George Grote.

A history of Greece: from the earliest period to the close of the generation contemporary with Alexander the Great online

. (page 58 of 62)
Online LibraryGeorge GroteA history of Greece: from the earliest period to the close of the generation contemporary with Alexander the Great → online text (page 58 of 62)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

which Aristotle mentions as having b^n taken in various oli-
garchical cities — to contrive as much e\dl as possible to the
people.' So much the more complete was the reaction of senti-

1 '*I oonfees, gentlemen, that this formerly foreboded It eome to pua

appears to me as bad In tlie principle. Thus, by degrees, that artful softeninc

and far worse in the consequences, than of all arbitrary power, the allera

an uuiTersal suspension of the Habeas infrequency or narrow extent of its

Corpus Act. . . . Far from softening operation, will be recelTed as a sort of

the features of such a principle, and aphorism ; and Mr. Hume will not bs

thereby removing any part of the singular in telling ns that the felicity

popular odium or natural terrors of mankind is no more distorbed by

attending it, I should be sorry that it than by earthquakes or thunder, or

ariifthing /rwned in eontradietion to tki the other more unusual acddoits of

Mpirit <^f our eomtUutUm did not ijutanUjf nature." (Burke, Letter to the Sberift

produce in /act th* gro$u$t qf the eviU of Bristol, 1777 : Burke s Works, tqL

with vhich it itoi pregnant in iU nature, iU' pp. 146—150, ock edit.).
It is by 1 ving dormant a long time, or > Aristot Polit ▼. 7, 19. mI t^ ^^

being at first Tory rarely exercised, that K<uc<ipow coviuu, «u ^ovA«if«w i,T» ir

arbitrary power steals upon a people. Ix** KmK&v.

On the next unconstitutional act, all The complimentaiy epitaph warn

the fashionable world will be ready to the Thirty, cited in the SehoL ob

say— Your prophecies are ridiculous, iEschinte - praising them as having

your fears are vain, you see how curbed, for a short time, the insoleMS

little of the misfortunes which yon of the accursed Demos of Athena— is te

Digitized by VjOOQIC


ment towarcU the antecedent democracy, even in the minds of
those who had heen hefore discontented with it To all men,
rich and poor, citizens and metics, the comparative excellence of
the democracy, in respect of all the essentials of good govern-
ment, was now manifest With the exception of those who had
identified themselves with the Thirty as partners, partisans, or
instruments, there was scarcely any one who did not feel that his
life and property had been far more secure under the former
democracy* and would become so again if that democracy were

It was the first measure of Thrasybulus and his companions,
after concluding the treaty with Pausanias and thus Amnertr—
re-entering the city, to exchange solemn oaths, of *^,^*'**^
amnesty for the past, with those against whom they Thirty and
had just been at war. Similar oaths of amnesty were ***• ""•
also exchanged with those in Eleusis, as soon as that town came
into their power. The only persons excepted from this amnesty
were the Thirty, the Eleven who had presided over the execution
of all their atrocities, and the Ten who had governed in Peiraeua.
Even these persons were not peremptorily banished : opportunity
was offered to them to come in and ti^e their trial of account-
ability (universal at Athens in the case of every magistrate on
quitting office); so that, if acquitted, they would enjoy the
benefit of the amnesty as well as all others.' We know that
Eratosthenes, one of the Thirty, afterwards returned to Athens ;
since there remains a powerful harangue of Lysias invoking
justice against him as having brought to death Polemarchus (the
brother of Lysias). Eratosthen^ was one of the minority of the
Thirty who sided generally with Theramen^ and opposed to a
considerable degree the extreme violences of Eritias - although
personally concerned in that seizure and execution of the rich
metics which Theramen^s had resisted, and which was one of the
grossest misdeeds even of that dark period. He and Pheidon —
being among the Ten named to succeed the Thirty after the death
of Kritias, when the remaining members of that deposed Board
retired to Eleusis—had endeavoured to maintain themselves as a

