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Accordingly Solon make his journey abroad for these reasons. And when he had gone abroad, though the city was still disturbed, for four years they kept at peace; but in the fifth year after Solon's archonship because of party strife they did not appoint an archon, and again in the fifth year after that they enacted a suspension of the archonship for the same cause. [2] After this at the same interval of time Damasias was elected Archon, and held the post for two years and two months, until he was driven out of the office by force. Then because of the civil strife they decided to elect ten Archons, five from the nobles, three from the farmers and two from the artisans, and these held office for the year after Damasias. This shows that the Archon had very great power; for we find that they were always engaging in party strife about this office. [3] And they continued in a state of general internal disorder, some having as their incentive and excuse the cancellation of debts (for it had resulted in their having become poor), others discontented with the constitution because a great change had taken place, and some because of their mutual rivalry. [4] The factions were three: one was the party of the Men of the Coast, whose head was Megacles the son of Alcmaeon, and they were thought chiefly to aim at the middle form of constitution; another was the party of the Men of the Plain, who desired the oligarchy, and their leader was Lycurgus; third was the party of the Hillmen, which had appointed Peisistratus over it, as he was thought to be an extreme advocate of the people. [5] And on the side of this party were also arrayed, from the motive of poverty, those who had been deprived1 of the debts due to them, and, from the motive of fear, those who were not of pure descent; and this is proved by the fact that after the deposition of the tyrants the Athenians enacted a revision of the roll, because many people shared the citizenship who had no right to it. The different parties derived their names from the places where their farms were situated.

1 i.e. by Solon's legislation.

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    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 5.66
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