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This page presents quotations from Plato's younger contemporary Aristotle which are referenced in the Atlantis section of this website.



5Political strife, leading to appointment of Solon as mediator and Archon: his own description of his task. Since such, then, was the organization of the constitution, and the many were in slavery to the few, the people rose against the upper class. The strife was keen, and for a long time the two parties were ranged in hostile camps against one another, till at last, by common consent, they appointed Solon to be mediator and Archon, and committed the whole constitution to his hands. The immediate occasion of his appointment was his poem, which begins with the words: "I behold, and within my heart deep sadness has claimed its place, as I mark the oldest home of the ancient Ionian race slain by the sword."

In this poem he fights and disputes on behalf of each party in turn against the other, and finally he advises them to come to terms and put an end to the quarrel existing between them. By birth and reputation Solon was one of the foremost men of the day, but in wealth and position he was of the middle class, as is generally agreed, and is, indeed, established by his own evidence in these poems, where he exhorts the wealthy not to be grasping. "But ye who have store of good, who are sated and overflow, restrain your swelling soul, and still it and keep it low: let the heart that is great within you be trained a lowlier way; ye shall not have all at your will, and we will not for ever obey."

Indeed, he constantly fastens the blame of the conflict on the rich; and accordingly at the beginning of the poem he says that he fears 'the love of wealth and an overweening mind', evidently meaning that it was through these that the quarrel arose.

6The Seisachtheia. As soon as he was at the head of affairs, Solon liberated the people once and for all, by prohibiting all loans on the security of the debtor's person: and in addition he made laws by which he cancelled all debts, public and private. This measure is commonly called the Seisachtheia [= removal of burdens], since thereby the people had their loads removed from them. In connexion with it some persons try to traduce the character of Solon. It so happened that, when he was about to enact the Seisachtheia, he communicated his intention to some members of the upper class, whereupon, as the partisans of the popular party say, his friends stole a march on him; while those who wish to attack his character maintain that he too had a share in the fraud himself. For these persons borrowed money and bought up a large amount of land, and so when, a short time afterwards, all debts were cancelled, they became wealthy; and this, they say, was the origin of the families which were afterwards looked on as having been wealthy from primeval times. However, the story of the popular party is by far the most probable. A man who was so moderate and public-spirited in all his other actions, that when it was within his power to put his fellow-citizens beneath his feet and establish himself as tyrant, he preferred instead to incur the hostility of both parties by placing his honour and the general welfare above his personal aggrandisement, is not likely to have consented to defile his hands by such a petty and palpable fraud. That he had this absolute power is, in the first place, indicated by the desperate condition of the country; moreover, he mentions it himself repeatedly in his poems, and it is universally admitted. We are therefore bound to consider this accusation to be false.

7The constitution of Solon. The property classes. Next Solon drew up a constitution and enacted new laws; and the ordinances of Draco ceased to be used, with the exception of those relating to murder. The laws were inscribed on the wooden stands, and set up in the King's Porch, and all swore to obey them; and the nine Archons made oath upon the stone, declaring that they would dedicate a golden statue if they should transgress any of them. This is the origin of the oath to that effect which they take to the present day. Solon ratified his laws for a hundred years; and the following was the fashion in which he organized the constitution. He divided the population according to property into four classes, just as it had been divided before, namely, Pentacosiomedimni, Knights, Zeugitae, and Thetes. The various magistracies, namely, the nine Archons, the Treasurers, the Commissioners for Public Contracts [Poletae], the Eleven, and the Exchequer Clerks [Colacretae], he assigned to the Pentacosiomedimni, the Knights, and the Zeugitae, giving offices to each class in proportion to the value of their rateable property. To those who ranked among the Thetes he gave nothing but a place in the Assembly and in the juries. A man had to rank as a Pentacosiomedimnus if he made, from his own land, five hundred measures, whether liquid or solid. Those ranked as Knights who made three hundred measures, or, as some say, those who were able to maintain a horse. In support of the latter definition they adduce the name of the class, which may be supposed to be derived from this fact, and also some votive offerings of early times; for in the Acropolis there is a votive offering, a statue of Diphilus, bearing this inscription: "The son of Diphilus, Anthemion hight, raised from the Thetes and become a Knight, did to the gods this sculptured charger bring, for his promotion a thank-offering." And a horse stands in evidence beside the man, implying that this was what was meant by belonging to the rank of Knight. At the same time it seems reasonable to suppose that this class, like the Pentacosiomedimni, was defined by the possession of an income of a certain number of measures. Those ranked as Zeugitae who made two hundred measures, liquid or solid; and the rest ranked as Thetes, and were not eligible for any office. Hence it is that even at the present day, when a candidate for any office is asked to what class he belongs, no one would think of saying that he belonged to the Thetes.