the mine epirlt : see K. F. Hemuum, hpmv Si}vov roj^ ipipmif ip XP^i^ ^^YT

Staats-AlterthdmerderGriechen, a. 70, xAvo'^*' avoSci^arrct i^v iikvpo99w vo-

note ». A(T«Mv, kc

1 Plato, Kpiatol. tH. p. 324. ic«i < AndoUdte de Mysterili, a M.

Digitized by VjOOQIC


new oligarchy, carrying on wai' at the same time against Eleasi^
and against the democratical exilee in Peirseoa. Failing in thia»
they had retired from the country, at the time when the exilea
returned, and when the democracy was first re-eetablished. Bat
after a certain interval, the intense sentiments of the moment
having somewhat subsided, they were encouraged by their friend
to return, and came back to stand tlieir triid of accountability.
It was on that occasion that Lysias preferred his accusation
against Eratosthen^ the result of which we do not know, though
we see plainly (even from the accu8a:o'y speech) that the latter
had powerful friends to stand by him, and that the dikasts
manifested considerable reluctance to condemn.^ We learn,
moreover, from the same speech, that such was the detestation of
the Thirty among several of the states surrounding Attica, as to
cause formal decrees for their expulsion or for prohibiting their
coming.' The sons, even of such among the Thirty as did not
return, were allowed to remain at Athens, and enjoy their rights
of citizens unmolested * — a moderation rare in Grecian political

The first public vote of the Athenians, after the conclusion of
Dtsfnui- peace with Sparta and the return of the exiles, was to
TOdtJonoT '^^^ ^^® former democracy purely and simply, to
Phormisiut. choose by lot the nine Archons and the Senate of Five
Hundred, and to elect the generals — all as before. It appears
that this restoration of the preceding constitution was partially
opposed by a citizen named Phomiisius, who, having served with
Thrasybulus in Peirseus, now moved that the political franchise
should for the future be restricted to the possessors of land in

1 AH thfs may be collected from presenting that he had done the least

Tarious passages of the Orat. xiL of mischief of all the Thirty— that all that

Lvsias. Eratosthento did not stand he had done had been under ftdir of his

alone on his trial, but in coi^unction own life— that he had been the partisaa

with other coUeaguM, thoiiffh of course and supporter of llieramente, whose

(pursuant to the pseplibon of Kanndnus) memory was at that time popular—

the vute of the dikasU would be taken may be seen in sections 51, 66, 6^ 87,

about each separately — oAAa vopa 8S, 91.

'^pATootfcVovf Kcu Twy rovrovt owopxov- There are evidences a1w> of other

rmv limir Kati(i^a^i¥. . . . mi}6* diroOtft accusations brought against the Thirty

fik¥ Totf rptoieovTa jirt^ovAcvcrc, vapoy before the senate of Areopagus (Lynias,

rof y o^iirf iirtH -rlic rvxn«« ^ rovrovt Or. zL cont. Theomnest. A. a. 31, U. s.

wapiSntKt rfl iroA^i, kokiov Vfiiv avrotf 12).
fiori$i^<rflT9 (s. 80, 81) : compare a 36. > Lysias, Or. xii. cont. Eratonth. s.

The number of friendH prepared to 86.
back the defence of Eratosthenes, and -^ Demosth. adv. Bcsotuui de Dote

to obtain his acquittal, chiefly by re- Matem. c 6, p. 1018.

Digitized by VjOOQIC

Chap, lxvl disfranchibkmbmt propobal bbjbgtbd. 513

Attica. His proposition was understood to be supported by the
Lacedfiemonians, and was recommended as calculated to make
Athens march in better harmony with them. It was presented
as a compromise between oligarchy and democracy, excluding
both the poorer freemen and those whose property lay either in
movables or in land out of Attica ; so that the aggregate num-
ber of the disfranchised would have been five thousand persons.
Since Athene now had lost her fleet and maritime empire, and
since the importance of Peirseus was much curtailed, not merely
by these losses, but by demolition of its separate walls and of the
long walls, Phormisius and others conceived the opportunity
favourable for striking out the maritime and trading multitude
from the roll of citizens. Many of these men must have been
in easy and even opulent circumstances ; but the bulk of them
were poor, and Phormisius had of course at his command the
usual arguments, by which it is attempted to prove that poor
men have no business with political judgment or action. But
the proposition was rejected ; the orator Lysias being among its
opponents, and composing a speech against it which was either
spoken, or intended to be spoken, by some eminent citizen in the

