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And he established a constitution and made other laws, and they ceased to observe the ordinances of Draco, except those relating to homicide. They wrote up the laws on the Boards1 and set them in the Royal Colonnade, and all swore to observe them; and the Nine Archons used to make affirmation on oath at the Stone2 that if they transgressed any one of the laws they would dedicate a gold statue of a man; owing to which they are even now still sworn in with this oath. [2] And he fixed the laws to stay unaltered for a hundred years. And he arranged the constitution in the following way: [3] he divided the people by assessment into four classes, as they had been divided before, Five-hundred-measure man, Horseman, Teamster and Laborer, and he distributed the other offices to be held from among the Five-hundred-measure men, Horsemen and Teamsters—the Nine Archons, the Treasurers,3 the Vendors of Contracts,4 the Eleven5 and the Paymasters, assigning each office to the several classes in proportion to the amount of their assessment; while those who were rated in the Laborer class he admitted to the membership of the assembly and law-courts alone. [4] Any man had to be rated as a Five-hundred-measure man the produce from whose estate was five hundred dry and liquid measures jointly,6 and at the cavalry-rate those who made three hundred,—or as some say, those who were able to keep a horse, and they adduce as a proof the name of the rating as being derived from the fact, and also the votive offerings of the ancients; for there stands dedicated in the Acropolis a statue of Diphilus7 on which are inscribed these lines:“Anthemion Diphilus's son dedicated this statue to the gods
. . . having exchanged the Laborer rating for the Cavalry—
” and a horse stands beside him, in evidence that 'cavalry' meant the class able to keep a horse. Nevertheless it is more probable that the cavalry were distinguished by their amounts of produce as the Five-hundred-measure men were. And men had to be rated in the Teamster class who made two hundred measures, wet and dry together; while the rest were rated in the Laborer class, being admitted to no office: hence even now when the presiding official asks a man who is about to draw lots for some office what rate he pays, no one whatever would say that he was rated as a Laborer.8

1 Three-sided (or perhaps four-sided) structures of wood (or perhaps stone) revolving on pivots; set up in the Stoa Basilike, the court of the King-Archon, on the west side of the Agora.

2 Perhaps the altar of Zeus Agoraios.

3 See Aristot. Ath. Pol. 47.1.

4 See 47.2.

5 See Aristot. Ath. Pol. 52.1.

6 i.e. measures of corn and of wine and oil amounting in all to five hundred.

7 'Of Diphilus' is probably a mistaken insertion; presumably the statue was of Anthemion himself.

8 Apparently the property qualification was ignored, without being formally repealed.

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hide References (7 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 8.51
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (3):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (3):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 47.1
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 47.2
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 52.1
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