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[1303a] [1] one of which often grows without its being noticed, as for example the number of the poor in democracies and constitutional states. And sometimes this is also brought about by accidental occurrences, as for instance at Tarentum when a great many notables were defeated and killed by the Iapygians a short time after the Persian wars a constitutional government was changed to a democracy, and at Argos when those in the seventh tribe1 had been destroyed by the Spartan Cleomenes the citizens were compelled to admit some of the surrounding people, and at Athens when they suffered disasters by land the notables became fewer because at the time of the war against Sparta the army was drawn from a muster-roll.2 And this happens also in democracies, though to a smaller extent; for when the wealthy become more numerous or their properties increase, the governments change to oligarchies and dynasties.3 And revolutions in constitutions take place even without factious strife, owing to election intrigue, as at Heraea4 (for they made their magistrates elected by lot instead of by vote for this reason, because the people used to elect those who canvassed); and also owing to carelessness, when people allow men that are not friends of the constitution to enter into the sovereign offices, as at Oreus5 oligarchy was broken up when Heracleodorus became one of the magistrates, who in place of an oligarchy [20] formed a constitutional government, or rather a democracy. Another cause is alteration by small stages; by this I mean that often a great change of institutions takes place unnoticed when people overlook a small alteration, as in Ambracia the property-qualification was small, and finally men hold office with none at all, as a little is near to nothing, or practically the same. Also difference of race is a cause of faction, until harmony of spirit is reached; for just as any chance multitude of people does not form a state, so a state is not formed in any chance period of time. Hence most of the states that have hitherto admitted joint settlers or additional settlers6 have split into factions; for example Achaeans settled at Sybaris7 jointly with Troezenians, and afterwards the Achaeans having become more numerous expelled the Troezenians, which was the Cause of the curse that fell on the Sybarites; and at Thurii Sybarites quarrelled with those who had settled there with them, for they claimed to have the larger share in the country as being their own, and were ejected; and at Byzantium the additional settlers were discovered plotting against the colonists and were expelled by force of arms; and the people of Antissa8 after admitting the Chian exiles expelled them by arms; and the people of Zancle9 after admitting settlers from Samos were themselves expelled; and the people of Apollonia on the Euxine Sea after bringing in additional settlers fell into faction; and the Syracusans after the period of the tyrants10

1 The word to be understood here may be φυλῇ, or possibly ἡμέρᾳ: the seventh day of the month was sacred to Apollo, especially at Sparta, and one account assigns Cleomenes' victory to that day, in which case the casualties may well have been known afterwards as ‘those who fell on the seventh.’

2 i.e. was made up of citizens and not of mercenaries.

3 See 1292b 10 n.

4 On the Alpheus, in Arcadia.

5 In Euboea; its secession from Sparta to Athens, 377 B.C., was perhaps the occasion of this revolution.

6 i.e. colonists not from the mother-city, admitted either at the foundation of the colony or later.

7 Sybaris, founded 720 B.C., became very wealthy. The Troezenian population when expelled were received at Croton, which made war on Sybaris and destroyed it 510 B.C. To what exactly τὸ ἄγος refers is unknown.

8 In Lesbos.

9 Later Messana, Messina.

10 Thrasybulus succeeded his brother Hiero as tyrant in 467 B.C. and fell within a year.

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  • Commentary references to this page (4):
    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 4.161
    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 5.44
    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 6.83
    • W. W. How, J. Wells, A Commentary on Herodotus, 8.73
  • Cross-references to this page (2):
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), ARGOS
    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), TROEZEN
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