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κυριώτατον. In a democracy the sovereignty lies with the δῆμος in its assemblies.

οὐ θαμὰ κτλ. Under the earliest and best form of democratical government, according to Aristotle, the δῆμος consists chiefly of farmers, and ἐκκλησίαι are infrequent, for διὰ τὸ ἐσπάρθαι κατὰ τὴν χώραν οὔτ᾽ ἀπαντῶσιν οὔθ᾽ ὁμοίως δέονται τῆς συνόδου ταύτης (Pol. Ζ 4. 1319^{a} 30 ff., 3. 1318^{b} 11, and Δ 5. 1292^{b} 27). It is a later and degenerate phase when assemblies are multiplied by the payment of ἐκκλησιαστικὸς μισθός and other forms of ‘honey’ (ib. Δ 6. 1293^{a} 1 ff.). Plato in this passage contributes some hints towards a historical analysis of the evolution of Greek democracy such as we find in Aristotle.

ἐὰν μὴ -- μεταλαμβάνῃ. Cf. Ar. Peace 632—643. There is little doubt that the compulsory migration of Athenian farmers into Athens at the beginning of the Peloponnesian war had a decisive effect on the course of Athenian democracy: cf. Thuc. II 14 and 16 and Gilbert Beiträge etc. pp. 98 ff.

τοὺς ἔχοντας κτλ. On the oppression of the rich in Athens see Hermann-Thumser Gr. Staatsalt. pp. 688 ff., 747.

διανέμοντες κτλ.: ‘while dividing it among the people to retain the lion's share themselves.’ The epigram is spoiled if (with Cobet) we read <ὀλίγα> διανέμοντες. For the sentiment cf. Dem. Ol. III 31, Ar. Peace l.c., Knights 46 ff., 792 ff., 1218 ff. and (with J. and C.) Wasps 655—679.

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    • Aristophanes, Peace, 632
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