Unfortunately we have only a fragment of the speech remain-
ing, wherein the proposition is justly criticized as Thepropo-
mischievous and unseasonable, depriving Athens of a "V®^j__
large portion of her legitimate strengtli, patriotism, speech
and harmony, and even of substantial men competent SJ^i^Jslas
to serve as hoplites or horsemen, at a moment when ««aiMtit.
she was barely rising from absolute prostration. Never certainly
was the fallacy which connects political depravity or incapacity
with a poor station, and politic^ virtue or judgment with wealth,
more conspicuously unmasked than in reference to the recent
experience of Athens. The remark of Thrasybulus was most
true ' — that a greater number of atrocities, both against person
and against property, had been committed in a few months by
the Thirty, and abetted by the class of Horsemen, all rich men —
than the poor majority of the Demos had sanctioned during two
generations of democracy. Moreover we know, on the authority

1 Dion. Hal. Jnd. de LyMA, o. 82, p. 626 : Lysias, Orat xsxi?., Bokk.
> Xenoph. Hellen. ii. 4, 41.


Digitized by VjOOQIC


of a witness unfriendly to the democracy, that the poor Athenian
citizens, who served on ship-board and elsewhere, were exact in
obedience to their commanders ; while the richer citixens, who
served as hoplites and horsemen, and who laid claim to higher
individual estimation, were far less orderly in the public service.*
The motion of Phormisius being rejected, the antecedent demo-
BoTlsionof cracy wlj restored without qualification, together
Se Nomol ^^^ ^® ordinances of Drako, and the laws, measures^
ihete. and weights of Soldn. But on closer inspection it

was found that the latter part of the resolution was incompatible
with the amnesty which bad been just sworn. According to the
laws of Soldn and Drako, the perpetrators of enormities under
the Thirty had rendered themselves guilty, and were open to
triaL To escape this consequence, a second psephism or decree
was passed, on the proposition of Tisamenus, to review the laws
of Soldn and Drako^ and re-enact them with such additions and
amendments as might be deemed expedient Five Hundred
citizens had just been chosen by the people as Nomothete or
Law-makers, at the same time when the Senate of Five Hundred
was taken by lot : out of these Nomothetse, the senate now chose
a select few, whose duty it was to consider all propositions for
amendment or addition to the laws of the old democracy, and
post them up for public inspection before the statues of the
Eponymous Heroes, within Uie month then running.' The
senate, and the entire body of Five Hundred Nomothetas, were

1 Xenoph. Memor. UL 6. 19. final or decisive fonotion whAtevor;

s Andokidte de Mysteriis, s. 8S. 6v- they were simply chosen to consider

4vmv6*SLv irpo<r8«]) (foftwvX olit i$pi}- wliat new propositions were fit to be

lt,4woi ¥oiio$4Taiivwh Tfit fiovKii^ submitted for disenssion, and to

Araypdiftorrtt iv vanvtp herxBivrmv vpb« provide that SUCh propositions should

ro^c iwuvviiovit oitovtlv rf /lovAoft^i^, be publiclv made Known. Now any

«al vopdSiBovrwr rats dpxoif iv ry<S« r^ persons Simply invested with this

iii.j\9L. rov9 <« wapaiiiotU^v^ v6iunfx <o- character of a preliminary committecu

fr(/yiao>aT« xrp6r*po-v 17 fiovkii cat 01 would not (in nnr Jadgment) be called

vo/uLo^^TAt ol v«vraictfo>tot, oOf ol NomothetflB. Tiie reason why the

lnik6rat.9lkovro,in*%XjnhitMii6Ka9xv. persons here mentioned were so

Putting together the two sentences called was that they were a portion

in which the Nomothetn are here of the Five Hundred NomothetK, in

mentioned, Beiske and F. A. Wolf whom the power of peremptory decisioa

(Prolegom. ad Demosthen. cont nlUmately rested. A small committee

Leptin. p. oxxiz.) think that there would naturally be entrusted with this

were two cinneos of Nomothets: one preliminary duty; and the members

class chosen by the senate, the other of that small committee were to be

by the people. This appears to me chosen by one of the bodies with whom

very improbable. The persons chosen ultimate decision rested, but chossn

by the senate were invested with no otUq/" the other.

