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CECROPIA & THE CECROPIDES

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Так, в 1550 году до Р. X. из Саиса, в Нижнем Египте, переселился в Аттику Кекропс. Он был принят тамошним царем и женился на его дочери. Кекропс привел в порядок богослужение, установил браки и судилища, среди которых находился и знаменитый впоследствии ареопаг, и построил названную по его имени крепость Кекропию. Таким образом, он положил первое основание гражданского устройства и безопасности будущего афинского государства, чем и заслужил название основателя его. Девятому из числа его преемников, Тезею, как о том будет рассказано ниже, удалось еще более сплотить население этого государства и тем самым возвысить его могущество.

Загрузка...

Из Финикии в Беотию прибыл Кадм. Он принес с собою письмена, научил обработке руды и другим ремеслам, ввел новое богослужение и основал город Кадмею, на месте которого четвертый из его преемников, Амфион, построил впоследствии город Фивы и переменил название кадмеян на фивян. Судьбы следовавших за ним правителей Фив послужили впоследствии трагическим поэтам темами для самых разнообразных произведений и повели к многочисленным войнам. В Аргосе поселился Данай из Хеммиса в Египте и положил там начало новой династии.

 

KEKROPS (Cecrops) was an early earth-born king of Attika and founder of the city of Athens. He was depicted as a man with a serpent's-tail in place of legs.

Kekrops was the first man to offer sacrifices to the goddess Athena following her birth from the head of Zeus, and he established the ancient Akropolis shrine. When Poseidon later disputed her claim to the city, Kekrops was asked to adjudicate and found in her favour. He was succeeded on the throne by Athena's foster-son, the earth-born man Erikthonios.

PARENTS
[1.1] GAIA (i.e. earth-born) (Apollodorus 3.14.1, Antoninus Liberalis 6, Hyginus Fabulae 48) [2.1] HEPHAISTOS (Hyginus Fabulae 158)
OFFSPRING
[1.1] HERSE, AGLAUROS, PANDROSOS, ERYSIKHTHON (by Agraulos) (Apollodorus 3.14.2) [1.1] HERSE, AGLAUROS, PANDROSOS, ERYSIKHTHON (Pausanias 1.2.6) [1.2] HERSE, AGLAUROS, PANDROSOS (Hyginus Fabulae 166, Ovid Metamorphoses 2.546)

 

ENCYCLOPEDIA CECROPS (Kekrôps), according to Apollodorus (iii. 14. § 1, &c.) the first king of Attica, which derived from him its name Cecropia, having previously borne the name of Acte. He is described as an autochthon, and is accordingly called a gêgenês, the upper part of whose body was human, while the lower was that of a dragon. Hence he is called diphuês or geminus. (Hygin. Fab. 48; Anton. Lib. 6; Diod. i. 28; Aristoph. Vesp. 438; Ov.Met. ii. 555.) Some ancients referred the epithet diphuês to marriage, of which tradition made him the founder. He was married to Agraulos, the daughter of Actaeus, by whom he had a son, Erysichthon, and three daughters, Agraulos, Herse, and Pandrosos. (Apollod. l. c.; Paus. i. 2. § 5.) In his reign Poseidon called forth with his trident a well on the acropolis, which was known in later times by the name of the Erechthean well, from its being enclosed in the temple of Erechtheus. (Paus. i. 26. § 6; Herod. viii. 55.) The marine god now wanted to take possession of the country; but Athena, who entertained the same desire, planted an olivetree on the hill of the acropolis, which continued to be shown at Athens down to the latest times ; and as she had taken Cecrops as her witness while she planted it, he decided in her favour when the possession of Attica was disputed between her and Poseidon, who had no witness to attest that he had created the well. Cecrops is represented in the Attic legends as the author of the first elements of civilized life, such as marriage, the political division of Attica into twelve communities, and also as the introducer of a new mode of worship, inasmuch as he abolished the bloody sacrifices which had until then been offered to Zeus, and substituted cakes (pelanoi) in their stead. (Paus. viii. 2. § 1; Strab. ix. p. 397; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1156.) The name of Cecrops occurs also in other parts of Greece, especially where there existed a town of the name of Athenae, such as in Boeotia, where he is said to have founded the ancient towns of Athenae and Eleusis on the river Triton, and where he had a heroum at Haliartus. Tradition there called him a son of Pandion. (Paus. ix. 33, § 1; Strab. ix. p. 407.) In Euboea, which had likewise a town Athenae, Cecrops was called a son of Erechtheus and Praxithea, and a grandson of Pandion. (Apollod. iii. 15. §§ 1, 5; Paus. i. 5. § 3.) From these traditions it appears, that Cecrops must be regarded as a hero of the Pelasgian race; and Müller justly remarks, that the different mythical personages of this name connected with the towns in Boeotia and Euboea are only multiplications of the one original hero, whose name and story were transplanted from Attica to other places. The later Greek writers describe Ceerops as having immigrated into Greece with a band of colonists from Sais in Egypt. (Diod. i. 29; Schol. ad Arist. Plut. 773.) But this account is rejected by some of the ancients. Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.

