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At the same time they appointed to the magistracies those who had been selected beforehand by the members of their respective tribes1 and townships,2 having made of the offices, not prizes to fight for or to tempt ambition,3 but responsibilities much more comparable to the liturgies,4 which are burdensome to those to whom they are assigned, although conferring upon them a kind of distinction. For the men who had been elected to office were required to neglect their own possessions and at the same time to abstain no less from the gratuities which are wont to be given to the offices than from the treasures of the gods. (Who under the present dispensation would submit to such restrictions?)

1 Aristotle (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 8) states that Solon enacted that the election to the offices should be by lot from candidates selected by each of the tribes. For example, each tribe selected then candidates for the nine archonships, and among these the lot was cast. Cf. Isoc. 7.22.

2 The numerous “demes” into which Attica was divided.

3 See Isoc. 7.24-25 and notes.

4 See Introduction to the Antidosis.

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hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (2):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (3):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 8
    • Isocrates, Areopagiticus, 22
    • Isocrates, Areopagiticus, 24
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