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Evening had already fallen when a messenger arrived bringing to the presiding councillors1 the news that Elatea had been taken. They were sitting at supper, but they instantly rose from table, cleared the booths in the marketplace of their occupants, and unfolded the hurdles,2 while others summoned the commanders and ordered the attendance of the trumpeter. The commotion spread through the whole city. At daybreak on the morrow the presidents summoned the Council to the Council House, and the citizens flocked to the place of assembly. Before the Council could introduce the business and prepare the agenda, the whole body of citizens had taken their places on the hill.

1 presiding councillors: the fifty representatives on the Council of that one of the ten tribes within whose term of administrative duty the meeting fell.

2 unfolded the hurdles: they were tied together hinge-wise, and, when unfolded, formed barriers, either to keep out strangers (Dem. 59.90) or to block streets leading from the marketplace elsewhere than to the Pnyx, where the assembly met (Schol. on Aristoph. Ach. 22). Unfolded is a conjectural reading derived from the scholium cited; but no satisfactory explanation is forthcoming of the reading of all MSS., set fire to the hurdles.

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