The Ancient Library

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innovations of Cleisthenes, become far more intelli­gible on the hypothesis that the four Ionian tribes were Eupatrid tribes, and the Boule of Solon an Eupatrid body, whose action, however, was so far controlled by the demus, that its measures required the ratification of the popular assembly to make them valid. Mr.Grote (vol. iii. p. 97) expresses an opinion that before the time of Solon there was but one aristocratical council, the same which was afterwards distinguished from the Council of Four Hundred as the Upper Council, or the Council of Areiopagus. But his remark that the distinctive title of the latter, "Senate of Areiopagus," would not be bestowed until the formation by Solon of the second senate or council, seems at variance with the quotation from one of the laws of Solon himself, by which Plutarch shows that the council of Areiopagus was not instituted by Solon. We incline more to the opinion of Dr. Thirlwall (Hist, of Greece, vol. ii. p. 40), that the Boule of Solon was only a modification of a previously existing institution.

There was no doubt a public assembly of some kind before the time of Solon, though probably possessed of but little more power than those which we find described in the Homeric poems. Solon undoubtedly greatly enlarged its functions. He gave it the right of electing the archons and other magistrates, and, what was even more important, made the archons and magistrates accountable directly to it when their year of office was expired. He also gave it what was equivalent to a veto upon any proposed measure of the Boule, though it could not itself originate any measure. Nor does it seem at all likely that, as constituted by Solon, it even had the power of modifying any measure submitted to it. Every member of all the four classes might vote in the popular assembly (Diet. ofAntiq. art. Ecclesia\ and all votes seem to have had the same weight, which forms an im­portant point of difference between the Ecclesia of Athens and the Comitia Centuriata of Servius Tullius.

Plutarch (Sol. 19) remarks that it was an error to attribute to Solon the establishment of the council of the Areiop;igus (Diet, of Antiq. art. Areiopagus}. He does not seem even to have made any change in its constitution, though he enlarged its powers, and entrusted it with the ge­neral supervision of the institutions and laws of the state, and the religion and morals of the citizens.

Athenians in the age of unmitigated democracy-were extremely fond of speaking of all their in­stitutions either as originated by Solon, or as the natural expansion and application of his principles. Some even carried them back to Theseus. The orators of course were not slow to fall in with this popular prejudice, and various palpable anachronisms in their statements show how little reliance can be p'aced on any accounts of the institutions of Solon that come from such a source. For instance, the oath of the Heliastic dicasts, which is quoted by Demosthenes and ascribed to Solon (cont. Timocr. p. 746), mentions the Cleisthenean senate of Five hundred. Several other curious examples of simi­lar anachronisms are collected by Mr. Grote (vol. iii. p. 163, note 1) who has some excellent re­marks on the practice of connecting the name of Solon with the whole political and judicial state of Athens, as it existed between the age of Pericles


and that of Demosthenes ; many of the institutions thus referred to the great legislator, being among the last refinements and elaborations of the demo-cratical mind of Athens. We entirely coincide in his opinion that the whole arrangement of the Heliastic courts and the transference to them of the old judicial powers of the archons bespeaks a state of things utterly inconsistent with the known relations of the age of Solon. " It would be a marvel, such as nothing short of strong direct evi­dence would justify us in believing, that in an age when even partial democracy was yet untried, Solon should conceive the idea of such institutions: it would be a marvel still greater, that the half-emancipated Thetes and small proprietors for whom he legislated — yet trembling under the rod of the Eupatrid archons, and utterly inexperienced in collective business—should have been found suddenly competent to fulfil these ascendent func­tions, such as the citizens of conquering Athens in the days of Pericles — full of the sentiment of force, and actively identifying themselves with the dignity of their community — became gradually competent, and not more than competent, to exer­cise with effect." (p. 165.) The term Heliaea he thinks was in the time of Solon no more than the name of the popular assembly, which is in fact the original meaning of the word. The number of 6000, which was that of the whole body of dicasts in after times, had reference to the Cleisthenean division into 10 tribes. It is to be observed, that Plutarch, who after all is our best authority, says nothing of any such dicastic organisation as that of the later Heliaea. Mr Grote even questions the statement of Plutarch (Sol. 18), that Solon allowed an appeal to the ecclesia from the sentence of an archon, considering that Plutarch has been misled by the recollection of the Roman provocatio (L c. p. 172).

The idea of the periodical revision of his laws by the Nomothetae being a part of Solon's plan is even in contradiction to the statements of our authorities (Herod, i. 29 ; Pint. Sol. 25). The institution of the Nomothetae was one of the most ultra-democratical that can well be ima­gined. It was a jury appointed by lot out of a body of dicasts who were appointed by lot, with power to rescind any law with which any one could find sufficient fault to induce an assembly of the people to entertain the idea of subjecting it to revision. It is to be observed too that Demos­thenes (cont. Timarch. p. 706) and Aeschines (cont. Ctes. p. 429) mention, in connection with this procedure, as one of the regulations appointed by Solon to be observed by the proposer of a new or amended law, that he should post up his pro­posed law before the Eponymi, that is, the statues of the ten heroes from whom the ten tribes of Cleisthenes derived their names (comp. Grote, /. c. p. 163).

Besides the arrangement of the general political relations of the people Solon was the author of a great variety of special laws, which do not seem to have been arranged in any systematic manner. Those relating to debtors and creditors have been already referred to. Several had for their object the encouragement of trade and manufactures. Foreign settlers were not to be naturalized as citizens unless they carried on some industrious pursuit. If a father did not teach his son some trade or profession, the son was not liable to main-

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