lot 
from each tribe, with two assessors (Paredri) for each 
examiner, whose 

duty it is to sit at the ordinary market hours, each opposite the 
statue of the eponymous hero of his tribe; and if any one wishes to 
prefer a charge, on either public or private grounds, against any 
magistrate who has passed his audit before the law-courts, within 
three days of his having so passed, he enters on a whitened 
tablet his 

own name and that of the magistrate prosecuted, together with the 
malpractice that is alleged against him. He also appends his 
claim for 

a penalty of such amount as seems to him fitting, and gives in the 
record to the Examiner. The latter takes it, and if after reading it 
he considers it proved he hands it over, if a private case, to the 
local justices who introduce cases for the tribe concerned, while if 
it is a public case he enters it on the register of the 
Thesmothetae. Then, if the Thesmothetae accept it, they bring the 
accounts of this magistrate once more before the law-court, and the 
decision of the jury stands as the final judgement. 

Part 49 



The Council also inspects the horses belonging to the state. If a 
man who has a good horse is found to keep it in bad condition, he is 
mulcted in his allowance of corn; while those which cannot keep up 
or which shy and will not stand steady, it brands with a wheel on 
the jaw, and the horse so marked is disqualified for service. It 
also inspects those who appear to be fit for service as scouts, and 
any one whom it rejects is deprived of his horse. It also 
examines the 

infantry who serve among the cavalry, and any one whom it rejects 
ceases to receive his pay. The roll of the cavalry is drawn up by 
the Commissioners of Enrolment (Catalogeis), ten in number, 
elected by 

the Assembly by open vote. They hand over to the Hipparchs and 
Phylarchs the list of those whom they have enrolled, and these 
officers take it and bring it up before the Council, and there open 
the sealed tablet containing the names of the cavalry. If 
any of those 

who have been on the roll previously make affidavit that they are 
physically incapable of cavalry service, they strike them out; then 
they call up the persons newly enrolled, and if any one makes 
affidavit that he is either physically or pecuniarily incapable of 
cavalry service they dismiss him, but if no such affidavit 
is made the 

Council vote whether the individual in question is suitable for the 
purpose or not. If they vote in the affirmative his name is 
entered on 
the tablet; if not, he is dismissed with the others. 

Formerly the Council used to decide on the plans for public 
buildings and the contract for making the robe of Athena; 
but now this 

work is done by a jury in the law-courts appointed by lot, since the 
Council was considered to have shown favouritism in its 
decisions. The 

Council also shares with the Military Treasurer the 
superintendence of 

the manufacture of the images of Victory and the prizes at the 
Panathenaic festival. 

The Council also examines infirm paupers; for there is a law which 



provides that persons possessing less than three minas, who are so 
crippled as to be unable to do any work, are, after 
examination by the 

Council, to receive two obols a day from the state for their 
support. A treasurer is appointed by lot to attend to them. 
The Council also, speaking broadly, cooperates in most of 
the duties 

of all the other magistrates; and this ends the list of the 
functions of that body. 

Part 50 

There are ten Commissioners for Repairs of Temples, elected by 
lot, who receive a sum of thirty minas from the 
Receivers-General, and 
therewith carry out the most necessary repairs in the temples. 

There are also ten City Commissioners (Astynomi), of whom five 
hold office in Piraeus and five in the city. Their duty is 
to see that 

female flute-and harp-and lute-players are not hired at more than 
two drachmas, and if more than one person is anxious to hire the 
same girl, they cast lots and hire her out to the person to whom the 
lot falls. They also provide that no collector of sewage shall shoot 
any of his sewage within ten stradia of the walls; they 
prevent people 

from blocking up the streets by building, or stretching barriers 
across them, or making drain-pipes in mid-air with a discharge into 
the street, or having doors which open outwards; they also remove 
the corpses of those who die in the streets, for which purpose they 
have a body of state slaves assigned to them. 

Part 51 

Market Commissioners (Agoranomi) are elected by lot, five for 
Piraeus, five for the city. Their statutory duty is to see that all 
articles offered for sale in the market are pure and unadulterated. 

Commissioners of Weights and Measures (Metronomi) are elected by 
lot, five for the city, and five for Piraeus. They see that sellers 



use fair weights and measures. 

