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[1305a] [1] in the time of the democracy which Thrasymachus put down1, and in the case of other states also examination would show that revolutions take place very much in this manner. Sometimes they make the notables combine by wronging them in order to curry favor, causing either their estates to be divided up or their revenues by imposing public services, and sometimes by so slandering them that they may have the property of the wealthy to confiscate. And in old times whenever the same man became both leader of the people and general, they used to change the constitution to a tyranny; for almost the largest number of the tyrants of early days have risen from being leaders of the people. And the reason why this used to happen then but does not do so now is because then the leaders of the people were drawn from those who held the office of general (for they were not yet skilled in oratory), but now when rhetoric has developed the able speakers are leaders of the people, but owing to their inexperience in military matters they are not put in control of these, except in so far as something of the kind has taken place to a small extent in some places. And tyrannies also used to occur in former times more than they do now because important offices were entrusted to certain men, as at Miletus a tyranny2 arose out of the presidency (for the president had control of many important matters). And moreover, because the cities in those times were not large but the common people lived on their farms [20] busily engaged in agriculture, the people's champions when they became warlike used to aim at tyranny. And they all used to do this when they had acquired the confidence of the people, and their pledge of confidence was their enmity towards the rich, as at Athens Pisistratus made himself tyrant by raising up a party against the men of the plain, and Theagenes at Megara by slaughtering the cattle of the well-to-do which he captured grazing by the river, and Dionysius3 established a claim to become tyrant when he accused Daphnaeus and the rich, since his hostility to them caused him to be trusted as a true man of the people. And revolutions also take place from the ancestral form of democracy to one of the most modern kind; for where the magistracies are elective, but not on property-assessments, and the people elect, men ambitious of office by acting as popular leaders bring things to the point of the people's being sovereign even over the laws. A remedy to prevent this or to reduce its extent is for the tribes to elect the magistrates, and not the people collectively.

These then are the causes through which almost all the revolutions in democracies take place.

Oligarchies undergo revolution principally through two ways that are the most obvious. One is if they treat the multitude unjustly; for anybody makes an adequate people's champion, and especially so when their leader happens to come from the oligarchy itself, like Lygdamis at Naxos, who afterwards actually became tyrant of the Naxians.

1 An event otherwise unknown.

2 Perhaps that of Thrasybulus (Hdt. 1.20), 612 B.C.

3 Dionysius the elder, see 1259a 29 n.

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