The Ancient Library
 

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§ 38] OLIGARCHIES OF FIXED NUMBER. 137

established which bore the name of the Five Thousand, although in all probability a larger number were ad­mitted20.

We know little about the method in which the actually privileged citizens were chosen from the qualified body. Aristotle assumes that it will be by cooptation, and the assumption implies that the privilege would be held for life21. id other states the privilege may have gone by rotation to all the qualified22: or the assemblies may at stated intervals have been dissolved, either wholly or in part, and fresh members appointed. This is implied in Aristotle's account of the government at Massalia2". The conditions required must usually have included a property qualification, but at Massalia we hear of different tests being applied24.

Something should be said about the place that these bodies took in the constitution. Their political function I discuss below25: for the present I wish to note that they

M See § 37 n. 8.

21 Election seems to be contemplated from the use of the word ai/aerol which occurs in Ar. and Heracl.

22 Such a method was sometimes employed in democracies, Ar. Pol. vii 4 1318 b 23 Trap mms S-f/fiois, xav /j.t) neTtxa<rt ™7' aiptffeus r&v apx&i' dXXd rives alperol /card /j.tpos ik Trivrav k.t.\. This principle was asserted in the projected constitution of the oligarchs in 411. See Appendix 0 n. 53.

23 Ar. quoted in n. 2. I assume that Aristotle is referring to the 600 mentioned by Strabo I.e. The only discrepancy is that Strabo refers to the 600 (called n/wOxoi) holding office for life, whereas Aristotle's description implies elections at stated periods, with a sort of competition of merit. But the change may have been made after Aristotle's time.

24 Aristotle's account implies that the qualification was not timo-cratic. Strabo I.e. says Ti/uoCx°s 5' ot ytverat /«) rtKva (xui>, A")8£ 5ia rpi-yovtas ex iroXiTuv yeyovus.

26 See § 47.

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