Formerly there were ten Corn Commissioners (Sitophylaces), elected 
by lot, five for Piraeus, and five for the city; but now there are 
twenty for the city and fifteen for Piraeus. Their duties are, 
first, to see that the unprepared corn in the market is offered for 
sale at reasonable prices, and secondly, to see that the millers 
sell barley meal at a price proportionate to that of barley, and 
that the bakers sell their loaves at a price proportionate to that 
of wheat, and of such weight as the Commissioners may 
appoint; for the 
law requires them to fix the standard weight. 

There are ten Superintendents of the Mart, elected by lot, whose 
duty is to superintend the Mart, and to compel merchants to bring up 
into the city two-thirds of the corn which is brought by sea to the 
Corn Mart. 

Part 52 

The Eleven also are appointed by lot to take care of the prisoners 
in the state gaol. Thieves, kidnappers, and pickpockets are 
brought to 

them, and if they plead guilty they are executed, but if 
they deny the 

charge the Eleven bring the case before the law-courts; if the 
prisoners are acquitted, they release them, but if not, they then 
execute them. They also bring up before the law-courts the list of 
farms and houses claimed as state-property; and if it is decided 
that they are so, they deliver them to the Commissioners for Public 
Contracts. The Eleven also bring up informations laid against 
magistrates alleged to be disqualified; this function comes within 
their province, but some such cases are brought up by the 
Thesmothetae. 

There are also five Introducers of Cases (Eisagogeis), elected by 
lot, one for each pair of tribes, who bring up the 'monthly' cases 
to the law-courts. 'Monthly' cases are these: refusal to pay up a 
dowry where a party is bound to do so, refusal to pay interest on 
money borrowed at 12 per cent., or where a man desirous of setting 
up business in the market has borrowed from another man capital to 



start with; also cases of slander, cases arising out of 

friendly loans 

or partnerships, and cases concerned with slaves, cattle, and the 

office of trierarch, or with banks. These are brought up as 

'monthly' cases and are introduced by these officers; but the 

Receivers-General perform the same function in cases for or against 

the farmers of taxes. Those in which the sum concerned is not more 

than ten drachmas they can decide summarily, but all above 

that amount 

they bring into the law-courts as 'monthly' cases. 

Part 53 

The Forty are also elected by lot, four from each tribe, 
before whom 

suitors bring all other cases. Formerly they were thirty in number, 
and they went on circuit through the demes to hear causes; but after 
the oligarchy of the Thirty they were increased to forty. They have 
full powers to decide cases in which the amount at issue does not 
exceed ten drachmas, but anything beyond that value they hand over 
to the Arbitrators. The Arbitrators take up the case, and, if they 
cannot bring the parties to an agreement, they give a decision. If 
their decision satisfies both parties, and they abide by it, the 
case is at an end; but if either of the parties appeals to the 
law-courts, the Arbitrators enclose the evidence, the pleadings, and 
the laws quoted in the case in two urns, those of the 
plaintiff in the 

one, and those of the defendant in the other. These they seal up 
and, having attached to them the decision of the arbitrator, written 
out on a tablet, place them in the custody of the four justices 
whose function it is to introduce cases on behalf of the tribe of 
the defendant. These officers take them and bring up the case before 
the law-court, to a jury of two hundred and one members in 
cases up to 

the value of a thousand drachmas, or to one of four hundred 
and one in 

cases above that value. No laws or pleadings or evidence may be used 
except those which were adduced before the Arbitrator, and have been 



enclosed in the urns. 

The Arbitrators are persons in the sixtieth year of their age; 
this appears from the schedule of the Archons and the Eponymi. There 
are two classes of Eponymi, the ten who give their names to the 
tribes, and the forty-two of the years of service. The youths, on 
being enrolled among the citizens, were formerly registered upon 
whitened tablets, and the names were appended of the Archon in whose 
year they were enrolled, and of the Eponymus who had been in 
course in 

the preceding year; at the present day they are written on a bronze 
pillar, which stands in front of the Council-chamber, near 
the Eponymi 

of the tribes. Then the Forty take the last of the Eponymi of the 
years of service, and assign the arbitrations to the persons 
belonging 

to that year, casting lots to determine which arbitrations each 
shall undertake; and every one is compelled to carry through the 
arbitrations which the lot assigns to him. The law enacts 
that any one 

who does not serve as Arbitrator when he has arrived at the 
necessary age shall lose his civil rights, unless he happens to be 
holding some other office during that year, or to be out of the 
country. These are the only persons who escape the duty. Any one who 
suffers injustice at the hands of the Arbitrator may appeal to the 
whole board of Arbitrators, and if they find the magistrate guilty, 
the law enacts that he shall lose his civil rights. The persons thus 
condemned have, however, in their turn an appeal. The 
Eponymi are also 

used in reference to military expeditions; when the men of military 
age are despatched on service, a notice is put up stating 
that the men 

from such-and such an Archon and Eponymus to such-and such another 
Archon and Eponymus are to go on the expedition. 

