The Athenian Constitution

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Author: Aristotle  | Date: 328 BC

CHAPTER 36

Theramenes, however, seeing the city thus falling into ruin, was displeased with their proceedings, and counselled them to cease such unprincipled conduct and let the better classes have a share in the government. At first they resisted his advice, but when his proposals came to be known abroad, and the masses began to associate themselves with him, they were seized with alarm lest he should make himself the leader of the people and destroy their despotic power. Accordingly they drew up a list of three thousand citizens, to whom they announced that they would give a share in the constitution. Theramenes, however, criticized this scheme also, first on the ground that, while proposing to give all respectable citizens a share in the constitution, they were actually giving it only to three thousand persons, as though all merit were confined within that number; and secondly because they were doing two inconsistent things, since they made the government rest on the basis of force, and yet made the governors inferior in strength to the governed. However, they took no notice of his criticisms, and for a long time put off the publication of the list of the Three Thousand and kept to themselves the names of those who had been placed upon it; and every time they did decide to publish it they proceeded to strike out some of those who had been included in it, and insert others who had been omitted.

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Chicago: Aristotle, "Chapter 36," The Athenian Constitution, trans. Sir Frederic G. Kenyon Original Sources, accessed August 15, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4WJ249CQWZRYFHA.

MLA: Aristotle. "Chapter 36." The Athenian Constitution, translted by Sir Frederic G. Kenyon, Original Sources. 15 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4WJ249CQWZRYFHA.

Harvard: Aristotle, 'Chapter 36' in The Athenian Constitution, trans. . Original Sources, retrieved 15 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4WJ249CQWZRYFHA.