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The reason why this plan was agreeable to the majority and why they did not fight over the offices was because they had been schooled to be industrious and frugal, and not to neglect their own possessions and conspire against the possessions of others, and not to repair their own fortunes out of the public funds,1 but rather to help out the commonwealth, should the need arise, from their private resources,2 and not to know more accurately the incomes derived from the public offices than those which accrued to them from their own estates.

1 He is thinking of pay, not only for the magistrates, but for attendance at the sessions of the jury courts, of the General Assembly, etc. See Isoc. 8.130. Aristotle (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 24) states that since the changes which were introduced by Aristides over twenty thousand Athenians earned their livelihood in public service of one sort or another. In the same work (62) he gives a brief sketch of the pay for such services.

2 For the public spirit of the old democracy see Isoc. 4.76; Isoc. 8.42 ff.; Isoc. 12.145 ff.

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  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Edward S. Forster, Isocrates Cyprian Orations, 21
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (7):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (5):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 24
    • Isocrates, Panathenaicus, 145
    • Isocrates, On the Peace, 130
    • Isocrates, On the Peace, 42
    • Isocrates, Panegyricus, 76
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
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