The Greek City and its Institutions

The Greek City and its Institutions

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public actions for the protection of the weak, and Cleisthenes and Pericles had strengthened popular justice, Athens, carried forward on a wave of democratic fervour, had marched along the road to which her traditions bound her, far ahead of all the other cities. At the end of the fifth century she alone granted the individual the right of free disposition of his property by will ; she alone had abolished the State privilege of collective responsibility; she alone had carried philanthropy so far

for it. It had been in preparation, indeed, since the end of the fifth century. Even then class solidarity was, if we may use that term, a collective egoism. The feeling was : make way for those who feel themselves strong enough to rise above parties and to seize absolute power. Tyranny died in Greece as soon as the cities found constitutional equilibrium, almost always through the victory of democratic government. It was to return, thanks to the new ideas which recognized for sole guide personal

147; cf. 117 De Coron., 211. 118 Arist., op. cit., 48, 4-5; cf. Andoc, De Myst., 78; Antiph., Chor., 43 ; BIG, nos. 604, Β, 1. 7 ff. ; 150. 119 Arist., op. cit., 27, 1. 120 Id., ibid., 54, 2. 121 Id., ibid., 59, 2. 122 Plut., Sol., 24; Ps. Dem., 123 C. Macart., 54, 71; IG, vol. I2, nos. 57, 63, 73, 04; cf. no. 58; IJG, vol. II, no. xxix, A; BIG, no. 604, B. 124 Aristoph., Knights, 1100 ff.; 1207. 125 Xen., Mem., II, 1, 0. 126 Democr., ap. Stob., Flor., XLVI, 48. 127 Plut., Pericl., 23;

Rhegium when he legislated for Thracian Chalcidice;19 then it passed into the island of Cos and thence into Asia Minor, to Teos, to Lebedos and as far as Cappadoeia.20 It is not improbable that the influence of the Sicilian colonies was exerted in Corinth and in Thebes when the first of these cities received a code from Pheidon and the second from the Bacchiad Philolaus.21 But old Greece was not slow to furnish itself with written laws or codes according to its own methods. Crete seems to have

obstacles before it. In theory the family remained sovereign; in fact it often had to yield to that nameless collective will which was able to place so formidable a weapon in the hands of the king. The Aehæans appear to have reached this stage of civilization when they settled in the midst of the peoples established on the shores of the Ægean. They were only an armed minority which had for the most part to adapt its ideas and institutions to the customs of the majority which it governed. The

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