Part 54 

The following magistrates also are elected by lot: Five 
Commissioners of Roads (Hodopoei), who, with an assigned body of 



public slaves, are required to keep the roads in order: and ten 
Auditors, with ten assistants, to whom all persons who have held any 
office must give in their accounts. These are the only officers who 
audit the accounts of those who are subject to examination, and who 
bring them up for examination before the law-courts. If they detect 
any magistrate in embezzlement, the jury condemn him for 
theft, and he 

is obliged to repay tenfold the sum he is declared to have 
misappropriated. If they charge a magistrate with accepting 
bribes and 

the jury convict him, they fine him for corruption, and this sum too 
is repaid tenfold. Or if they convict him of unfair dealing, he is 
fined on that charge, and the sum assessed is paid without increase, 
if payment is made before the ninth prytany, but otherwise it is 
doubled. A tenfold fine is not doubled. 

The Clerk of the prytany, as he is called, is also elected by lot. 
He has the charge of all public documents, and keeps the resolutions 
which are passed by the Assembly, and checks the transcripts of all 
other official papers and attends at the sessions of the Council. 
Formerly he was elected by open vote, and the most distinguished and 
trustworthy persons were elected to the post, as is known from the 
fact that the name of this officer is appended on the pillars 
recording treaties of alliance and grants of consulship and 
citizenship. Now, however, he is elected by lot. There is, in 
addition, a Clerk of the Laws, elected by lot, who attends at the 
sessions of the Council; and he too checks the transcript of all the 
laws. The Assembly also elects by open vote a clerk to read 
documents to it and to the Council; but he has no other duty except 
that of reading aloud. 

The Assembly also elects by lot the Commissioners of Public 
Worship (Hieropoei) known as the Commissioners for Sacrifices, who 
offer the sacrifices appointed by oracle, and, in 
conjunction with the 

seers, take the auspices whenever there is occasion. It also 
elects by 

lot ten others, known as Annual Commissioners, who offer certain 
sacrifices and administer all the quadrennial festivals except the 
Panathenaea. There are the following quadrennial festivals: 



first that 

of Delos (where there is also a sexennial festival), secondly the 
Brauronia, thirdly the Heracleia, fourthly the Eleusinia, and 
fifthly the Panathenaea; and no two of these are celebrated in the 
same place. To these the Hephaestia has now been added, in the 
archonship of Cephisophon. 

An Archon is also elected by lot for Salamis, and a Demarch for 
Piraeus. These officers celebrate the Dionysia in these two places, 
and appoint Choregi. In Salamis, moreover, the name of the Archon is 
publicly recorded. 

Part 55 

All the foregoing magistrates are elected by lot, and their powers 
are those which have been stated. To pass on to the nine Archons, as 
they are called, the manner of their appointment from the earliest 
times has been described already. At the present day six 
Thesmothetae are elected by lot, together with their clerk, and in 
addition to these an Archon, a King, and a Polemarch. One is elected 
from each tribe. They are examined first of all by the 
Council of Five 

Hundred, with the exception of the clerk. The latter is examined 
only in the lawcourt, like other magistrates (for all magistrates, 
whether elected by lot or by open vote, are examined before entering 
on their offices); but the nine Archons are examined both in the 
Council and again in the law-court. Formerly no one could hold the 
office if the Council rejected him, but now there is an appeal to 
the law-court, which is the final authority in the matter of the 
examination. When they are examined, they are asked, first, 'Who is 
your father, and of what deme? who is your father's father? who is 
your mother? who is your mother's father, and of what deme?' Then 
the candidate is asked whether he possesses an ancestral Apollo and 
a household Zeus, and where their sanctuaries are; next if he 
possesses a family tomb, and where; then if he treats his parents 
well, and pays his taxes, and has served on the required military 
expeditions. When the examiner has put these questions, he proceeds, 
'Call the witnesses to these facts'; and when the candidate has 
produced his witnesses, he next asks, 'Does any one wish to make any 



accusation against this man?' If an accuser appears, he gives the 
parties an opportunity of making their accusation and defence, and 
then puts it to the Council to pass the candidate or not, and to the 
law-court to give the final vote. If no one wishes to make an 
accusation, he proceeds at once to the vote. Formerly a single 
individual gave the vote, but now all the members are obliged to 
vote on the candidates, so that if any unprincipled candidate has 
managed to get rid of his accusers, it may still be possible for him 
to be disqualified before the law-court. When the 
examination has been 

