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The present form of the constitution is as follows. Citizenship belongs to persons of citizen parentage on both sides, and they are registered on the rolls of their demes at the age of eighteen. At the time of their registration the members of the deme make decision about them by vote on oath, first whether they are shown to have reached the lawful age, and if they are held not to be of age they go back again to the boys, and secondly whether the candidate is a freeman and of legitimate birth; after this, if the vote as to free status goes against him, he appeals to the jury-court, and the demesmen elect five men from among themselves to plead against him, and if it is decided that he has no claim to be registered, the state sells him, but if he wins, it is compulsory for the demesmen to register him. [2] After this the Council revises the list of persons that have been registered, and if anyone is found to be under eighteen years of age, it fines the demesmen that registered him. And when the cadets have been passed by this revision, their fathers hold meetings by tribes and after taking oath elect three members of the tribe of more than forty years of age, whom they think to be the best and most suitable to supervise the cadets, and from them the people elects by show of hands one of each tribe as disciplinary officer, and elects from the other citizens a marshal over them all. [3] These take the cadets in a body, and after first making a circuit of the temples then go to Peiraeus, and some of them garrison Munichia,1 others the Point.2 And the people also elects two athletic trainers and instructors for them, to teach them their drill as heavy-armed soldiers, and the use of the bow, the javelin and the sling. It also grants the disciplinary officers one drachma a head for rations, and the cadets four obols a head; and each disciplinary officer takes the pay of those of his own tribe and buys provisions for all in common (for they mess together by tribes), and looks after everything else. [4] They go on with this mode of life for the first year; in the following year an assembly is held in the theater, and the cadets give a display of drill before the people, and receive a shield and spear from the state; and they then serve on patrols in the country and are quartered at the guard-posts. [5] Their service on patrol goes on for two years; the uniform is a mantle; they are exempt from all taxes; and they are not allowed to be sued nor to sue at law, in order that they may have no pretext for absenting themselves, except in cases concerning estate, marriage of an heiress, and any priesthood that one of them may have inherited. When the two years are up, they now are members of the general body of citizens.

1 See Aristot. Ath. Pol. 19.2 n.

2 The southern promontory of Peiraeus.

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 19.2
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