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[1304a] [1] the bridegroom interpreted some chance occurrence when he came to fetch the bride as a bad omen and went away without taking her, and her relatives thinking themselves insulted threw some articles of sacred property into the fire when he was performing a sacrifice and then put him to death as guilty of sacrilege. And also at Mitylene1 a faction that arose out of some heiresses was the beginning of many misfortunes, and of the war with the Athenians in which Paches captured the city of Mitylene: a wealthy citizen named Timophanes left two daughters, and a man who was rejected in his suit to obtain them for his own sons, Doxander, started the faction and kept on stirring up the Athenians, whose consul he was at Mitylene. And among the Phocians when a faction arising out of an heiress sprang up in connection with Mnaseas the father of Mnason and Euthykrates the father of Onomarchus,2 this faction proved to be the beginning for the Phocians of the Holy War. At Epidamnus also circumstances relating to a marriage gave rise to a revolution in the constitution3; somebody had betrothed his daughter, and the father of the man to whom he had betrothed her became a magistrate, and had to sentence him to a fine; the other thinking that he had been treated with insolence formed a party of the unenfranchised classes to assist him. And also revolutions to oligarchy and democracy and constitutional government arise from the growth in reputation or in power of some magistracy or some section of the state; [20] as for example the Council on the Areopagus having risen in reputation during the Persian wars was believed to have made the constitution more rigid, and then again the naval multitude, having been the cause of the victory off Salamis and thereby of the leadership of Athens due to her power at sea, made the democracy stronger; and at Argos the notables having risen in repute in connection with the battle against the Spartans at Mantinea took in hand to put down the people; and at Syracuse the people having been the cause of the victory in the war against Athens made a revolution from constitutional government to democracy; and at Chalcis the people with the aid of the notables overthrew the tyrant Phoxus4 and then immediately seized the government; and again at Ambracia similarly the people joined with the adversaries of the tyrant Periander in expelling him and then brought the government round to themselves.5 And indeed in general it must not escape notice that the persons who have caused a state to win power, whether private citizens or magistrates or tribes, or in general a section or group of any kind, stir up faction; for either those who envy these men for being honored begin the faction, or these men owing to their superiority are not willing to remain in a position of equality. And constitutions also undergo revolution when what are thought of as opposing sections of the state become equal to one another,

1 The revolt of Mitylene 428 B.C. is ascribed to purely political causes by Thuc. 3.1-30.

2 i.e. the fathers of the two suitors for the heiress's hand turned the quarrel into a faction fight.

3 Perhaps the same event as that referred to 1301b 21.

4 Unknown.

5 580 B.C; cf. 1311a 39 ff.

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  • Cross-references to this page (5):
    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), MATRIMO´NIUM
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), AMBRA´CIA
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), CORINTHUS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), SYRACU´SAE
    • Smith's Bio, Timo'leon
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    • Thucydides, Histories, 3.1
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