CECROPS KING OF ATTICA

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 14. 1 - 2 (trans. Frazer) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Kekrops, a son of the soil, with a body compounded of man and serpent, was the first king of Attika, and the country which was formerly called Akte he named Kekropia after himself. In his time, they say, the gods resolved to take possession of cities in which each of them should receive his own peculiar worship. So Poseidon was the first that came to Attika, and with a blow of his trident on the middle of the acropolis, he produced a sea which they now call Erekhtheis. After him came Athena, and, having called on Kekrops to witness her act of taking possession, she planted an olive tree, which is still shown in the Pandrosion. But when the two strove for possession of the country, Zeus parted them and appointed arbiters, not, as some have affirmed, Kekrops and Kranaus, nor yet Erysikhthon, but the twelve gods. And in accordance with their verdict the country was adjudged to Athena, because Kekrops bore witness that she had been the first to plant the olive. Athena, therefore, called the city Athens after herself, and Poseidon in hot anger flooded the Thriasian plain and laid Attika under the sea.
Kekrops married Agraulos, daughter of Aktaios, and had a son Erysikhthon, who departed this life childless; and Kekrops had daughters, Agraulos, Herse, and Pandrosos."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 14. 5 :
"When Kekrops died, Kranaus came to the throne; he was a son of the soil, and it was in his time that the flood in the age of Deukalion is said to have taken place."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 14. 6 :
"Having put him [the earth-born infant Erikhthonios] in a chest, she [Athena] committed it to Pandrosos, daughter of Kekrops."

Herodotus, Histories 8. 44. 2 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"The Athenians, while the Pelasgians ruled what is now called Hellas, were Pelasgians, bearing the name of Kranai. When Kekrops was their king they were called Kekropidai (sons of Kekrops), and when Erekhtheus succeeded to the rule, they changed their name and became Athenians. When, however, Ion son of Xouthos was commander of the Athenian army, they were called after him Ionians."

Herodotus, Histories 8. 53. 1 :
"The sacred precinct of Kekrops' daughter Aglauros."

Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War 2. 15. 1 (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"Under Kekrops and the first kings, down to the reign of Theseus, Attika had always consisted of a number of independent townships, each with its own town-hall and magistrates."

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 56. 5 - 6 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"The Heliadai . . . were told by Helios that the first people to offer sacrifices to Athena would ever enjoy the presence of the goddess; and the same thing, we are told, was disclosed by him to the inhabitants of Attika. Men say, the Heliadai [of Rhodes], forgetting in their haste to put fire beneath the victims, nevertheless laid them on the altars at the time, whereas Kekrops, who was king at that time of the Athenians, performed the sacrifice over fire, but later than the Heliadai."

Strabo, Geography 9. 1. 18 - 20 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"The account would be much longer if one should pass in review the early founders of the settlement [of Athens], beginning with Kekrops; for all writers do not agree about them, as is shown even by the names . . .
It suffices, then, to add thus much : According to Philokhoros, when the country was being devastated, both from the sea by the Karians, and from the land by the Boiotians, who were called Aonians, Kekrops first settled the multitude in twelve cities, the names of which were Kekropia, Tetrapolis, Epakria, Dekeleia, Eleusis, Aphidna (also called Aphidnai, in the plural), Thorikos, Brauron, Kytheros, Sphettos, Kephisia. And at a later time Theseus is said to have united the twelve into one city, that of today."