13Continuance of political strife. Damasias's coup d'état. The three political parties: (1) the Shore, (2) the Plain, (3) the Mountain. Such, then, were Solon's reasons for his departure from the country. After his retirement the city was still torn by divisions. For four years, indeed, they lived in peace; but in the fifth year after Solon's government they were unable to elect an Archon on account of their dissensions, and again four years later they elected no Archon for the same reason. Subsequently, after a similar period had elapsed, Damasias was elected Archon; and he governed for two years and two months, until he was forcibly expelled from his office. After this it was agreed, as a compromise, to elect ten Archons, five from the Eupatridae, three from the Agroeci, and two from the Demiurgi, and they ruled for the year following Damasias. It is clear from this that the Archon was at the time the magistrate who possessed the greatest power, since it is always in connexion with this office that conflicts are seen to arise. But altogether they were in a continual state of internal disorder. Some found the cause and justification of their discontent in the abolition of debts, because thereby they had been reduced to poverty; others were dissatisfied with the political constitution, because it had undergone a revolutionary change; while with others the motive was found in personal rivalries among themselves. The parties at this time were three in number. First there was the party of the Shore, led by Megacles the son of Alcmeon, which was considered to aim at a moderate form of government; then there were the men of the Plain, who desired an oligarchy and were led by Lycurgus; and thirdly there were the men of the Highlands, at the head of whom was Pisistratus, who was looked on as an extreme democrat. This latter party was reinforced by those who had been deprived of the debts due to them, from motives of poverty, and by those who were not of pure descent, from motives of personal apprehension. A proof of this is seen in the fact that after the tyranny was overthrown a revision was made of the citizen-roll, on the ground that many persons were partaking in the franchise without having a right to it. The names given to the respective parties were derived from the districts in which they held their lands.

14Usurpation of Pisistratus: his first expulsion and restoration. Pisistratus had the reputation of being an extreme democrat, and he also had distinguished himself greatly in the war with Megara. Taking advantage of this, he wounded himself, and by representing that his injuries had been inflicted on him by his political rivals, he persuaded the people, through a motion proposed by Aristion, to grant him a bodyguard. After he had got these 'club-bearers', as they were called, he made an attack with them on the people and seized the Acropolis. This happened in the archonship of Comeas, thirty-one years after the legislation of Solon. It is related that, when Pisistratus asked for his bodyguard, Solon opposed the request, and declared that in so doing he proved himself wiser than half the people and braver than the rest, - wiser than those who did not see that Pisistratus designed to make himself tyrant, and braver than those who saw it and kept silence. But when all his words availed nothing he carried forth his armour and set it up in front of his house, saying that he had helped his country so far as lay in his power (he was already a very old man), and that he called on all others to do the same. Solon's exhortations, however, proved fruitless, and Pisistratus assumed the sovereignty. His administration was more like a constitutional government than the rule of a tyrant; but before his power was firmly established, the adherents of Megacles and Lycurgus made a coalition and drove him out. This took place in the archonship of Hegesias, five years after the first establishment of his rule. Eleven years later Megacles, being in difficulties in a party struggle, again opened negotiations with Pisistratus, proposing that the latter should marry his daughter; and on these terms he brought him back to Athens, by a very primitive and simple-minded device. He first spread abroad a rumour that Athena was bringing back Pisistratus, and then, having found a woman of great stature and beauty, named Phye (according to Herodotus, of the deme of Paeania, but as others say a Thracian flower-seller of the deme of Collytus), he dressed her in a garb resembling that of the goddess and brought her into the city with Pisistratus. The latter drove in on a chariot with the woman beside him, and the inhabitants of the city, struck with awe, received him with adoration.

