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[20]

It suffices, then, to add thus much: According to Philochorus, when the country was being devastated, both from the sea by the Carians, and from the land by the Boeotians, who were called Aonians, Cecrops first settled the multitude in twelve cities, the names of which were Cecropia, Tetrapolis, Epacria, Deceleia, Eleusis, Aphidna (also called Aphidnae, in the plural), Thoricus, Brauron, Cytherus, Sphettus, Cephisia.1 And at a later time Theseus is said to have united the twelve into one city, that of today. Now in earlier times the Athenians were ruled by kings; and then they changed to a democracy; but tyrants assailed them, Peisistratus and his sons; and later an oligarchy arose, not only that of the four hundred, but also that of the thirty tyrants, who were set over them by the Lacedaemonians; of these they easily rid themselves, and preserved the democracy until the Roman conquest. For even though they were molested for a short time by the Macedonian kings, and were even forced to obey them, they at least kept the general type of their government the same. And some say that they were actually best governed at that time, during the ten years when Cassander reigned over the Macedonians. For although this man is reputed to have been rather tyrannical in his dealings with all others, yet he was kindly disposed towards the Athenians, once he had reduced the city to subjection; for he placed over the citizens Demetrius of Phalerum, one of the disciples of Theophrastus the philosopher, who not only did not destroy the democracy but even improved it, as is made clear in the Memoirs which Demetrius wrote concerning this government. But the envy and hatred felt for oligarchy was so strong that, after the death of Cassander, Demetrius was forced to flee to Egypt; and the statues of him, more than three hundred, were pulled down by the insurgents and melted, and some writers go on to say that they were made into chamber pots. Be that as it may, the Romans, seeing that the Athenians had a democratic government when they took them over, preserved their autonomy and liberty. But when the Mithridatic War came on, tyrants were placed over them, whomever the king wished. The most powerful of these, Aristion, who violently oppressed the city, was punished by Sulla the Roman commander when he took this city by siege, though he pardoned the city itself; and to this day it is free and held in honor among the Romans.

1 Thus only eleven names are given in the most important MSS., though "Phalerus" appears after "Cephisia" in some (see critical note on opposite page). But it seems best to assume that Strabo either actually included Athens in his list or left us to infer that he meant Athens as one of the twelve.

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