CHAP. LV.: The archons; how they are appointed. - 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.
The archons; how they are appointed.
These then are the officers appointed by lot, and their powers in their several departments are as has been just described. Now as to those who have the title of the nine archons, an account has been already given of how they were appointed at first. But now they appoint by lot six Thesmothetæ and a secretary for them, and further, an archon and king and commander-in-chief severally from each tribe. And they are first examined in the Council by the five hundred, except the secretary, who is examined only in the court just like all other officers of state (for all who are appointed either by lot or vote hold office only after examination), but the nine archons are examined before the Council and again in court. In former days no one could hold office if he were rejected by the Council, but now there is appeal to the court, and with it rests the decision regarding the examination. The questions asked in the examination are as follows: First, who is your father, and of what deme? and who your father’s father, and who your mother, and who your mother’s father, and of what deme? and, after this, if Apollo is his family and Zeus his household god, and where their temples are; then, if they have tombs, and where they are; and, last, if he treats his parents well, and pays his taxes, and has duly performed his military service. Having asked these questions, the examiner says, ‘Call your witnesses to these facts.’ When the witnesses are produced he asks further, ‘Has anyone any accusation to bring against this man?’ and if no one comes forward, after giving opportunity for accusation and defence, he proposes the show of hands in the Council and in the court the vote. And if no one wants to accuse, he at once gives his vote. Formerly one only put his pebble into the urn, but now all must do so. Further, the right exists of passing a vote about them with the object, if any bad man gets his accusers out of the way, of putting it in the power of the jurors to reject him. When the examination has been concluded in this way, they walk up to the stone underneath which are the treasuries, and on which the arbitrators take their oath and declare their awards, and witnesses solemnly swear to their evidence. Mounting this stone, they swear that they will discharge the duties of their office faithfully and according to the laws, and that they will not take bribes in connection with their office, and if they should they will make a votive offering of a gold statue. After this oath they walk to the Acropolis, and take it again in the same terms there, and after this they enter upon their office.