previous next

So in this manner the Thirty were established, in the archonship of Pythodorus. Having become masters of the state they neglected most of the measures that had been resolved on in regard to the constitution, but appointed five hundred Councillors and the other offices from among persons previously selected from the Thousand,1 and also chose for themselves ten governors of Peiraeus, eleven guardians of the prison, and three hundred retainers carrying whips, and so kept the state in their own hands. [2] At first, then, they were moderate towards the citizens and pretended to be administering the ancestral form of constitution, and they removed from the Areopagus the laws of Ephialtes and Archestratus2 about the Areopagites, and also such of the ordinances of Solon as were of doubtful purport, and abolished the sovereignty vested in the jurymen, claiming to be rectifying the constitution and removing its uncertainties: for example, in regard to the bestowal of one's property on whomsoever one wishes, making the single act of donation valid absolutely, while they removed the tiresome qualifications 'save when in consequence of insanity or of old age, or under the influence of a woman,' in order that there might be no opening for blackmailers; and similarly they did this in the other matters as well. [3] At the outset, therefore, they were engaged in these matters, and in removing the blackmailers and the persons who consorted undesirably with the people to curry favor and were evil-doers and scoundrels; and the state was delighted at these measures, thinking that they were acting with the best intentions. [4] But when they got a firmer hold on the state, they kept their hands off none of the citizens, but put to death those of outstanding wealth or birth or reputation, intending to put that source of danger out of the way, and also desiring to plunder their estates; and by the end of a brief interval of time they had made away with not less than fifteen hundred.

1 i.e. from the knights; but the text can hardly be correct, and may be emended to give 'from among a thousand persons previously selected.'

2 Probably a supporter of Ephialtes, for whose legislation see Aristot. Ath. Pol. 25.

load focus Greek (Kenyon)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 25
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: