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These offices, then, are elected by lot and have authority over all the matters stated. As to the officials designated the Nine Archons, the mode of their appointment that was originally in force has been stated before1; but now the six Lawgivers and their clerk are elected by lot, and also the Archon,2 King and War-lord, from each tribe in turn. [2] The qualifications of these are first checked in the Council of Five Hundred, except the Clerk, but he is checked only in a Jury-court, as are the other officials (for all of them, both those elected by lot and those elected by show of hands, have their qualifications checked before they hold office), while the Nine Archons are checked in the Council and also again in a Jury-court. Formerly any official not passed by the Council did not hold office, but now there is an appeal to the Jury-court, and with this rests the final decision as to qualification. [3] The questions put in examining qualifications are, first, 'Who is your father and to what deme does he belong, and who is your father's father, and who your mother, and who her father and what his deme?' then whether he has a Family Apollo and Homestead Zeus,3 and where these shrines are; then whether he has family tombs and where they are; then whether he treats his parents well, and whether he pays his taxes, and whether he has done his military service. And after putting these questions the officer says, 'Call your witnesses to these statements.' [4] And when he has produced his witnesses, the officer further asks, 'Does anybody wish to bring a charge against this man?' And if any accuser is forthcoming, he is given a hearing and the man on trial an opportunity of defence, and then the official puts the question to a show of hands in the Council or to a vote by ballot in the Jury-court; but if nobody wishes to bring a charge against him, he puts the vote at once; formerly one person used to throw in his ballot-pebble, but now all are compelled to vote one way or the other about them, in order that if anyone being a rascal has got rid of his accusers,4 it may rest with the jurymen to disqualify him. [5] And when the matter has been checked in this way, they go to the stone on which are the victims cut up for sacrifice (the one on which Arbitrators also take oath before they issue their decisions, and persons summoned as witnesses swear that they have no evidence to give), and mounting on this stone they swear that they will govern justly and according to the laws, and will not take presents on account of their office, and that if they should take anything they will set up a golden statue. After taking oath they go from the stone to the Acropolis and take the same oath again there, and after that they enter on their office.

1 Aristot. Ath. Pol. 3, Aristot. Ath. Pol. 8, Aristot. Ath. Pol. 22, Aristot. Ath. Pol. 26.

2 i.e. the Archon Eponymus, see Aristot. Ath. Pol. 54.4 n.

3 The gods of the Athenian's home.

4 i.e., has bribed them to let him off.

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hide References (6 total)
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (5):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 22
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 26
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 3
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 54.4
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 8
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