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Solon the law-giver once entered the assembly and urged the Athenians to overthrow the tyranny before it became all-powerful. And when no man paid attention to him, he put on his full armour and appeared in the market-place, although an old man, and calling upon the gods as witnesses he declared that by word and deed, so far as in him lay, he had brought aid to the fatherland when it was in peril. But since the populace did not perceive the design of Peisistratus, it turned out that Solon, though he spoke the truth, was disregarded. [2] And it is said that Solon also predicted the approaching tyranny to the Athenians in elegiac verse1:“ From cloud is born the might of snow and hail
And from bright lightning's flash the thunder comes.
And from great men a city finds its doom;
The people in their ignorance have bowed
In slavery to a monarch's single rule.
For him who puts too far from shore 'tis hard
The harbour later on to make; but now
At once one needs must think of everything.
” [3]

And later, when the tyranny was already established, he said2:“ If now you suffer grievous things because
Of your own cowardice, charge not this fate
Unto the gods' account; for you yourselves
Exalted these men's power by giving them
A guard, and on this count have you put on
The yoke of evil slavery. Each by each
With fox's steps you move, but meeting all
Together trifling judgement do you show.
For to man's tongue and shifty word you look,
But to the deed he does you ne'er give heed.
” [4]

Peisistratus urged Solon to hold his peace and to share with him in the advantages arising from the tyranny. And when he could find no means to change Solon's purpose, but saw in fact that he was ever more and more aroused and steadfastly threatening to bring him to punishment, he asked him upon what resources he relied in his opposition to his designs. And we are told that Solon replied, "Upon my old age."Const. Exc. 4, pp. 286-287.

[Herodotus, who lived in the time of Xerxes, gives this account3: After the Assyrians had ruled Asia for five hundred years they were conquered by the Medes, and thereafter no king arose for many generations to lay claim to supreme power, but the city-states, enjoying a regimen of their own, were administered in a democratic fashion; finally, however, after many years a man distinguished for his justice, named Cyaxares, was chosen king among the Medes. He was the first to try to attach to himself the neighbouring peoples and became for the Medes the founder of their universal empire; and after him each of his successive descendants extended the kingdom by adding a great deal of the adjoining country, until the reign of Astyages, who was conquered by Cyrus and the Persians.4 We have for the present given only the most important of these events in summary and shall later give a detailed account of them one by one when we come to the periods in which they fall; for it was in the second year of the Seventeenth Olympiad,5 according to Herodotus, that Cyaxares was chosen king of the Medes.]Diod. 2.32.2-3.

[When Astibaras, the king of the Medes, died of old age in Ecbatana, his son Aspandas, whom the Greeks call Astyages, succeeded to the throne. And when he had been defeated by Cyrus the Persian, the kingdom passed to the Persians. Of them we shall give a detailed and exact account at the proper time.]Diod. 2.34. 6.

1 Frag. 10 (Diehl), Edmonds, Elegy and Iambus, I, p. 122. The date was about 562 B.C.

2 Frag. 8 (Diehl), Edmonds, loc. cit..

3 See note to Book 2.32.

4 In 549 B.C.

5 711-710 B.C.

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