thus completed, they proceed to the stone on which are the pieces of 
the victims, and on which the Arbitrators take oath before declaring 
their decisions, and witnesses swear to their testimony. On 
this stone 

the Archons stand, and swear to execute their office uprightly and 
according to the laws, and not to receive presents in respect of the 
performance of their duties, or, if they do, to dedicate a golden 
statue. When they have taken this oath they proceed to the 
Acropolis, and there they repeat it; after this they enter upon 
their office. 

Part 56 

The Archon, the King, and the Polemarch have each two assessors, 
nominated by themselves. These officers are examined in the lawcourt 
before they begin to act, and give in accounts on each occasion of 
their acting. 

As soon as the Archon enters office, he begins by issuing a 
proclamation that whatever any one possessed before he entered into 
office, that he shall possess and hold until the end of his 
term. Next 

he assigns Choregi to the tragic poets, choosing three of the 
richest persons out of the whole body of Athenians. Formerly he used 
also to assign five Choregi to the comic poets, but now the tribes 
provide the Choregi for them. Then he receives the Choregi who have 
been appointed by the tribes for the men's and boys' choruses and 
the comic poets at the Dionysia, and for the men's and boys' 
choruses at the Thargelia (at the Dionysia there is a chorus for 



each tribe, but at the Thargelia one between two tribes, each tribe 

bearing its share in providing it); he transacts the exchanges of 

properties for them, and reports any excuses that are 

tendered, if any 

one says that he has already borne this burden, or that he is exempt 

because he has borne a similar burden and the period of his 

exemption has not yet expired, or that he is not of the required 

age; since the Choregus of a boys' chorus must be over forty years 

of age. He also appoints Choregi for the festival at Delos, and a 

chief of the mission for the thirty-oar boat which conveys the 

youths thither. He also superintends sacred processions, both that 

in honour of Asclepius, when the initiated keep house, and 

that of the 

great Dionysia-the latter in conjunction with the Superintendents of 

that festival. These officers, ten in number, were formerly 

elected by 

open vote in the Assembly, and used to provide for the 

expenses of the 

procession out of their private means; but now one is elected by lot 

from each tribe, and the state contributes a hundred minas for the 

expenses. The Archon also superintends the procession at the 

Thargelia, and that in honour of Zeus the Saviour. He also 

manages the 

contests at the Dionysia and the Thargelia. 

These, then, are the festivals which he superintends. The suits 
and indictments which come before him, and which he, after a 
preliminary inquiry, brings up before the lawcourts, are as follows. 
Injury to parents (for bringing these actions the prosecutor cannot 
suffer any penalty); injury to orphans (these actions lie against 
their guardians); injury to a ward of state (these lie against their 
guardians or their husbands), injury to an orphan's estate (these 
too lie against the guardians); mental derangement, where a party 
charges another with destroying his own property through unsoundness 
of mind; for appointment of liquidators, where a party refuses to 
divide property in which others have a share; for constituting a 
wardship; for determining between rival claims to a wardship; for 
granting inspection of property to which another party lays 
claim; for 



appointing oneself as guardian; and for determining disputes as to 
inheritances and wards of state. The Archon also has the care of 
orphans and wards of state, and of women who, on the death of their 
husbands, declare themselves to be with child; and he has power to 
inflict a fine on those who offend against the persons under his 
charge, or to bring the case before the law-courts. He also 
leases the 

houses of orphans and wards of state until they reach the age of 
fourteen, and takes mortgages on them; and if the guardians fail to 
provide the necessary food for the children under their charge, he 
exacts it from them. Such are the duties of the Archon. 

Part 57 

The King in the first place superintends the mysteries, in 
conjunction with the Superintendents of Mysteries. The latter are 
elected in the Assembly by open vote, two from the general body of 
Athenians, one from the Eumolpidae, and one from the 
Ceryces. Next, he 

superintends the Lenaean Dionysia, which consists of a procession 
and a contest. The procession is ordered by the King and the 
Superintendents in conjunction; but the contest is managed 
by the King 

alone. He also manages all the contests of the torch-race; and to 
speak broadly, he administers all the ancestral sacrifices. 
Indictments for impiety come before him, or any disputes between 
parties concerning priestly rites; and he also determines all 
controversies concerning sacred rites for the ancient 
families and the 