15Usurpation of Pisistratus: his second expulsion and final restoration. Disarmament of the people. In this manner did his first return take place. He did not, however, hold his power long, for about six years after his return he was again expelled. He refused to treat the daughter of Megacles as his wife, and being afraid, in consequence, of a combination of the two opposing parties, he retired from the country. First he led a colony to a place called Rhaicelus, in the region of the Thermaic gulf; and thence he passed to the country in the neighbourhood of Mt. Pangaeus. Here he acquired wealth and hired mercenaries; and not till ten years had elapsed did he return to Eretria and make an attempt to recover the government by force. In this he had the assistance of many allies, notably the Thebans and Lygdamis of Naxos, and also the Knights who held the supreme power in the constitution of Eretria. After his victory in the battle at Pallene he captured Athens, and when he had disarmed the people he at last had his tyranny securely established, and was able to take Naxos and set up Lygdamis as ruler there. He effected the disarmament of the people in the following manner. He ordered a parade in full armour in the Theseum, and began to make a speech to the people. He spoke for a short time, until the people called out that they could not hear him, whereupon he bade them come up to the entrance of the Acropolis, in order that his voice might be better heard. Then, while he continued to speak to them at great length, men whom he had appointed for the purpose collected the arms and locked them up in the chambers of the Theseum hard by, and came and made a signal to him that it was done. Pisistratus accordingly, when he had finished the rest of what he had to say, told the people also what had happened to their arms; adding that they were not to be surprised or alarmed, but go home and attend to their private affairs, while he would himself for the future manage all the business of the state.

19Deterioration of the tyrants' administration. Attacks by exiles, headed by Alcmeonidae: many failures, and final success through the Delphic oracle and Spartan help. Expulsion of the Pisistratidae. [...] This took place in the archonship of Harpactides, 38 after they had held the tyranny for about seventeen years since their father's death, or in all, including the period of their father's rule, for nine-and-forty years.

21Reforms of Cleisthenes. Establishment of ten tribes: Council of 500: division of population into demes, grouped in trittyes. The people, therefore, had good reason to place confidence in Cleisthenes. Accordingly, now that he was the popular leader, three years after the expulsion of the tyrants, in the archonship of Isagoras, his first step was to distribute the whole population into ten tribes in place of the existing four, with the object of intermixing the members of the different tribes, and so securing that more persons might have a share in the franchise.

22Reforms of Cleisthenes. The law of ostracism: its application, and growth of popular control of politics. By these reforms the constitution became much more democratic than that of Solon. The laws of Solon had been obliterated by disuse during the period of the tyranny, while Cleisthenes substituted new ones with the object of securing the goodwill of the masses. Among these was the law concerning ostracism. Four years after the establishment of this system, in the archonship of Hermocreon, they first imposed upon the Council of Five Hundred the oath which they take to the present day. Next they began to elect the generals by tribes, one from each tribe, while the Polemarch was the commander of the whole army. Then, eleven years later, in the archonship of Phaenippus they won the battle of Marathon; and two years after this victory, when the people had now gained self-confidence, they for the first time made use of the law of ostracism. This had originally been passed as a precaution against men in high office, because Pisistratus took advantage of his position as a popular leader and general to make himself tyrant; and the first person ostracized was one of his relatives, Hipparchus son of Charmus, of the deme of Collytus, the very person on whose account especially Cleisthenes had enacted the law, as he wished to get rid of him.

53The Forty [Local Justices]. Arbitrators. Eponymi. [...] The Arbitrators are persons in the sixtieth year of their age; this appears from the schedule of the Archons and the Eponymi. There are two classes of Eponymi, the ten who give their names to the tribes, and the forty-two of the years of service. The youths, on being enrolled among the citizens, were formerly registered upon whitened tablets, and the names were appended of the Archon in whose year they were enrolled, and of the Eponymus who had been in course in the preceding year; at the present day they are written on a bronze pillar, which stands in front of the Council-chamber, near the Eponymi of the tribes. Then the Forty take the last of the Eponymi of the years of service, and assign the arbitrations to the persons belonging to that year, casting lots to determine which arbitrations each shall undertake; and every one is compelled to carry through the arbitrations which the lot assigns to him. The law enacts that any one who does not serve as Arbitrator when he has arrived at the necessary age shall lose his civil rights, unless he happens to be holding some other office during that year, or to be out of the country. These are the only persons who escape the duty. Any one who suffers injustice at the hands of the Arbitrator may appeal to the whole board of Arbitrators, and if they find the magistrate guilty, the law enacts that he shall lose his civil rights. The persons thus condemned have, however, in their turn an appeal. The Eponymi are also used in reference to military expeditions; when the men of military age are despatched on service, a notice is put up stating that the men from such-and-such an Archon and Eponymus to such-and-such another Archon and Eponymus are to go on the expedition.


