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The Athenian Constitution

                                     350 BC
                           THE ATHENIAN CONSTITUTION
                                  by Aristotle
                      translated by Sir Frederic G. Kenyon

  ...[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.


  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


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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 jurycourts; 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


  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.


  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.


  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
  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
  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,
  O mighty mother of the Olympian gods,
  Dark Earth, thou best canst witness, from whose breast
  I 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.


  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.


  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 Comeas, 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.


  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.


  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.'


  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


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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


  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


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.

  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.

  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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
  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.

  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.


  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.


  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.


  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


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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.


  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


  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


This text is part of the Internet Ancient History Sourcebook. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to ancient history. Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright. Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

Paul Halsall, February 2023

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© Site Concept and Design: Paul Halsall, created 26 Jan 1996: latest revision 31 May 2024 [CV]