priests. All actions for homicide come before him, and it is he that 
makes the proclamation requiring polluted persons to keep away from 
sacred ceremonies. Actions for homicide and wounding are 
heard, if the 

homicide or wounding be willful, in the Areopagus; so also 
in cases of 

killing by poison, and of arson. These are the only cases heard by 
that Council. Cases of unintentional homicide, or of intent to kill, 
or of killing a slave or a resident alien or a foreigner, 



are heard by 

the court of Palladium. When the homicide is acknowledged, but legal 

justification is pleaded, as when a man takes an adulterer 

in the act, 

or kills another by mistake in battle, or in an athletic contest, 

the prisoner is tried in the court of Delphinium. If a man who is in 

banishment for a homicide which admits of reconcilliation incurs a 

further charge of killing or wounding, he is tried in 

Phreatto, and he 

makes his defence from a boat moored near the shore. All these 

cases, except those which are heard in the Areopagus, are 

tried by the 

Ephetae on whom the lot falls. The King introduces them, and the 

hearing is held within sacred precincts and in the open air. 

Whenever the King hears a case he takes off his crown. The person 

who is charged with homicide is at all other times excluded from the 

temples, nor is it even lawful for him to enter the market-place; 

but on the occasion of his trial he enters the temple and makes his 

defence. If the actual offender is unknown, the writ runs 

against 'the 

doer of the deed'. The King and the tribe-kings also hear 

the cases in 

which the guilt rests on inanimate objects and the lower animal. 

Part 58 

The Polemarch performs the sacrifices to Artemis the 
huntress and to 

Enyalius, and arranges the contest at the funeral of those who have 
fallen in war, and makes offerings to the memory of Harmodius and 
Aristogeiton. Only private actions come before him, namely those in 
which resident aliens, both ordinary and privileged, and agents of 
foreign states are concerned. It is his duty to receive these cases 
and divide them into ten groups, and assign to each tribe the group 
which comes to it by lot; after which the magistrates who introduce 
cases for the tribe hand them over to the Arbitrators. The 
Polemarch, however, brings up in person cases in which an alien is 
charged with deserting his patron or neglecting to provide himself 
with one, and also of inheritances and wards of state where 



aliens are 

concerned; and in fact, generally, whatever the Archon does for 

citizens, the Polemarch does for aliens. 

Part 59 

The Thesmothetae in the first place have the power of 
prescribing on 

what days the lawcourts are to sit, and next of assigning them to 
the several magistrates; for the latter must follow the arrangement 
which the Thesmothetae assign. Moreover they introduce impeachments 
before the Assembly, and bring up all votes for removal from office, 
challenges of a magistrate's conduct before the Assembly, 
indictments for illegal proposals, or for proposing a law which is 
contrary to the interests of the state, complaints against Proedri 
or their president for their conduct in office, and the accounts 
presented by the generals. All indictments also come before them in 
which a deposit has to be made by the prosecutor, namely, 
indictments for concealment of foreign origin, for corrupt evasion 
of foreign origin (when a man escapes the disqualification by 
bribery), for blackmailing accusations, bribery, false entry of 
another as a state debtor, false testimony to the service of a 
summons, conspiracy to enter a man as a state debtor, corrupt 
removal from the list of debtors, and adultery. They also 
bring up the 

examinations of all magistrates, and the rejections by the demes and 
the condemnations by the Council. Moreover they bring up certain 
private suits in cases of merchandise and mines, or where a slave 
has slandered a free man. It is they also who cast lots to assign 
the courts to the various magistrates, whether for private or public 
cases. They ratify commercial treaties, and bring up the cases which 
arise out of such treaties; and they also bring up cases of perjury 
from the Areopagus. The casting of lots for the jurors is 
conducted by 

all the nine Archons, with the clerk to the Thesmothetae as 
the tenth, 

each performing the duty for his own tribe. Such are the 
duties of the 



nine Archons. 

Part 60 

There are also ten Commissioners of Games (Athlothetae), elected 
by lot, one from each tribe. These officers, after passing an 
examination, serve for four years; and they manage the Panathenaic 
procession, the contest in music and that in gymnastic, and the 
horse-race; they also provide the robe of Athena and, in conjunction 
with the Council, the vases, and they present the oil to the 
athletes. 

