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[698b] At the time when the Persians made their onslaught upon the Greeks—and indeed one might say on nearly all the nations of Europe—we Athenians had an ancient constitution,1 and magistrates based on a fourfold grading; and we had Reverence, which acted as a kind of queen, causing us to live as the willing slaves of the existing laws. Moreover, the vastness of the Persian armament that threatened us both by sea and land, by the desperate fear it inspired, bound us still more closely in the bonds of slavery

1 That of Solon.

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