Constitution of Athens

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Constitution of Athens

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).

Constitutions, Apostolic

Constitutions, Apostolic, late-4th-century compilation, in eight books, of administrative canons for the clergy and the laity and of guides for worship. They were supposed to be works of the apostles, but actually included the greater part of the Didascalia Apostolorum, a lost Greek treatise of 3d-century origin, most of the Didache, and fragments from Hippolytus and Papias. The work concludes with a collection of 85 moral and liturgical canons known as the “Apostolic Canons,” a portion of which became part of canon law of the Western Church. The work is thought to be of Syrian origin. The whole is a valuable primary source on early church history and practice.
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