This oil is collected from the sacred olives. The Archon 
requisitions it from the owners of the farms on which the sacred 
olives grow, at the rate of three-quarters of a pint from each 
plant. Formerly the state used to sell the fruit itself, and if any 
one dug up or broke down one of the sacred olives, he was 
tried by the 

Council of Areopagus, and if he was condemned, the penalty was 
death. Since, however, the oil has been paid by the owner of 
the farm, 

the procedure has lapsed, though the law remains; and the oil is a 
state charge upon the property instead of being taken from the 
individual plants. When, then, the Archon has collected the oil for 
his year of office, he hands it over to the Treasurers to preserve 
in the Acropolis, and he may not take his seat in the Areopagus 
until he has paid over to the Treasurers the full amount. The 
Treasurers keep it in the Acropolis until the Panathenaea, when they 
measure it out to the Commissioners of Games, and they again to the 
victorious competitors. The prizes for the victors in the musical 
contest consist of silver and gold, for the victors in manly vigour, 
of shields, and for the victors in the gymnastic contest and the 
horse-race, of oil. 

Part 61 

All officers connected with military service are elected by open 
vote. In the first place, ten Generals (Strategi), who were formerly 
elected one from each tribe, but now are chosen from the 



whole mass of 

citizens. Their duties are assigned to them by open vote; one is 

appointed to command the heavy infantry, and leads them if 

they go out 

to war; one to the defence of the country, who remains on the 

defensive, and fights if there is war within the borders of the 

country; two to Piraeus, one of whom is assigned to Munichia, and 

one to the south shore, and these have charge of the defence of the 

Piraeus; and one to superintend the symmories, who nominates the 

trierarchs arranges exchanges of properties for them, and brings up 

actions to decide on rival claims in connexion with them. 

The rest are 

dispatched to whatever business may be on hand at the moment. The 

appointment of these officers is submitted for confirmation in each 

prytany, when the question is put whether they are considered to be 

doing their duty. If any officer is rejected on this vote, 

he is tried 

in the lawcourt, and if he is found guilty the people decide what 

punishment or fine shall be inflicted on him; but if he is acquitted 

he resumes his office. The Generals have full power, when on active 

service, to arrest any one for insubordination, or to cashier him 

publicly, or to inflict a fine; the latter is, however, unusual. 

There are also ten Taxiarchs, one from each tribe, elected by open 
vote; and each commands his own tribesmen and appoints captains of 
companies (Lochagi). There are also two Hipparchs, elected by open 
vote from the whole mass of the citizens, who command the cavalry, 
each taking five tribes. They have the same powers as the Generals 
have in respect of the infantry, and their appointments are also 
subject to confirmation. There are also ten Phylarchs, 
elected by open 

vote, one from each tribe, to command the cavalry, as the 
Taxiarchs do 

the infantry. There is also a Hipparch for Lemnos, elected by open 
vote, who has charge of the cavalry in Lemnos. There is also a 
treasurer of the Paralus, and another of the Ammonias, similarly 
elected. 

Part 62 



Of the magistrates elected by lot, in former times some including 
the nine Archons, were elected out of the tribe as a whole, while 
others, namely those who are now elected in the Theseum, were 
apportioned among the demes; but since the demes used to sell the 
elections, these magistrates too are now elected from the 
whole tribe, 

except the members of the Council and the guards of the 
dockyards, who 
are still left to the demes. 

Pay is received for the following services. First the 
members of the 

Assembly receive a drachma for the ordinary meetings, and nine obols 
for the 'sovereign' meeting. Then the jurors at the 
law-courts receive 

three obols; and the members of the Council five obols. They 
Prytanes receive an allowance of an obol for their maintenance. The 
nine Archons receive four obols apiece for maintenance, and also 
keep a herald and a flute-player; and the Archon for Salamis 
receives a drachma a day. The Commissioners for Games dine in the 
Prytaneum during the month of Hecatombaeon in which the Panathenaic 
festival takes place, from the fourteenth day onwards. The 
Amphictyonic deputies to Delos receive a drachma a day from the 
exchequer of Delos. Also all magistrates sent to Samos, Scyros, 
Lemnos, or Imbros receive an allowance for their maintenance. The 
military offices may be held any number of times, but none of the 
others more than once, except the membership of the Council, 
which may 
be held twice. 

Part 63 

The juries for the law-courts are chosen by lot by the 
nine Archons, 

each for their own tribe, and by the clerk to the 
Thesmothetae for the 

tenth. There are ten entrances into the courts, one for each tribe; 
twenty rooms in which the lots are drawn, two for each tribe; a 



hundred chests, ten for each tribe; other chests, in which are 

placed the tickets of the jurors on whom the lot falls; and 

two vases. 