Digitized by VjOOQIC


then to be convened, in order tbat each might pass in review,
separately, both the old laws and the new propositions ; the
Nomothetn being previously sworn to decide righteously. While
this discussion was going on, every private citizen had liberty to
enter the senate, and to tender his opinion with reasons for or
against any law. All the laws which should thus be approved
(iirst by i^e senate, afterwards by the Nomothetee), but no others,
were to be handed to the magistrates, and inscribed on the walls
of the Portico called Poekil^ for public notoriety, as the future
regulators of the city. After the laws were promulgated by such
public inscription, the senate of Areopagus was eqjoined to take
care that they should be duly observed and enforced by the
magistrates. A provisional committee of twenty citizens was
named, to be generally responsible for the city during the time
occupied in this revision.^

As soon as the laws had been revised and publicly inscribed in
the PoekiW pursuant to the above decree, two con- Decree that
eluding laws were enacted which completed the JP^j**"**
purpose of the citizens. ihould be

The first of these laws forbade the magistrates to beji^ond the
act upon, or permit to be acted upon, any law not *r$**JJ^P
among those inscribed ; and declared that no psephism, dto—
either of the senate or of the people, should overrule ^^'
any law.' It renewed also the old prohibition (dating from the
days of Eleisthen^ and the first origin of the democracy^ to
enact a special law inflicting direct hardship upon any individual
Athenian apart from the rest, unless by the votes of 6000 citizens
voting secretly.

The second of the two laws prescribed that all the legal
adjudications and arbitrations which had been passed under the
antecedent democracy should be held valid and unimpeached ;
but formally annulled all which had been passed under the
Thirty. It further provided that the laws now revised and in-
scribed should only take effect from the archonship of Eukleid^ ;

lAndokidte de MysterUs, t. 81— properlT to be inserted here: see

tt. Demoeth. cont Aristokrat c. 2S, p.

SAndoUdte de Myitertia, t. 87. 049.
MtviuL 6i fii|Mr M^r* ^v^if f^^r* Compare a iliiiilar use of the phiMe

ii|MOV (t^iftov). Kvpuircpo V clFOi. ^itsaSiv trvputrcpoF «tFat— in DttmoMtheO.

It seems that the word ytf^iov oof^t ooni Lakrit c. 9, p. 987.

Digitized by VjOOQIC




that is, from the nominations of archons made after the recent

return of Thrasybulus and renovation of the democracy.*

By these ever-memorable enactments, all acts done prior to the

Oath ta^en i^omination of the archon Eukleid^ and his colleagues

by the (in the summer of 403 aa) were excluded from

senate and ^ . , . . • i • ^

tbedikasts serving as grounds for cnmmal process against any

modified. citizen. To ensure more fully that this should be

carried into effect, a special clause was added to the oath taken

annually by the senators, as well as to that taken by the Heliastic

dikasts. The senators pledged themselves by oath not to receive

any impeachment, or give effect to any arrest founded on any fact

prior to the archonship of Eukleid^ excepting only against the

Thirty and the other individuals expressly shut out from the

1 Andokidte de Myster. i. 87. We
■ee (from Demosthen. cont Timokrat.
c. 16. p. 718) that AndoUdte has not
cited the law fully. He has omitted
these words — iir^a <* ivi rwv rpU-
Kovra iwoaxBri, 1j iiC^ i) Si^uoo-tf eucvpa
«Zrai — these words not haTing any
material oonnexion with the omnt at
which he was aiming. Compare
.Aschines oont Timarch. c. 8, n. 25—
Kot carw ravra Jucypo, •»<nrcp tA «irl rmv
ynoKorra, ij ri vpd EvxAciSov, 9 cI rif
aXAiy irwvoT« rotavri) iyirm wpoBtap-ia,

Tisamenns is probably the same
person of whom Lysias speaks con-
temptnoosly — .Or. xxx. cont. Niko-
mach. s. 86.

