Athenian Politics c800-500 BC: A Sourcebook (Routledge by G. R. Stanton

By G. R. Stanton

First released in 1990. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa corporation.

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1 [36], a division of Solon’s public activities into the seisakhtheia, which he dates to 594/3 BC, and the nomothesia (‘lawgiving’), which he dates two years later. The phraseology of this passage (‘they both offered a public sacrifice…and declared Solon reformer of the constitution and lawgiver, entrusting everything…’) might SOLON 25 suggest a sequence of relief of burdens followed by general legislation. 2–9 [34]) and nomothesia (chapters 17 and following). 1–4 [48]). 8 [27] nomothesia refers to Solon’s whole legislative activity, for the context concerns the suggestion that Solon become a tyrant, before his cancellation of debts or any other law.

This, they said, had happened earlier for the Euboians when they chose Tynnondas as tyrant and in their age for the Mitylenaians when they chose Pittakos. (8) None of these arrangements shook Solon from his resolve. To his friends he is reported to have said that tyranny was a noble position, but there was no way down from it. To Phokos he wrote in his poems: If I spared my land, My native land, and withheld my hand from tyranny And relentless force, which would taint and disgrace my good repute, I am not ashamed.

2 [31]). Then he implies that Solon was not an owner of large estates. The fact that Solon was a noble, whose appointment was agreed to by noble leaders, must be central to any estimation of Solon’s work. 4 As interpreted by the author of the Athenaion Politeia, this would be one fragment of Solon’s poetry where he aligns himself with the poorer people against the rich (‘you’ versus ‘we’). But elsewhere, in Fragment 6 [24], the idea of ambitious minds gaining a surfeit of wealth refers to the poorer people; Solon there associates himself with the powerful and advises them on how to handle the common people.

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