Further, staves, equal in number to the jurors required, are 

placed by 

the side of each entrance; and counters are put into one vase, equal 

in number to the staves. These are inscribed with letters of the 

alphabet beginning with the eleventh (lambda), equal in number to 

the courts which require to be filled. All persons above thirty 

years of age are qualified to serve as jurors, provided they are not 

debtors to the state and have not lost their civil rights. If any 

unqualified person serves as juror, an information is laid against 

him, and he is brought before the court; and, if he is convicted, 

the jurors assess the punishment or fine which they consider him to 

deserve. If he is condemned to a money fine, he must be imprisoned 

until he has paid up both the original debt, on account of which the 

information was laid against him, and also the fine which 

the court as 

imposed upon him. Each juror has his ticket of boxwood, on which is 

inscribed his name, with the name of his father and his deme, and 

one of the letters of the alphabet up to kappa; for the jurors in 

their several tribes are divided into ten sections, with 

approximately 

an equal number in each letter. When the Thesmothetes has decided by 

lot which letters are required to attend at the courts, the servant 

puts up above each court the letter which has been assigned to it by 

the lot. 

Part 64 

The ten chests above mentioned are placed in front of the entrance 
used by each tribe, and are inscribed with the letters of 
the alphabet 

from alpha to kappa. The jurors cast in their tickets, each into the 
chest on which is inscribed the letter which is on his ticket; then 
the servant shakes them all up, and the Archon draws one ticket from 
each chest. The individual so selected is called the Ticket-hanger 
(Empectes), and his function is to hang up the tickets out of his 



chest on the bar which bears the same letter as that on the chest. 

He is chosen by lot, lest, if the Ticket-hanger were always the same 

person, he might tamper with the results. There are five of 

these bars 

in each of the rooms assigned for the lot-drawing. Then the Archon 

casts in the dice and thereby chooses the jurors from each 

tribe, room 

by room. The dice are made of brass, coloured black or white; and 

according to the number of jurors required, so many white 

dice are put 

in, one for each five tickets, while the remainder are black, in the 

same proportion. As the Archon draws out the dice, the crier 

calls out 

the names of the individuals chosen. The Ticket-hanger is included 

among those selected. Each juror, as he is chosen and answers to his 

name, draws a counter from the vase, and holding it out with the 

letter uppermost shows it first to the presiding Archon; and he, 

when he has seen it, throws the ticket of the juror into the chest 

on which is inscribed the letter which is on the counter, so that 

the juror must go into the court assigned to him by lot, and not 

into one chosen by himself, and that it may be impossible for any 

one to collect the jurors of his choice into any particular 

court. For 

this purpose chests are placed near the Archon, as many in number as 

there are courts to be filled that day, bearing the letters of the 

courts on which the lot has fallen. 

Part 65 

The juror thereupon, after showing his counter again to the 
attendant, passes through the barrier into the court. The attendant 
gives him a staff of the same colour as the court bearing the letter 
which is on his counter, so as to ensure his going into the court 
assigned to him by lot; since, if he were to go into any other, he 
would be betrayed by the colour of his staff. Each court has 
a certain 

colour painted on the lintel of the entrance. Accordingly the juror, 
bearing his staff, enters the court which has the same colour as his 



staff, and the same letter as his counter. As he enters, he 
receives a 

voucher from the official to whom this duty has been assigned by 
lot. So with their counters and their staves the selected jurors 
take their seats in the court, having thus completed the process of 
admission. The unsuccessful candidates receive back their 
tickets from 

the Ticket-hangers. The public servants carry the chests from each 
tribe, one to each court, containing the names of the members of the 
tribe who are in that court, and hand them over to the officials 
assigned to the duty of giving back their tickets to the jurors in 
each court, so that these officials may call them up by name and pay 
them their fee. 

Part 66 

When all the courts are full, two ballot boxes are placed in the 
first court, and a number of brazen dice, bearing the colours of the 
several courts, and other dice inscribed with the names of the 
presiding magistrates. Then two of the Thesmothetae, selected by 
lot, severally throw the dice with the colours into one box, 
and those 

with the magistrates' names into the other. The magistrate whose 
name is first drawn is thereupon proclaimed by the crier as assigned 
for duty in the court which is first drawn, and the second in the 
second, and similarly with the rest. The object of this procedure is 
that no one may know which court he will have, but that each may 
take the court assigned to him by lot. 

