Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XXII.: The times immediately following; ostracism; building of a hundred triremes. - Constitution of Athens
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CHAP. XXII.: The times immediately following; ostracism; building of a hundred triremes. - Aristotle, Constitution of Athens [320 BC]
Aristotle’s Constitution of Athens, trans. Thomas J. Dymes (London: Seeley and Co., 1891).
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The times immediately following; ostracism; building of a hundred triremes.
In consequence of these changes the constitution became much more popular than that of Solon; for it had come to pass that under the tyranny the laws of Solon had become a dead letter from disuse, and that Kleisthenes had made the others to win over the masses, among which was passed the law about ostracism. First then in the fifth year after this settlement, in the archonship of Hermoukreon they drew up for the Council of the five hundred the oath by which they swear even to this day; then they chose the generals by tribes, from each tribe one, and the polemarch was the commander-in-chief. In the twelfth year after this, when they had been victorious at Marathon, in the archonship of Phænippus, and two years had elapsed since the victory, and the people had now grown bold, then it was that for the first time they put in force the law about ostracism. Now this law had been passed by reason of their suspicion of those in power, because Peisistratus had established himself as tyrant when he was a leader of the people and a general. The very first man to be ostracised was one of his relations, Hipparchus, the son of Charmus of Kolyttus, on whose account especially it was that Kleisthenes, wishing to get him banished, passed the law. For the Athenians allowed all the friends of the tyrants, who had not taken any part in wrong-doing during the troubles, to live in the city, thus displaying the wonted clemency of the popular government. Of these Hipparchus was the leader and representative. At the beginning of the following year, in the archonship of Telesinus, they appointed by lot the nine archons according to tribes from the five hundred, who had been selected by the members of demes immediately after the tyranny (for formerly they had been all elected). And Megakles, the son of Hippocrates of Alopeke, was ostracised. For three years then they kept ostracising the friends of the tyrants, and after this in the fourth year they removed anyone else besides who appeared to be too powerful. The first to be ostracised of those who were not connected with the tyranny was Xanthippus, the son of Ariphron. And in the third year after this, during the archonship of Nicodemus, when the mines at Maronea were discovered, and the state acquired a hundred talents from working them, some counselled the people to divide the money among themselves. But Themistokles would not allow it, declaring that he would not use the money, and urged them to advance it on loan to the hundred richest men among the Athenians, to each a talent, and then recommended, if it met their approval, that it should be expended in the service of the state, and if not, that they should get in the money from those who had borrowed it. Getting the money in this way, he had a hundred triremes built, each of the hundred talents building one; and it was with these ships that they fought at Salamis against the barbarians. In these times Aristides, the son of Lysimachus, was ostracised. And in the fourth year, in the archonship of Hypsichides, they received back all who had been ostracised, in consequence of Xerxes’ expedition. And for the future they made Geræstus and Scyllæum the prescribed limits within which ostracised persons were free to live, and in default they were to lose their political rights for ever.