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[105] guarding the interests of the whole confederacy but leaving each member of it free to direct its own affairs; supporting the people but making war on despotic powers,1 considering it an outrage that the many should be subject to the few, that those who were poorer in fortune but not inferior in other respects should be banished from the offices, that, furthermore, in a fatherland which belongs to all in common2 some should hold the place of masters, others of aliens,3 and that men who are citizens by birth4 should be robbed by law of their share in the government.

1 ταῖς δυναστείαις means simply “powers” in 81, but commonly powers not responsible to the people—oligarchies as here or tyrannies as in 39.

2 A pan-Hellenic sentiment. Cf. 81.

3 Citizens under oligarchies are without rights; they are like the metics in Athens—residents on sufferance.

4 By φύσις, nature. Cf. “All men are created equal.” The contrast between nature and convention— φύσις and νόμος—was a favorite topic of discussion among the sophists. Cf. an echo of it in Isoc. 1.10.

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