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[6] The Council of Areopagus had the official function of guarding the laws, but actually it administered the greatest number and the most important of the affairs of state, inflicting penalties and fines upon offenders against public order without appeal; for the elections of the Archons went by birth and wealth, and the members of the Areopagus were appointed from them, owing to which this alone of the offices has remained even to the present day tenable for life. This, then, was the outline of the first form of the constitution.

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