1.14The same parts of the earth are not always moist or dry, but they change according as rivers come into existence and dry up. And so the relation of land to sea changes too and a place does not always remain land or sea throughout all time, but where there was dry land there comes to be sea, and where there is now sea, there one day comes to be dry land. But we must suppose these changes to follow some order and cycle. The principle and cause of these changes is that the interior of the earth grows and decays, like the bodies of plants and animals. Only in the case of these latter the process does not go on by parts, but each of them necessarily grows or decays as a whole, whereas it does go on by parts in the case of the earth. Here the causes are cold and heat, which increase and diminish on account of the sun and its course. It is owing to them that the parts of the earth come to have a different character, that some parts remain moist for a certain time, and then dry up and grow old, while other parts in their turn are filled with life and moisture. Now when places become drier the springs necessarily give out, and when this happens the rivers first decrease in size and then finally become dry; and when rivers change and disappear in one part and come into existence correspondingly in another, the sea must needs be affected.

If the sea was once pushed out by rivers and encroached upon the land anywhere, it necessarily leaves that place dry when it recedes; again, if the dry land has encroached on the sea at all by a process of silting set up by the rivers when at their full, the time must come when this place will be flooded again.

But the whole vital process of the earth takes place so gradually and in periods of time which are so immense compared with the length of our life, that these changes are not observed, and before their course can be recorded from beginning to end whole nations perish and are destroyed. Of such destructions the most utter and sudden are due to wars; but pestilence or famine cause them too. Famines, again, are either sudden and severe or else gradual. In the latter case the disappearance of a nation is not noticed because some leave the country while others remain; and this goes on until the land is unable to maintain any inhabitants at all. So a long period of time is likely to elapse from the first departure to the last, and no one remembers and the lapse of time destroys all record even before the last inhabitants have disappeared. In the same way a nation must be supposed to lose account of the time when it first settled in a land that was changing from a marshy and watery state and becoming dry. Here, too, the change is gradual and lasts a long time and men do not remember who came first, or when, or what the land was like when they came. This has been the case with Egypt. Here it is obvious that the land is continually getting drier and that the whole country is a deposit of the river Nile. But because the neighbouring peoples settled in the land gradually as the marshes dried, the lapse of time has hidden the beginning of the process. However, all the mouths of the Nile, with the single exception of that at Canopus, are obviously artificial and not natural. And Egypt was nothing more than what is called Thebes, as Homer, too, shows, modern though he is in relation to such changes. For Thebes is the place that he mentions; which implies that Memphis did not yet exist, or at any rate was not as important as it is now. That this should be so is natural, since the lower land came to be inhabited later than that which lay higher. For the parts that lie nearer to the place where the river is depositing the silt are necessarily marshy for a longer time since the water always lies most in the newly formed land. But in time this land changes its character, and in its turn enjoys a period of prosperity. For these places dry up and come to be in good condition while the places that were formerly well-tempered some day grow excessively dry and deteriorate. This happened to the land of Argos and Mycenae in Greece. In the time of the Trojan wars the Argive land was marshy and could only support a small population, whereas the land of Mycenae was in good condition (and for this reason Mycenae was the superior). But now the opposite is the case, for the reason we have mentioned: the land of Mycenae has become completely dry and barren, while the Argive land that was formerly barren owing to the water has now become fruitful. Now the same process that has taken place in this small district must be supposed to be going on over whole countries and on a large scale.

Men whose outlook is narrow suppose the cause of such events to be change in the universe, in the sense of a coming to be of the world as a whole. Hence they say that the sea being dried up and is growing less, because this is observed to have happened in more places now than formerly. But this is only partially true. It is true that many places are now dry, that formerly were covered with water. But the opposite is true too: for if they look they will find that there are many places where the sea has invaded the land. But we must not suppose that the cause of this is that the world is in process of becoming. For it is absurd to make the universe to be in process because of small and trifling changes, when the bulk and size of the earth are surely as nothing in comparison with the whole world. Rather we must take the cause of all these changes to be that, just as winter occurs in the seasons of the year, so in determined periods there comes a great winter of a great year and with it excess of rain. But this excess does not always occur in the same place. The deluge in the time of Deucalion, for instance, took place chiefly in the Greek world and in it especially about ancient Hellas, the country about Dodona and the Achelous, a river which has often changed its course. Here the Selli dwelt and those who were formerly called Graeci and now Hellenes. When, therefore, such an excess of rain occurs we must suppose that it suffices for a long time. We have seen that some say that the size of the subterranean cavities is what makes some rivers perennial and others not, whereas we maintain that the size of the mountains is the cause, and their density and coldness; for great, dense, and cold mountains catch and keep and create most water: whereas if the mountains that overhang the sources of rivers are small or porous and stony and clayey, these rivers run dry earlier. We must recognize the same kind of thing in this case too. Where such abundance of rain falls in the great winter it tends to make the moisture of those places almost everlasting. But as time goes on places of the latter type dry up more, while those of the former, moist type, do so less: until at last the beginning of the same cycle returns.

