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EXPLANATION OF TERMS FOR THE ENGLISH READER. - Aristotle, Constitution of Athens [320 BC]
Aristotle’s Constitution of Athens, trans. Thomas J. Dymes (London: Seeley and Co., 1891).
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EXPLANATION OF TERMS FOR THE ENGLISH READER.
Officers, or offices of state, magistrates, magistracies = ἀρχαί (archae), particularly the chief executive offices of government. I do not often use ‘magistrate’ or ‘magistracy,’ on account of the limited meaning it has got to have in English. Aristotle commonly uses ‘office’ instead of ‘officer.’ Archon (ἄρχων), as will be seen early in the book, is the special designation of the highest officers of state, of whom the senior (Eponymus) gave his name to the year, like the Roman consuls, e.g., ‘in the archonship of Eukleides.’
People, popular party or side = δῆμος (demus) implying the possession of political rights, as will often be clear from the context, even when no specific exercise of such rights is referred to.
The masses = ο[Editor: illegible character] πολλο[Editor: illegible character] (hoi polloi, ‘the many’) and τὸ πλῆθος (to plethos, ‘the multitude’), including ‘the people,’ or ‘popular party,’ and such as are not, or at least may not be, in possession of political rights; a more general term than ‘the people,’ for which, however, in the original it is sometimes used indifferently.
The Council = Βουλή (Boulé), the great council or deliberative assembly of the state, corresponding roughly to the Roman Senate. Its powers and duties are described chap. xlv. foll.
Assembly = Ἐχχλησἱα (ekklesia), the great legislative assembly of the people (or citizens), described chap. xliii. foll.; its Presidents = πρυτάνεις (prytanes); presidency, their office and its tenure, chap. xliii.
Chairmen = πρὀεδροι (proedri), chosen by the ‘presidents’ out of their own number, chap. xliv.
Juror = διχαστής (dikast); not a real equivalent, as the dikasts acted as judges as well as jurors, and sat in very much larger bodies than our juries.
Tyrant, tyranny = τὐραννος (a lord), τυραννίς: a ‘tyrant’ in Greek political language means one who has unconstitutionally usurped power in a free state, like Peisistratus. It does not, as with us, imply the abuse of such power; indeed, Peisistratus’ rule was often spoken of as ‘the Golden Age.’ Chap. xvi.
Talent = τἀλα[Editor: illegible character]τον, about £250 (with a purchasing power sufficient to build a trireme, chap. xxii.); divided into 60 minae, each mina containing 100 drachmae, a drachma being worth about a franc, and containing six obols.