Front Page Titles (by Subject) CHAP. XLIII.: Election to offices, by lot or vote. - Constitution of Athens
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CHAP. XLIII.: Election to offices, by lot or vote. - Aristotle, Constitution of Athens [320 BC]
Aristotle’s Constitution of Athens, trans. Thomas J. Dymes (London: Seeley and Co., 1891).
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Election to offices, by lot or vote.
They appoint by lot to all the offices belonging to the administration which comes round in turn, except the military treasurer, and those who have charge of the funds for seats in the theatre and the superintendent of the springs. For these they vote, and those who are appointed hold office from Panathenæa to Panathenæa. They vote also all the offices of the war department. And the Council is elected by lot to the number of five hundred, fifty from each tribe. And each of the tribes presides in turn as lot may assign, the first four thirty-six days each, and the six last thirty-five days each; for they reckon the year by the moon. The presidents first dine together in the Rotunda, at the expense of the state, then they assemble the Council and the people; the Council every day, unless there is a holiday, and the people four times during each presidency. They give public notice of all matters to be transacted by the Council, and what is to be taken each day, and what is not their business. They give public notice also of the meetings of the Assembly, one an ordinary one to confirm by vote magistrates if they are thought to discharge their duties efficiently, and to arrange about food and the protection of the country, and for such as want to prefer indictments to bring in such bills on this day, and to read out the registers of confiscations as well as the applications to the archon to be put in possession in cases of inheritance and of only daughters and heiresses, so that everybody may know if a case has gone by default. At the sixth presidency, in addition to what has just been stated, the opportunity is given of voting in cases of ostracism to confirm or otherwise, and of proceeding with the public prosecutions of common informers, both Athenians and resident-aliens up to three of each, where a promise has been made to the people and not performed. Another Assembly is assigned for supplications, so that anyone who wants may propose a supplication for anything he likes, either public or private, and discuss it with the people. The other two Assemblies attend to all other matters, and the laws ordain that at these meetings proposals should be considered to the number of three respectively regarding things sacred (or sacred moneys), heralds and embassies, and things profane (or public moneys). They sometimes deliberate even without any previous voting. The heralds and ambassadors come first before the presidents, and the bearers of letters deliver them into their hands.