Strabo, Geography 9. 2. 18 :
"Eleusis and Athens on the Triton River [in Boiotia]. These cities, it is said, were founded by Kekrops, when he ruled over Boiotia, then called Ogygia, but were later wiped out by inundations."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 2. 6 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"It is said that Aktaios was the first king of what is now Attika. When he died, Kekrops, the son-in-law of Aktaios, received the kingdom, and there were born to him daughters, Herse, Aglauros and Pandrosos, and a son Erysikhthon. This son did not become king of the Athenians, but happened to die while his father lived, and the kingdom of Kekrops fell to Kranaus, the most powerful of the Athenians."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 5. 3 :
"[Near the Tholos or council-house of Athens :] I saw also among the eponymoi [i.e. the eponymous heroes of Attika] statues of Kekrops and Pandion, but I do not know who of those names are thus honored. For there was an earlier ruler Kekrops who took to wife the daughter of Aktaios, and a later--he it was who migrated to Euboia--son of Erekhtheus, son of Pandion, son of Erikhthonios. And there was a king Pandion who was son of Erikhthonios, and another who was son of Kekrops the second."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 27. 1 :
"In the temple of Athena Polias (Of the City) is a wooden Hermes, said to have been dedicated by Kekrops, but not visible because of myrtle boughs."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 31. 5 :
"I have already written that many of the inhabitants of the [Attic] parishes say that they were ruled by kings even before the reign of Kekrops. Now Kolainos, say the Myrrhinousians, is the name of a man who ruled [in Myrrhinos] before Kekrops became king."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 38. 3 :
"Keryx, the younger of his sons whom the Kerykes themselves say [that Keryx] was a son of Aglauros, daughter of Kekrops, and of Hermes."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 1. 2 :
"On the death of Erekhtheus Xouthos was appointed judge to decide which of his sons should succeed him. He decided that Kekrops, the eldest of them, should be king, and was accordingly banished from the land by the rest of the sons of Erekhtheus."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 2. 2 - 3 :
"My view is that Lykaon [king of Arkadia] was contemporary with Kekrops, the king of Athens, but that they were not equally wise in matters of religion. For Kekrops was the first to name Zeus the Supreme god, and refused to sacrifice anything that had life in it, but burnt instead on the altar the national cakes which the Athenians still call pelanoi. But Lykaon brought a human baby to the altar of Zeus Lykaios, and sacrificed it."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 10. 10. 1 :
"[Amongst the dedications of the Athenians at Delphoi :] Statues were dedicated from a tithe of the spoils taken in the engagement at Marathon. They represent Athena, Apollo, and Miltiades, one of the generals. Of those called heroes there are Erekhtheus, Kekrops, Pandion, Leos, Antiokhos, son of Herakles by Meda, daughter of Phylas, as well as Aegeus and Akamas, one of the sons of Theseus. These heroes gave names, in obedience to a Delphic oracle, to tribes at Athens."

Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 6 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"There was once in Attika a certain Periphas, of Earth-Sprung stock (autokhthon), who lived there even before Kekrops, son of Ge (Earth) had emerged."

Aelian, Historical Miscellany 5. 13 (trans. Wilson) (Greek rhetorician C2nd to 3rd A.D.) :
"The Athenians were strangely versatile in political matters and especially prone to revolutions. They accepted patiently the monarchy of Kekrops, Erekhtheus, Theseus and the Kodridai who followed."

Clement of Alexandria, Exhortation to the Greeks 3 (trans. Butterworth) :
"In the Akropolis at Athens the tomb of Kekrops, as Antiokhos says in his ninth book ofHistories."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 48 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Kings of the Athenians. Cecrops, son of Terra (Earth) . . ."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 158 :
"Sons of Vulcanus [Hephaistos]. Philammon. Cecrops. Erichthonius . . ."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 166 :
"When Minerva [Athena] was secretly caring for him [i.e. the earth-born Erikhthonios], she gave him in a chest to Aglaurus, Pandrosus, and Herse, daughters of Cecrops, to guard."

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 28 :
"[The constellation Aquarius or Water-Bearer.] Euboulos, again, points out that he is Cecrops, commemorating the antiquity of the race, and showing that men used water in the sacrificed of the gods before wine was given to them, and that Cecrops ruled before wine was discovered."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 2. 546 ff (trans. Brookes More) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Minerva [Athena] had enclosed that spawn; begot without a mother, Ericthonius; which to the wardship of three virgins, born of double-natured Cecrops . . . Herse and Pandrosos . . . [and] the third, Aglauros."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 6. 70 ff (trans. Brookes More) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Minerva [Athena] worked the Athenian Hill of Mars, where ancient Cecrops built his citadel, and showed the old contention [i.e. her contest with Poseidon] for the name it [i.e. Athens] should be given."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 13. 142 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"All these [Korybantes] came then from the famous island [of Euboia] : Prymneus, and Mimas Waddlefoot, and Akmon the forester, Damneus and Okythoös the shieldman; and with them came flash-helm Melisseus as comrade to Idaios, whom their father Sokos under the insane goad of impiety had once cast out of their brinegirt country along with Kombe the mother of seven. They escaped and passed to Knossian soil, and again went on their travels from Krete to Phrygia, and foreign settlers and hearthguests until Kekrops destroyed Sokos with avenging blade of justice; then leaving the land of brineflooded Marathon turned their steps homewards to the sacred soil of the Abantes [i.e. the island of Euboia], the earthborn stock of the ancient Kouretes."