When the jurors have come in, and have been assigned to their 
respective courts, the presiding magistrate in each court draws one 
ticket out of each chest (making ten in all, one out of each tribe), 
and throws them into another empty chest. He then draws out five of 
them, and assigns one to the superintendence of the water-clock, and 
the other four to the telling of the votes. This is to prevent any 
tampering beforehand with either the superintendent of the clock or 
the tellers of the votes, and to secure that there is no malpractice 
in these respects. The five who have not been selected for these 
duties receive from them a statement of the order in which the 



jurors shall receive their fees, and of the places where the several 
tribes shall respectively gather in the court for this purpose when 
their duties are completed; the object being that the jurors may be 
broken up into small groups for the reception of their pay, and not 
all crowd together and impede one another. 

Part 67 

These preliminaries being concluded, the cases are called on. If 
it is a day for private cases, the private litigants are called. 
Four cases are taken in each of the categories defined in 
the law, and 

the litigants swear to confine their speeches to the point at issue. 
If it is a day for public causes, the public litigants are 
called, and 

only one case is tried. Water-clocks are provided, having small 
supply-tubes, into which the water is poured by which the length of 
the pleadings is regulated. Ten gallons are allowed for a case in 
which an amount of more than five thousand drachmas is involved, and 
three for the second speech on each side. When the amount is between 
one and five thousand drachmas, seven gallons are allowed for the 
first speech and two for the second; when it is less than one 
thousand, five and two. Six gallons are allowed for arbitrations 
between rival claimants, in which there is no second speech. The 
official chosen by lot to superintend the water-clock places his 
hand on the supply tube whenever the clerk is about to read a 
resolution or law or affidavit or treaty. When, however, a case is 
conducted according to a set measurement of the day, he does not 
stop the supply, but each party receives an equal allowance of 
water. The standard of measurement is the length of the days in the 
month Poseideon.... The measured day is employed in cases when 
imprisonment, death, exile, loss of civil rights, or confiscation of 
goods is assigned as the penalty. 

Part 68 

Most of the courts consist of 500 members...; and when it is 
necessary to bring public cases before a jury of 1,000 members, two 



courts combine for the purpose, the most important cases of all are 
brought 1,500 jurors, or three courts. The ballot balls are made of 
brass with stems running through the centre, half of them having the 
stem pierced and the other half solid. When the speeches are 
concluded, the officials assigned to the taking of the votes 
give each 

juror two ballot balls, one pierced and one solid. This is done in 
full view of the rival litigants, to secure that no one shall 
receive two pierced or two solid balls. Then the official designated 
for the purpose takes away the jurors staves, in return for 
which each 

one as he records his vote receives a brass voucher market with the 
numeral 3 (because he gets three obols when he gives it up). This is 
to ensure that all shall vote; since no one can get a voucher unless 
he votes. Two urns, one of brass and the other of wood, stand in the 
court, in distinct spots so that no one may surreptitiously insert 
ballot balls; in these the jurors record their votes. The brazen urn 
is for effective votes, the wooden for unused votes; and the brazen 
urn has a lid pierced so as to take only one ballot ball, in order 
that no one may put in two at a time. 

When the jurors are about to vote, the crier demands first whether 
the litigants enter a protest against any of the evidence; for no 
protest can be received after the voting has begun. Then he 
proclaims again, 'The pierced ballot for the plaintiff, the solid 
for the defendant'; and the juror, taking his two ballot balls from 
the stand, with his hand closed over the stem so as not to 
show either 

the pierced or the solid ballot to the litigants, casts the one 
which is to count into the brazen urn, and the other into the wooden 
urn. 

Part 69 

When all the jurors have voted, the attendants take the urn 
containing the effective votes and discharge them on to a reckoning 
board having as many cavities as there are ballot balls, so that the 
effective votes, whether pierced or solid, may be plainly displayed 
and easily counted. Then the officials assigned to the taking of the 



votes tell them off on the board, the solid in one place and the 
pierced in another, and the crier announces the numbers of the 
votes, the pierced ballots being for the prosecutor and the solid 
for the defendant. Whichever has the majority is victorious; but if 
the votes are equal the verdict is for the defendant. Each juror 
receives two ballots, and uses one to record his vote, and throws 
the other away. 
Then, if damages have to be awarded, they vote again in the same 
way, first returning their pay-vouchers and receiving back their 
staves. Half a gallon of water is allowed to each party for the 
discussion of the damages. Finally, when all has been completed in 
accordance with the law, the jurors receive their pay in the order 
assigned by the lot. 

THE END