CHAP. XXVII.: Perikles. - Aristotle, Constitution of Athens [320 BC]
Aristotle’s Constitution of Athens, trans. Thomas J. Dymes (London: Seeley and Co., 1891).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
- Explanation of Terms For the English Reader.
- The Constitution of Athens.
- Chap. I.: Kylon.
- Chap. II.: The Oligarchical Constitution.
- Chap. III.: Before Draco’s Time.
- Chap. IV.: Draco’s Laws.
- Chap. V.: Civil Dissensions; Solon.
- Chap. VI.: Solon; Charge Against Him.
- Chap. VII.: His Constitution.
- Chap. VIII.: Solon’s Constitution.
- Chap. IX.: How Solon Gave Power to the People.
- Chap. X.: Reforms the Currency, Weights and Measures.
- Chap. XI.: Goes Abroad.
- Chap. XII.: The Testimony of His Own Poems.
- Chap. XIII.: Party Divisions Immediately Following.
- Chap. XIV.: Peisistratus Makes Himself Tyrant; His Exile and Return.
- Chap. XV.: How He Disarmed the People.
- Chap. XVI.: His Government Moderate and Popular.
- Chap. XVII.: Succeeded By His Sons.
- Chap. XVIII.: Harmodius and Aristogeiton.
- Chap. XIX.: Expulsion of the Peisistratidæ.
- Chap. XX.: Isagoras and Kleisthenes.
- Chap. XXI.: The Constitution of Kleisthenes.
- Chap. XXII.: The Times Immediately Following; Ostracism; Building of a Hundred Triremes.
- Chap. XXIII.: Recovery of Power By the Areopagus; Themistokles and Aristides.
- Chap. XXIV.: Athens Lays Claims to the Leadership of Greece.
- Chap. XXV.: Overthrow of the Areopagus By Ephialtes and Themistokles.
- Chap. XXVI.: Growth of the Democracy; Kimon.
- Chap. XXVII.: Perikles.
- Chap. XXVIII.: His Successors; Nikias, Kleon, Thucydides, Theramenes.
- Chap. XXIX.: The Four Hundred; the Proposals of Pythodorus.
- Chap. XXX.: The Constitution As Proposed For the Future.
- Chap. XXXI.: The Constitution As Proposed For the Immediate Present.
- Chap. XXXII.: The Government of the Four Hundred.
- Chap. XXXIII.: It Lasted Four Months, and Was Good.
- Chap. XXXIV.: Arginusæ Ægospotami Lysander and Establishment of the Oligarchy.
- Chap. XXXV.: The Thirty and Their Government.
- Chap. XXXVI.: Protests of Theramenes.
- Chap. XXXVII.: Theramenes Put to Death, and the Lacedæmonans Call Ed In.
- Chap. XXXVIII.: End of the Thirty, and Reconciliation of Parties.
- Chap. XXXIX.: Terms of the Reconciliation.
- Chap. Xl.: Its Conclusion; Action of Archinus.
- Chap. Xli.: Recapitulation of the Preceding Changes; the Sovereign Power of the People.
- Chap. Xlii.: Admission to Citizenship; Training of the Ephebi.
- Chap. Xliii.: Election to Offices, By Lot Or Vote.
- Chap. Xliv.: the Council Continued.
- Chap. Xlv.: Deprived of the Power of Putting to Death.
- Chap. Xlvi.: the Council Continued.
- Chap. Xlvii.: the Treasurers of Athena; the Government-sellers.
- Chap. Xlviii.: the Receivers; Auditors.
- Chap. Xlix.: the Council Holds a Muster of the Knights, Etc.
- Chap. L: Surveyors of Temples; City Magistrates.
- Chap. Li.: Clerks of the Market; Inspectors of Weights and Measures, Etc.
- Chap. Lii.: the Eleven; Suits Decided Within a Month.
- Chap. Liii.: Judicial Officers; Arbitrators.
- Chap. Liv.: Surveyors of Roads; Auditors; Secretaries.
- Chap. Lv.: the Archons; How They Are Appointed.
- Chap. Lvi.: the Archon (eponymus); His Duties.
- Chap. Lvii.: the King Archon; His Duties.
- Chap. Lviii: the Commander-in-chief, Polemarch
- Chap. Lix.: the Thesmothetæ; Their Functions.
- Chap. Lx.: the Directors of Games; the Sacred Oil.
- Chap. Lxi.: Election By Vote to All Offices of War Department.
- Chap. Lxii.: Pay Attached to Offices
- Chap. Lxiii.: Appointment of Jurors.
After this Perikles came to lead the people. He first made a name for himself when, as a young man, he called in question the accounts of Kimon during his command. The constitution then became, in the course of events, still more democratical; for he stripped the Areopagitæ of some of their privileges, and, what was the cardinal point of his policy, urged on the state to acquire naval power, in consequence of which the masses grew bold, and drew the whole government more into their own hands. And in the forty-ninth year after the seafight at Salamis, in the archonship of Pythodorus, the Peloponnesian war broke out, during which the people, shut up as they were in the city and accustomed to serve for pay in the armies, partly of their own free will, and partly against their wishes, elected to administer the government themselves. And Perikles was the first to introduce pay for the services of the jurors, thus bidding for popularity as against the influence that Kimon derived from his ample means. For Kimon, as the possessor of royal wealth, first discharged the public services with great splendour, and afterwards supported many of the members of his deme. Any of the Lakiadæ who liked might go to him every day to get their rations; moreover, all his grounds were left unfenced, so that anyone who liked could help himself to the fruit. But as Perikles did not possess the means of indulging in public expenditure of this kind, on the advice of Damonides of Œa (who had the reputation of being the prompter of Perikles’ wars, for which reason also they ostracised him later), since his private property did not allow him to provide subsistence for the populace, he instituted pay for the jurors. And to these causes some assign the deterioration in the conduct of affairs, as the appointments to office were designedly made more and more by haphazard instead of by merit. And bribery in the law courts also began to be practised after this, Anytus being the first to show how to do it after his command at Pylos; for when he was put upon his trial for losing it, he bribed the court and was acquitted.