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[1306a] [1] (as Hipparinus put forward Dionysius1 at Syracuse, and at Amphipolis2 a man named Cleotimus led the additional settlers that came from Chalcis and on their arrival stirred them up to sedition against the wealthy, and in Aegina the man who carried out the transactions with Chares attempted to cause a revolution in the constitution for a reason of this sort3); so sometimes they attempt at once to introduce some reform, at other times they rob the public funds and in consequence either they or those who fight against them in their peculations stir up faction against the government, as happened at Apollonia on the Black Sea. On the other hand, harmonious oligarchy does not easily cause its own destruction; and an indication of this is the constitutional government at Pharsalus, for there the ruling class though few are masters of many men4 because on good terms with one another. Also oligarchical governments break up when they create a second oligarchy within the oligarchy. This is when, although the whole citizen class is small, its few members are not all admitted to the greatest offices; this is what once occurred in Elis, for the government being in the hands of a few, very few men used to become members of the Elders,5 because these numbering ninety held office for life, and the mode of election was of a dynastic type6 and resembled that of the Elders at Sparta.

Revolutions [20] of oligarchies occur both during war and in time of peace— during war since the oligarchs are forced by their distrust of the people to employ mercenary troops (for the man in whose hands they place them often becomes tyrant, as Timophanes did at Corinth,7 and if they put several men in command, these win for themselves dynastic power), and when through fear of this they give a share in the constitution to the multitude, the oligarchy falls because they are compelled to make use of the common people; during peace, on the other hand, because of their distrust of one another they place their protection in the hands of mercenary troops and a magistrate between the two parties, who sometimes becomes master of both, which happened at Larisa in the time of the government of the Aleuadae led by Simus,8 and at Abydos in the time of the political clubs of which that of Iphiades was one. And factions arise also in consequence of one set of the members of the oligarchy themselves being pushed aside by another set and being driven into party strife in regard to marriages or law-suits; examples of such disorders arising out of a cause related to marriage are the instances spoken of before, and also the oligarchy of the knights at Eretria was put down9 by Diagoras when he had been wronged in respect of a marriage, while the faction at Heraclea and that at Thebes arose out of a judgement of a law-court, when the people at Heraclea justly but factiously enforced the punishment against Eurytion on a charge of adultery

1 See 1259a 29 n.

2 See 1303b 2 n.

3 i.e. he had squandered his fortune in riotous living; this deal with the Athenian general may have been in 367 B.C.

4 i.e. both of the lower classes and of the subject cities.

5 i.e. the small governing body.

6 i.e. like a dynasteia, favorable to the interest of a few very wealthy families; see 1292b 10 n.

7 Corinth was at war with Argos circa 350 B.C. Timophanes was killed by his brother the famous Timoleon, in order to restore constitutional government.

8 A probable emendation of the Greek gives ‘happened at Larisa to Simus and his party at the time of the government of the Aleuadae.’ This family were hereditary rulers of Larisa (see also 1275b 29 ff. n., and 1305b 29 ff.)

9 Possibly before the Persian wars. See 1289b 36 ff. The two following cases are unrecorded elsewhere.

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