The Ancient Library

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§ 20] LAWGIVERS. 61

tion7. Strabo suggests that the good order of Elea was due to Parmenides and Zeno8. There were political theorists before Socrates; but the most prominent of them, the Sophists, were ' in the anti-social camp9.' The masters of political philosophy came too late for their teaching to be realised in practice, if we except the attempt of Dion to found a philosophic state10 and the possible influence of philosophic ideals on such men as Epaminondas11, Archytas and Timoleon.

One other factor of constitutional change must not be omitted; the pretence of a return to an ' ancestral con­stitution12.' It is easier to effect a revolution, if it be represented as a return to the past; and though the Greeks were not particularly moved by sentimental admiration for the archaic, the fiction of the restoration

** of ancient forms of government was put forward especially by oligarchs who wished to overthrow the later growths

* of a democracy13.


ic 7 Newman, Introduction p. 377. Pythagoras breathed 'a new and is more ethical spirit into the rule of the Few.'

8 Strabo vi 252.

• Newman, Introduction, p. 391.

10 Pint. Dion 53.

11 Ar. Rhet. ii 23 1398 b 18 'Thebes never flourished till she was ruled by philosophers.'

11 Cf. Ar. Pol. ii 8 1268 b 26 ff. on oi rdrpioi v6/jux.

13 The oligarchies at Athens were established under a pretext of the restoration of the old democracy. Cf. Ar. Ath. Pol. 29 3; 34 3; Xen. HeU. ii 3 2; iii 4 2; Diod. xiv 3.

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