The Ancient Library

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society had made reform essential, such an one was usually given indefinite powers to readjust the constitution. Even in later times when further reforms were necessary the same process was sometimes employed. The absolute authority entrusted to the legislators induced Aristotle to regard men of this class as tyrants3, although their appointment was intended to prevent tyranny by a reconciliation of factions. Either a citizen was chosen to reform the constitution of his own state, as Draco, Solon and Cleistheues at Athens, Pittacus at Mitylene, Epimenes in Miletus, and Zaleucus in Locri; or a stranger was called in, as one who would be free from party feeling and might introduce the institutions of some more wisely ordered state. Thus Charondas legislated for many of the states of Sicily and Italy4; Philolaus of Corinth for Thebes5 and Demonax of Mantinea for Gyrene*. In the consideration of lawgivers we must not omit the founders of colonies: the oecist must often have been aesymnete, and nothing affords a better proof of the political talent of the Greeks than the institution of well-ordered and syste­matic government in so many colonies.

In some cases we can trace the influence of philosophers on legislation. Pythagoras affords a notable instance of the philosopher in politics, but his action was directed more to influence the rulers than to alter the constitu-

3 Ar. Pol. iii 14 1285 a 30, (the office of ahvuv^t is defined as alpcrii Tvpawis); ib. ii ch. 12 gives a general account of the ancient legislators. Cf. Plato Eep. x 599 p e.

4 See Plato cited in the last note.

5 Ar. Pol. ii 12 1274 a 22 and 31.

6 Hdt. iv 161, Demonax seems to have made some effort to adapt Spartan institutions to the needs of Cyrene.

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