At this juncture arrived Pisander and his
colleagues, who lost no time in doing the rest.First they assembled the people, and moved to elect ten commissioners with
full powers to frame a constitution, and that when this was done they should
on an appointed day lay before the people their opinion as to the best mode
of governing the city.
Afterwards, when the day arrived, the conspirators enclosed the assembly in
Colonus, a temple of Poseidon, a little more than a mile outside the city; when the commissioners simply brought forward this single motion, that any
Athenian might propose with impunity whatever measure he pleased, heavy
penalties being imposed upon any who should indict for illegality, or
otherwise molest him for so doing.
The way thus cleared, it was now plainly declared, that all tenure of
office and receipt of pay under the existing institutions were at an end,
and that five men must be elected as presidents, who should in their turn
elect one hundred, and each of the hundred three apiece; and that this body thus made up to four hundred should enter the council
chamber with full powers and govern as they judged best, and should convene
the five thousand whenever they pleased.
Thucydides. The Peloponnesian War. London, J. M. Dent; New York, E. P. Dutton. 1910.
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