2.1The whole of the Mediterranean does actually flow. The direction of this flow is determined by the depth of the basins and by the number of rivers. Maeotis flows into Pontus and Pontus into the Aegean. After that the flow of the remaining seas is not so easy to observe. The current of Maeotis and Pontus is due to the number of rivers (more rivers flow into the Euxine and Maeotis than into the whole Mediterranean with its much larger basin), and to their own shallowness. For we find the sea getting deeper and deeper. Pontus is deeper than Maeotis, the Aegean than Pontus, the Sicilian sea than the Aegean; the Sardinian and Tyrrhenic being the deepest of all. (Outside the pillars of Heracles the sea is shallow owing to the mud, but calm, for it lies in a hollow.) We see, then, that just as single rivers flow from mountains, so it is with the earth as a whole: the greatest volume of water flows from the higher regions in the north. Their alluvium makes the northern seas shallow, while the outer seas are deeper. Some further evidence of the height of the northern regions of the earth is afforded by the view of many of the ancient meteorologists. They believed that the sun did not pass below the earth, but round its northern part, and that it was the height of this which obscured the sun and caused night.


81In the Electrides Islands, which lie in the gulf of the Adriatic, they say that two statues have been dedicated, one of tin and one of copper, wrought in the old‑fashioned style. It is said that these are the works of Daedalus, a reminder of the old days, when escaping from Minos he came to this district from Sicily and Crete. They say that the river Eridanus silted up these islands. There is a lake apparently near the river, containing hot water. A heavy and unpleasant smell comes from it, and no animal ever drinks from it nor does bird fly over it without falling and dying. It has a circumference of two hundred stades, and a breadth of ten. The local inhabitants say that Phaethon fell into this lake when he was struck by a thunderbolt. There are many poplars in it, from which oozes the so‑called electron. They say that this is like gum, and hardens like a stone; it is collected by the inhabitants and brought to the Greeks. They say that Daedalus came to these islands, and putting in there set up in one of them his own image, and in the other that of his son Icarus. Later on, when the Pelasgians, who were expelled from Argos, sailed there, Daedalus fled, and sailed to the island of Icarus.

84This page contains a translation of the passage on the Atlantic island.


7.1328b.1We must therefore consider the list of occupations that a state requires: for from these it will appear what the indispensable classes are. First then a state must have a supply of food; secondly, handicrafts (since life needs many tools); third, arms (since the members of the association must necessarily possess arms both to use among themselves and for purposes of government, in cases of insubordination, and to employ against those who try to molest them from without); also a certain abundance of money, in order that they may have enough both for their internal needs and for requirements of war; fifth, a primary need, the service of religion, termed a priesthood; and sixth in number and most necessary of all, a provision for deciding questions of interests and of rights between the citizens. These then are the occupations that virtually every state requires (for the state is not any chance multitude of people but one self-sufficient for the needs of life, as we say, and if any of these industries happens to be wanting, it is impossible for that association to be absolutely self-sufficient). It is necessary therefore for the state to be organized 20on the lines of these functions; consequently it must possess a number of farmers who will provide the food, and craftsmen, and the military class, and the wealthy, and priests and judges to decide questions of necessity and of interests.

