Constitution of Athens

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Constitution of Athens,

treatise by Aristotle or a member of his school, written in the late 4th cent. B.C. It was lost until discovered on Egyptian papyrus in 1890. It is a history of the Athenian government and an account of its operation in the time of Aristotle. It is a valuable historical source.


See tr. by H. Rackham (rev. ed. 1961); study by J. H. Day and M. Chambers (1962).

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References in periodicals archive ?
1.143.5; "The Old Oligarch," PseudoXenophons Constitution of the Athenians, trans.
The 'Old oligarch'; the Constitution of the Athenians attributed to Xenophon.
Rhodes has worked for decades in this field, writing the commentary on Aristotle's Constitution of the Athenians. Here he presents a good, short, general introduction to the papers, which are also introduced in groups.
Frisch, The Constitution of the Athenians (Copenhagen, 1942), pp.
In Politics (1276a26-34), written before the Constitution of the Athenians,(6) Aristotle posits the general rule that cities define citizenship generously when short of men, strictly when citizen numbers are buoyant: the explanation of Perikles' Law in the Constitution of the Athenians may simply be an application of this rule.(7)
(1) See the summary [Aristotle], Constitution of the Athenians, 41.
Amongst the numerous difficult passages of the anonymous Constitution of the Athenians the present one, as a whole, has particularly tenaciously resisted attempts at interpretation or elucidation in spite of progress made as to a number of details.
In my opinion this interpretation not only suits the overall political tendency (polemizing in favour of oligarchy) of the Constitution of the Athenians very well, but also very reasonably fits the treatise's style, marked by very harsh transitions as well as leaps of thought, which can be shown, however, to make sense in most cases.
The beginning of wisdom about the world of the early Greek tyrants is to be found in the consideration of the account given by the Aristotelian Constitution of the Athenians of the three 'parties' at the time of Pisistratus' rise to power (13.4-5).
When he took to writing up his 158 Constitutions, he may have done a lot of precious research, but it would be wrong to presume that they were necessarily all as full or of the same nature as the Constitution of the Athenians. We have fragments of 64.

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