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In this way the Council of the Areopagites was deprived of the superintendence of affairs. After this there came about an increased relaxation of the constitution, due to the eagerness of those who were the leaders of the People. For it so happened that during these periods the better classes1 had no leader at all, but the chief person among them, Cimon son of Miltiades, was a rather young man who had only lately entered public life; and in addition, that the multitude had suffered seriously in war, for in those days the expeditionary force was raised from a musterroll, and was commanded by generals with no experience of war but promoted on account of their family reputations, so that it was always happening that the troops on an expedition suffered as many as two or three thousand casualties, making a drain on the numbers of the respectable members both of the people and of the wealthy. [2] Thus in general all the administration was conducted without the same attention to the laws as had been given before, although no innovation was made in the election of the Nine Archons, except that five years after the death of Ephialtes they decided to extend to the Teamster Class eligibility to the preliminary roll from which the Nine Archons were to be selected by lot; and the first of the Teamster class to hold the archonship was Mnesitheides. All the Archons hitherto had been from the Knights and Five-hundred-measure-men, while the Teamsters held the ordinary offices, unless some provision of the laws was ignored. [3] Four years afterwards, in the archonship of Lysicrates, the thirty judges called the Local Justices were instituted again2; and two years after Lysicrates, in the year of Antidotus, owing to the large number of the citizens an enactment was passed on the proposal of Pericles confining citizenship to persons of citizen birth on both sides.

1 Or 'more respectable': it is a vague term of social approval, cf. Aristot. Ath. Pol. 1 fin, 27.4, Aristot. Ath. Pol. 28.1, Aristot. Ath. Pol. 36.9.

2 Cf. Aristot. Ath. Pol. 16.5.

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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 6.130
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (2):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (4):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 16.5
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 1.1
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 27.4
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 28.1
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