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the laws.” It then, apparently, became the object of Solon to revive the assembly and the senate, which must have had some previous existence, in order not only to defend his people against positive dangers, but to help them forward to greater privileges. His work continued calmly and unfailingly. The assembly, according to his constitution, was composed of all native Athenians, attained to the age of twenty, whose principal rights, in the beginning, consisted in electing to offices, and in calling magistrates to account for the manner in which their powers were exercised.” Above this in consideration and in authority was the senate, or, as then styled, the council; to which one hundred members, thirty years, at least, of age, were chosen yearly, from each of the four tribes, but not, perhaps, from all classes, in order to superintend the affairs and to pass the ordinary decrees of public administration.” It is sometimes doubted if Solon established the Heliaea, a general court, as it may be called, appointed from members of the assembly, but of those only who were thirty years old or upwards, and divided into various smaller tribunals, whose action, chiefly of a judicial character, was intended, like that of the council, to serve as a check upon the recklessness or insubordination of the assembly, from which it was formed;" in its earliest times, it was the court, especially, of appeal;” nor is it certain that the examination of candidates for the magistracies, or for places in the higher assemblies, as well as for common citizenship, was instituted by Solon.” The danger, as we have already remarked, is of attributing too much to the single lawgiver; but on whatever grounds the exercise of political liberty was intrusted to the people, it appears, that, after they were settled, Solon retraced, as it were, his steps, to corroborate the authority of the Areopagus. According to his law, the Archons, whose office had been honorably sustained, were alone made eligible to the most solemn of the Athenian tribunals, which, in conjunction with, yet in superiority to, the council, was formally constituted with authority over private and public life, as “the guardian and the protector of all the laws.” It is not difficult to conceive that a people, meeting together, with new impulses to excitement, beneath a southern sun, would soon need to be restrained as much as they had, at first, needed to be encouraged in the uses of their freedom. The larger number of the laws composing the code which Solon gave his countrymen have not yet been considered; nor can they now be enumerated, much less explained. But it is right to mention some more prominently connected with the efforts by which he who framed them was endeavouring to establish the liberty of the Athenians. The cruel penalties of Draco's laws were repealed; and the crime of murder alone remained punishable by death. While every one was encouraged to bring an offender of any degree to trial, it became necessary to exercise fresh severity in order to restrain the extravagance to which many of the richer men were yielding, and to prevent the insolence of the lower classes towards those esteemed to be far above them. The attention of the laboring people was directed towards mechanical arts, as the means of their support in a country whose narrow limits and scanty soil prevented the greater number from supporting themselves by agriculture; while nothing was allowed to be exported but oil, the abundant harvest from the olive-trees which covered Attica. The laws, in all their relations, were to be upheld; the prowess they encouraged was honored in public with magnificent rewards, and the vices they prohibited, such even as the thanklessness of children who neglected to support their parents, were branded with the deepest infamy.” Under so much watchfulness, it seems as if Athens must have become the model city of the ancient world. There was a numerous class, however, which afterwards became the largest of all in Athens, who had no share in these rights which Solon gave, or these higher duties which he imposed: they were the aliens and the slaves. He, indeed, in his desire to do all men justice, as far as he was allowed to know what justice was, admitted some exiles or immigrants, who resided permanently at Athens, to the Athenian citizenship; and made all strangers of eminence secure of an honorable welcome. So the slave was protected against the cruelties of his master, and was allowed to look forward to freedom as within his reach, if he were faithful or fortunate. But as years elapsed, and the democracy of Athens grew wild, as will be soon described, the number of slaves and aliens was very greatly increased, at the same time that the facility of obtaining protection or citizenship was very greatly diminished. Some of the strangers were still received as citizens, though in an inferior degree to the native Athenians; others pursued their trades and formed their connections, but were bound to pay a particular tax as aliens, and to depend upon an Athenian patron; while a third class, resident for a few years, or even less, paid their taxes annually, and were suffered to gain but little, either in rights or profits, in return.” In later times, the demand for naturalization was required to come from at least one thousand native citizens, and to be finally approved by an assembly in which six thousand were present to vote in its support. These things are mentioned even before they were the customs or the laws of Athens, lest it should seem surprising that the freedom which Solon founded did not rise in truer proportions as it continued to exist and to increase. He may himself have intended that the stranger should always have a home, and the slave a hope of liberty, under his laws; but, though we magnify the spirit which was in him, we cannot transfer it to his countrymen. The Athenian republic became the republic of a few Athenians alone.
142 See the Dict. Ant., Art. Euthyne.
143 Arist., Pol., II. 9.4. Plut., Sol., 18. The privilege which the citizens fifty years old or upwards received, of speaking first before the assembly, is characteristic only of Solon's time. So, too, the anecdote of Anacharsis's slur in Plut., Sol., 5. The most important reference here required is to the lines of Solon himself, in which he describes a very moderate constitution of the popular privileges. Plut., Sol., 18.
144 Xenophon (Mem., I. 2. 35) mentions the age ; Plutarch (Sol., 19) fills up the description of the senate, to which he ascribes the initiative in affairs not yet, apparently, submitted to the assembly. The most important functions of the council were discharged by its Prytanes, or presiding committees, each of which, in turn, took possession of the Prytaneum, continuing on duty without interruption for a certain number of days.
145 See Wachsmuth, Hist. Ant., or the senate. Smith's Dict. Gr. Vol. I. sect. 47, pp. 382–384, and Rom. Ant., art. Docimasia. Eng. transl. * 'Emiokomov mávrov kai poaka 146 Plut., Sol., 18. See note 141. row vénøv. Plut., Sol., 19. 147 It was held before the Heliaea
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150 These three classes were last two is that of Inquilini and named 'IororeMess, Mérouxot, and Eé- Peregrini. Taxes upon the stranger vol. The distinction between the were paid by capitation, and some151 Plut., Sol., 25. Herod., I. 152 Ibid., 20. Cf. Aul. Gell., II. 29. He had undoubtedly been en- 12.
The new code, written upon wooden tables, was set up in public, and the magistrates swore to it as “for an hundred years”; but Solon asked the Athenians to swear that it should be observed for only ten years, and then went away, -* weary, perhaps, with his long toils, perhaps considering it would be better both for the laws and for the people that their dependence on him should cease. One of the laws condemned to infamy and exile the citizen who should attempt, in case of a sedition, to be neutral;” and it may not have seemed to Solon too much to trust that this provision would avail, even where inclination was wanting to save and maintain his institutions. Pertimes, likewise, upon real property. gaged, for many years succeeding Demosth., Cont. Androt., 61. Xen., that of his Archonship, in the work De Vectig., 2. of legislation.