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καὶ οὗτος ὑπεριδὼν Ἴωνας. H. seems to regard Cleisthenes as of old Attic, as opposed to Ionic descent (ch. 62. 2 n.), and so likely to despise Ionians as his grandfather despised Dorians. But the motive is superficial and improbable. The Athenians still celebrated the Ionic festival, the Apaturia (i. 147), and retained the old tribes and phratries, at least for religious purposes. We also find Athens claiming kinship with the Ionians (ch. 97; ix. 106) as their mother city, and may attribute the contempt expressed for the Ionians, here and elsewhere, to later prejudice reflected in H. (cf. i. 143 n.).

The true meaning of the reforms was very different. By breaking down the old tribal organization, Cleisthenes was enabled to strengthen the state by the admission of many new citizens (cf. Ath. Pol. 20ἀποδιδοὺς τῷ πλήθει τὴν πολιτείαν”, Ar. Pol. iii. 2. 1275 b 37πολλοὺς γὰρ ἐφυλέτευσε ξένους καὶ δούλους μετοίκους”, and Ath. Pol. ch. 21), and to free it from the undue influence of the old families and clans. [Cf. Aristotle's sagacious remarks (Pol. vi. 4. 18, 19, 1319 b) on the necessity of breaking up old associations and forming new ones, when the franchise is extended.] By the wise choice of a natural local division, the deme, as the basis of his scheme, and the skilful distribution of the demes and trittyes among the ten tribes (Ath. Pol. ch. 21, inf. § 2), he provided against the crying danger of local factions, and also secured the permanence of his institutions. Lastly, by making Athens the one place where members of a tribe gathered together from their different trittyes for a common purpose, Cleisthenes elevated the city in the eyes of all its citizens, new and old. He thus completed the work, ascribed in legend to Theseus, but in reality left incomplete by Solon and Pisistratus, the unification (συνοικισμός) of Attica. For Cleisthenes' measures cf. Busolt (op. cit. 853 f.) and E. M. Walker in C. A. H. iv. 141-56.

ἀπωσμένον may be middle (Krüger), meaning ‘which had before rejected him’, or passive (Stein) ‘before despised by him’ (as an aristocrat).

φυλάρχους: properly, at Athens, the captains of the troop of horse furnished by each tribe at least as early as 411 B. C. (Ath. Pol. ch. 30; cf. ch. 61), and probably in the time of Herodotus. But these officers seem to date from the re-organization of the cavalry in the days of the Athenian empire, since no large force of horsemen is likely in early days or possible at Marathon (vi. 112 n.). H., who in the next words applies the term φύλαρχοι to the four old φυλοβασιλεῖς, may be here using it loosely for the officials technically called ἐπιμεληταὶ τῶν φυλῶν (C. I. A. ii. 554, 57-9, 564, 567 b), unless indeed these officials too are of later date, and the strategi lie concealed under this strange name.

δέκαχα = ‘in ten parts’ (cf. Hicks 81, l. 35) is an acceptable conjecture (Busolt, ii. 405 n. 3), as it not only improves the construction but frees the text from the unlikely statement that there were exactly one hundred demes. Such a round number is improbable since

(1) The demes were not now first called into being (cf. τοὺς δήμους and i. 60. 4, 62. 1; ix. 73. 2), but existed at least in the days of the tyrants (cf. i. 60, 62 nn.), as may be seen from Pisistratus' κατὰ δήμους δικασταί (Ath. Pol. 16) and the Hermae set up by Hipparchus (Ps.Plato, Hipp. 229 ἐπιγέγραπται λέγων Ἕρμης ὅτι ἐν μέσῳ τοῦ ἄστεος καὶ τοῦ δήμου ἕστηκεν).

(2) The number of the demes in Polemo's time (second century B. C.; cf. Strabo 396) was 174, of which some 166 have been found on inscriptions: even in the fifth century there must have been more than one hundred.

(3) The supposed support of the number one hundred derived from the ‘hundred heroes’ fails, since the hundred heroes are not the eponymi of the demes, but the indigenous worthies from among whom the Pythia chose the ten eponymi of the tribes (Ath. Pol. 21; Busolt, ii. 406).

κατένειμε. For the principle of this distribution, the prevention of στάσις by combining different parts of Attica in one tribe, cf. Bury, p. 211. 2; Busolt, ii. 418 f. For a list of demes Pauly-Wiss. v. 35; and for their distribution into tribes ib. ii. 2227. H., caring but little for constitutional history, is silent on the point.

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  • Commentary references from this page (4):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 16
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 20
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 21
    • Aristotle, Politics, 3.1275b
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