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First of all was Solon.1 For when he was placed at the head of the people, he gave them laws, set their affairs in order, and constituted the government of the city so wisely that even now Athens is well satisfied with the polity which was organized by him. Next, Cleisthenes, after he had been driven from Athens by the tyrants, succeeded by his eloquence in persuading the Amphictyons to lend him money from the treasury of Apollo,2 and thus restored the people to power, expelled the tyrants, and established that democracy to which the world of Hellas owes its greatest blessings.

1 For Solon and Cleisthenes as authors of Athenian democracy see Isoc. 7.16.

2 For the Amphictyonic Council see Isoc. 5.74, note. The family of the Alcmaeonidae, to which Cleisthenes belonged, won the favor of this council by their aid in rebuilding the temple of Apollo which had been burned in 548 B.C. The story that Cleisthenes and his party got funds from the Amphictyony is found also in Dem. 21.144. But the facts are confused; see Beloch, Griechische Geschichte vol. ii. p. 387.

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548 BC (1)
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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (3):
    • Demosthenes, Against Midias, 144
    • Isocrates, Areopagiticus, 16
    • Isocrates, To Philip, 74
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