Meier (De Bonis Damnatorom, p. 71)
thinks that there is a contramction
between the decree proposed by Tisa-
menus (Andok. de Myst s. 83X and
another decree proposed by Dioklds,
cited in the Oranon of Demosth. oont
Timokr. c 11. p. 713. But there is no
real contradiction between the two,
and the only semblance of contradic-
tion that is to be found arises from the
fact that the law of Dioklte is not
correctly given as it now stands. It
ought to be read thus :—

AiokA^s «Tir«, Towf y6fiovt tw>« wp6

5<roi hr' EvK\tliov M9riaay, koX ti&itf
AvaycyDOM/MFot [av* BvxAciiov] icv-
piovf ctroi • Toi^ 6i fur' EvxXtUtiv rtBdr-
TBC Koi rb Xoiwhv rt$9fitpmn, Kvpiovt
clroi avb rqc intdpat ^ Uaarof ^«tfi),
w^r «i rtf wpovyryoawTM XP^*'*^ Bpnva
itl fyx*^^' iwiypa^ot H, roU i^ rvw

rpidxovra i^ficpwy* t4 Bi Aoitrbr, tt «»
TwyxoiTj ypofuULTnimv, vpocrypa^^n*
vapaypi)fia rhv viiutv Kvputv ciViat osb

The words an-* BvKA«i<ev, whidi
stand between brackets in the fourth
line, are inserted on nur own ooi^jeo-
tore ; and I venture to think that any
one who will read the whole law
through and the comments of the
orator upon it, will see that they are
imperatively required to make the
sense complete. The entire scope and
purpose of the law is to regulate elear^
the time fiom wAicA each law shall
begin to be valid.

As the first part of the law reads
now. without tnese words, it has no
pertinence— no bearing on the main

Surpose contemplated by Dioklte in
tie second part, nor on the reasonings
of Demosthenes afterwards. It Is easy
to understand how the words iv Bv-
icActBov should have dropped out,
seeing that iv EvxAeiSov immediatdy
precedes : another error has been, in
fact, introduced, by putting Ab* Ev-
irAftJov in the former case instead of
iv EuicAciSov— which error has been
corrected by various recent editors, on
the authority of some MSS.

The law of IHoklds, when properly
read, fully harmonises with that d
Tisamenus. Meier wonders that then
is no mention made of the BoKifLmrU
r6ii*»y by the NomothetsB, wtdcfa is
prescribed in the decree of Tisamenns
But it was not necessary to mention
this expressly, since the words 6vm
ct^ly Iva^ftypiititUyoi presuppoee the
foregone SoKifiaoia.

Digitized by VjOOQIC




amnesty, and now in exile.^ To the oath annually taken by the
Heliasta, alsO) was added the clause — '* I will not remember past
wrongs, nor will I abet any one else who shall remember them ;
on the contrary,' I will give my vote pursuant to the existing
laws'' : which laws proclaimed themselves as only taking effect
from the archonship of EukleidSs.

A still fmther precaution was taken to bar all actions for
redress or damages founded on acts done prior to the
archonship of Eukleides. On the motion of Archinus
(the principal colleague of Thrasybulus at Phyle), a
law was passed granting leave to any defendant,
against whom such an action might be brought, to
plead an exception in bar (or Paragraph^) upon the special
ground of the amnesty and the legal prescription connected with
it The legal effect of this Paragraph^ or exceptional plea, in
Attic procedure, was to increase both the chance of failure, and
the pecuniary liabilities in case of failure, on the part of the
the plaintiff ; also to better considerably the chances of the
defendant. This enactment is said to have been moved by
Archinus, on seeing that some persons were beginning to institute
actions at law in spite of the anmesty, and for the better pre-
vention of all such claims.*

