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Οὐ ζηλούσῃ—the institutions of Sparta were based on those of Crete. παράδειγμα—probably a reference to the embassy sent from Rome to Athens in 454 B.C. to examine the laws of Solon. Livy III. 31. (Hertz, N. Jahrb. 1881, p. 283 fol.) ὄντες—the partic. is constructed with the subject instead of with πολιτείᾳ, so that the pride of the people is directly appealed to. ὄνομα—adverb. accus. ἐς ὀλίγους . . οἰκεῖν—‘the administration is in the hands not of a few but of the majority.’ οἰκεῖν is here intrans. = ‘to be administered,’ and the subject is ἡ πολιτεία. Cf. Plat. Rep. VIII p. 547 C πῶς οἰκήσει (αὕτη ἡ πολιτεία); δ. κέκληται—‘our constitution is called a democracy.’ Then μέτεστι δὲ κ.τ.λ. explains that, though named a democracy, the name does not mean that the claims of excellence are disregarded. πρὸς τὰ ἴδια δ——‘in protecting their private interests,’) (ἐς τὰ κοινὰ below. πᾶσι— i.e. ὀλίγοι, as well as δῆμος. The two cardinal principles on which the democracy rested were ἰσονομία and ἐλευθερία. All being equal in the eyes of the law, the majority of necessity controlled the state. Pericles was convinced that complete democracy was necessary, as only under such a government had all an equal chance of developing their abilities; all being, as Isocr. says, ἐκ τῆς δημοκρατίας πεπαιδευμένοι. κατὰ δὲ—antithesis to μέτεστι πᾶσι rather than to κατὰ μὲν τοὺς νόμους. ἀξίωσιν—existimatio, the consideration accorded to merit, recognition of personal claims εὐδοκιμεῖ—he alludes especially to officials elected by show of hands, such as the strategi. Those offices which required no special knowledge were filled by lot. Whether the best men were always elected is doubtful. Pericles only claims that nothing stood in the way of merit. οὐκ ἀπὸ μέρους— ‘not on account of his rank so much as.’ μέρος = a particular class, such as the ὁμοῖοι of Sparta. ἀγαθόν τι δρᾶσαι—see c. 64, 1; Plat. Rep. I. 332 A. ἀξιώματος ἀφανείᾳ—the result of ἀξίωσις is ἀξίωμα, a position in the state: ‘by the obscurity of his position.’ κεκώλυται—sc. ἀγαθόν τι δρᾶσαι τὴν πόλιν, a clear statement that abilities are to be devoted to the advancement of the state. (This was the theory of all the best Athenian statesmen: there was some sense in the Seriphian's insult to Themistocles, οὐ δι᾽ αὑτὸν ἀλλὰ διὰ τὴν πόλιν εὐδοκιμεῖ.)
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