These matters having been settled, it remains to consider whether everybody is to take part in all of these functions (for it is possible for the whole of the people to be at once farmers and craftsmen and the councillors and judges), or whether we are to assume different classes corresponding to each of the functions mentioned, or whether some of them must necessarily be specialized and others combined. But it will not be the same in every form of constitution; for, as we said, it is possible either for all the people to take part in all the functions or for not all to take part in all but for certain people to have certain functions. In fact these different distributions of functions are the cause of the difference between constitutions: democracies are states in which all the people participate in all the functions, oligarchies where the contrary is the case. But at present we are studying the best constitution, and this is the constitution under which the state would be most happy, and it has been stated before that happiness cannot be forthcoming without virtue; it is therefore clear from these considerations that in the most nobly constituted state, and the one that possesses men that are absolutely just, not merely just relatively to the principle that is the basis of the constitution, the citizens must not live a mechanic or a mercantile life (for such a life is ignoble and inimical to virtue), nor yet must those who are to be citizens in the best state be tillers of the soil 1329a.1(for leisure is needed both for the development of virtue and for active participation in politics). And since the state also contains the military class and the class that deliberates about matters of policy and judges questions of justice, and these are manifestly in a special sense parts of the state, are these classes also to be set down as distinct or are both functions to be assigned to the same persons? But here also the answer is clear, because in a certain sense they should be assigned to the same persons, but in a certain sense to different ones. Inasmuch as each of these two functions belongs to a different prime of life, and one requires wisdom, the other strength, they are to be assigned to different people; but inasmuch as it is a thing impossible that when a set of men are able to employ force and to resist control, these should submit always to be ruled, from this point of view both functions must be assigned to the same people; for those who have the power of arms have the power to decide whether the constitution shall stand or fall. The only course left them is to assign this constitutional function to both sets of men without distinction, yet not simultaneously, but, as in the natural order of things strength is found in the younger men and wisdom in the elder, it seems to be expedient and just for their functions to be allotted to both in this way, for this mode of division possesses conformity with merit. Moreover the ownership of properties also must be centered round these classes, for the citizens must necessarily possess plentiful means, and these are the citizens. For the 20artisan class has no share in the state, nor has any other class that is not 'an artificer of virtue.' And this is clear from our basic principle; for in conjunction with virtue happiness is bound to be forthcoming, but we should pronounce a state happy having regard not to a particular section of it but to all its citizens. And it is also manifest that the properties must belong to these classes, inasmuch as it is necessary for the tillers of the soil to be slaves, or serfs of alien race. There remains of the list enumerated the class of priests; and the position of this class also is manifest. Priests must be appointed neither from the tillers of the soil nor from the artisans, for it is seemly that the gods should be worshipped by citizens; and since the citizen body is divided into two parts, the military class and the councillor class, and as it is seemly that those who have relinquished these duties owing to age should render to the gods their due worship and should spend their retirement in their service, it is to these that the priestly offices should be assigned.

We have therefore stated the things indispensable for the constitution of a state, and the things that are parts of a state: tillers of the soil, craftsmen and the laboring class generally are a necessary appurtenance of states, but the military and deliberative classes are parts of the state; and moreover each of these divisions is separate from the others, either permanently or by turn.

And that it is proper for the state to be divided up into castes and for the military class to be distinct from that of the tillers of the soil 1329b.1does not seem to be a discovery of political philosophers of today or one made recently. In Egypt this arrangement still exists even now, as also in Crete; it is said to have been established in Egypt by the legislation of Sesostris and in Crete by that of Minos. Common meals also seem to be an ancient institution, those in Crete having begun in the reign of Minos, while those in Italy are much older than these. According to the historians one of the settlers there, a certain Italus, became king of Oenotria, and from him they took the name of Italians instead of that of Oenotrians, and the name of Italy was given to all that promontory of Europe lying between the Gulfs of Scylletium and of Lametus, which are half a day's journey apart. It was this Italus then who according to tradition converted the Oenotrians from a pastoral life to one of agriculture and gave them various ordinances, being the first to institute their system of common meals; hence the common meals and some of his laws are still observed by certain of his successors even today. The settlers in the direction of Tyrrhenia were Opicans, who today as in former times bear the surname of 20Ausonians; the region towards Iapygia and the Ionian Gulf, called Syrtis, was inhabited by the Chones, who also were Oenotrians by race. It is from this country that the system of common meals has its origin, while the division of the citizen-body by hereditary caste came from Egypt, for the reign of Sesostris long antedates that of Minos. We may almost take it therefore that all other political devices also have been discovered repeatedly, or rather an infinite number of times over, in the lapse of ages; for the discoveries of a necessary kind are probably taught by need itself, and when the necessaries have been provided it is reasonable that things contributing to refinement and luxury should find their development; so that we must assume that this is the way with political institutions also. The antiquity of all of them is indicated by the history of Egypt; for the Egyptians are reputed to be the oldest of nations, but they have always had laws and a political system.


2.10.5And it is evident whom men envy, for it has just been stated by implication. They envy those who are near them in time, place, age, and reputation, whence it was said, "Kinship knows how to envy also;" and those with whom they are in rivalry, who are those just spoken of; for no man tries to rival those who lived ten thousand years ago, or are about to be born, or are already dead; nor those who live near the Pillars of Hercules; nor those who, in his own opinion or in that of others, are either far inferior or superior to him; and the people and things which one envies are on the same footing.

Sir Graham