Further pre-
cautions to
ensure the
of the

^ 1 AndoUdte de Mysteriis, s. 91. ««l
ov ii^ofuu iySn^iv ov6i amayiayiiv hnica

^ s AndoUd. de Mysteriis, s. 91. ^ xal
fimiO'ucaMovvTt,) vc(<rouat, ^f^iovfuu £«

This clanse does not appear as part
of the Ueliastic oath given in Demos-
then, cent. Timokrat. c. 3d, p. 746.
It was extremely significant and Tain-
able for the few years immediately
succeeding the renovation of the demo-
cracy. But its Talne was essentially
temporary, and it was doubtless
dropped within twenty or thirty years
after the period to which it specially

3The Oiat xriiL of Isokratte-
ParagraphO oont. Kallimachum— in*
forms us on these points— espedaUy
sections 1—4.

Kallimachns had entered an action
xigainst the client of Isokratte for
10,000 drachma} (s. 15—17), charging

him as an accomplice of Fatroklte (the
KingArchon under the Ten who
immediately succeeded the Thirt7»
prior to the return of the exilesX in
seizing and oonflscating a sum of
money belonging to Kallimachns. The
hitter, in commencing this action, was
under the necessity of paying the fees
called prylaneia—tk sum proportional
to what was claimed, and amounting
to 80 drachmae, when the sum claimed
was between 1000 and 10,000 drachmae.
Suppose that action had gone to trial
directly, Kallimachus, if he lost his
cause, would have to forfeit his pry-
taneia, but he would forfeit no more.
Now according to the Paragraph^ per-
mitted bv the law of Archinus, the
defendant is allowed to make oath
that the action against bim is founded
npon a fkct prior to the archonship of
Eukleidte ; and a cause is then tried
first, upon that special issue, npon
which the defendant is allowed to
speak first, before the plaintifL If the
verdict, on this special issue, is given

Digitized by VjOOQIC


By such additional enactments, security vras taken that the
proceedings of the courts of justice should be in fidl conformity
with the amnesty recently sworn, and that, neither directly nor
indirectly, should any person be molested for wrongs done
anterior to Eukleidds. And, in fact, the amnesty was faithfully
observed ; the re-entering exiles from Peimus, and the Horse-
men with other partisans of the Thirty in Athens, blended again
together into one harmonious and equal democracy.

Eight years prior to these incidents, we have seen the oli-
Absence garchical conspiracy of the Four Hundred, for a
Jj^yjj,^ moment successful, and afterwards overthrown ; an«l
^Mn«i we have had occasion to notice, in reference to that
the Thirty event, the wonderful absence of all reactionary
Se Fo^r violence on the part of the victorious people, at a
Hnndred. moment of severe provocation for the past, and
extreme i^prehension for the future. We noticed that Thucy-
did^ no friend to the Athenian democracy, selected precisely
that occasion — on which some manifestation of vindictive impulse
might have been supposed likely and natural— to bestow the
most unqualified eulogies on their moderate and gentle bearing.
Had the historian lived to describe the reign of the Thirty,
and the restoration which followed it, we cannot doubt that hie
expressions would have been still warmer and more emphatic in
the same sense. Few events in history, either ancient or modem,
are more astoniBhing than the behaviour of the Athenian people
on recovering their democracy after the overthrow of the Thirty;
and when we view it in conjunction with the like phsenomenon
after the deposition of the Four Hundred, we see that neither the
one nor the other arose from peculiar caprice or accident of the
moment — both depended upon permanent attributes of the
popular character. If we knew nothing else except the events
of these two periods, we should be warranted in dismissing, on
that evidence alone, the string of contemptuous predicates —

in favour of the defendant, the plaintiff farther with his original action, and
ia not only disabled from proceeding to receive beeidea at once from the

Online LibraryGeorge GroteA history of Greece: from the earliest period to the close of the generation contemporary with Alexander the Great → online text (page 58 of 62)