CECROPS II KING OF ATTICA

The second Kekrops was simply a duplication of the first, invented to pad out the list of mythical Athenian kings. The kings Erekhtheus-Erikhthonios and Pandion were multiplied in the same manner.

PARENTS
[1.1] EREKHTHEUS (Apollodorus 3.15.1, Pausanias 1.5.3 & 7.1.2)
OFFSPRING
[1.1] PANDION (by Metiadousa) (Apollodorus 3.15.6) [1.2] PANDION (Pausanias 1.5.3)

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 15. 1 (trans. Frazer) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Erekhtheus married Praxithea, daughter of Phrasimos by Diogeneia, daughter of Kephisos, and had sons, to wit, Kekrops, Pandoros, and Metion."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 3. 15. 6 :
"Poseidon having destroyed Erekhtheus and his house, Kekrops, the eldest of the sons of Erekhtheus, succeeded to the throne. He married Metiadousa, daughter of Eupalamos, and begat Pandion. This Pandion, reigning after Kekrops, was expelled by the sons of Metion in a sedition."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 5. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[Near the Tholos or council-house of Athens :] I saw also among the eponymoi [i.e. the eponymous heroes of Attika] statues of Kekrops and Pandion, but I do not know who of those names are thus honored. For there was an earlier ruler Kekrops who took to wife the daughter of Aktaios, and a later--he it was who migrated to Euboia--son of Erekhtheus, son of Pandion, son of Erikhthonios. And there was a king Pandion who was son of Erikhthonios, and another who was son of Kekrops the second."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 33. 1 :
"In Haliartos [a Boiotian town] too there is the tomb of Lysandros and a hero-shrine of Kekrops the son of Pandion." [N.B. This is probably an error, Pausanias elsewhere describes him as the father of Pandion.]

CECROPIA & THE CECROPIDES

Kekropia, Kekropides and Kekropidai (literally "the sons of Kekrops") were names used by the poets for Athens and the Athenians. A few examples are given below. The terms also occur elsewhere in Euripides (Ion 936), Aristophanes (Knights 1055, Birds 1407), et. al.

Euripides, Hippolytus 34 ff (trans. Kovacs) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :
"Theseus has left the land of Kekrops (khthon Kekropion)."

Callimachus, Hymn 3 to Artemis 228 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"He put off with his ships from Kekropiê (the land of Kekrops)."

Callimachus, Hymn 4 to Delos 314 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"The ever-living offerings of the Pilgrim Ship do the Kekropidai (sons of Kekrops) send to Phoibos."

Ovid, Metamorphoses 15. 428 ff (trans. Brookes More) (Roman epic C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Cecrops' citadel [i.e. Athens] and Amphion's [i.e. Thebes] shone in ancient power."

Ovid, Fasti 3. 80 ff (trans. Frazer) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Pallas is worshipped by the Cecropidae (sons of Cecrops) [i.e. by the Athenians]."

Ovid, Fasti 4. 502 ff :
"She came to thy havens, land of Attica. There for the first time she sat her down most rueful on a cold stone: that stone even now the Cecropidae call the Sorrowful."

Ovid, Heroides 10. 125 ff (trans. Showerman) (Roman poetry C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"You will go to the haven of Cecrops."

Virgil, Aeneid 6. 20 ff (trans. Fairclough) (Roman epic C1st B.C.) :
"The Cecropidae (children of Cecrops) [i.e. the Athenians], bidden, alas, to pay as yearly tribute seven living sons."

Seneca, Phaedra 2 ff (trans. Miller) (Roman tragedy C1st A.D.) :
"Ye Cecropidae (sons of Cecrops)! [i.e. the Athenians.]"

Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 5. 646 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"Were I to plunder Mycenae’s famous heights or the virgin citadel of Cecrops."

Statius, Thebaid 12. 565 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"Make haste, ye worthy Cecropidae (sons of Cecrops)!"

Statius, Achilleid 205 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"The Cecropidae (sons of Cecrops) [i.e. Athenians], sure to excite to noble deeds."

Claudian, Rape of Proserpine 1. 8 ff :
"And now I hear a loud din from the depths of the earth, the temple of Cecrops [i.e. the Akropolis of Athens] re-echoes and Eleusis waves its holy torches."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 13. 171 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
"The Kekropides [i.e. the Athenians] were mustered by Erekhtheus, the glutton of battle."

Sources:

Other references not currently quoted here : Parian Chronicle (Marmor Parium 2-4); Eusebius, Praeparatio Evangelii 10.10; Aristophanes Wasps 438, with the Scholiast; Euripides Ion 1163; Tzetzes, Scholiast on Lycophron 111; Tzetzes, Chiliades 5.638; Scholiast on Aristophanes Plutus 773; Diodorus Siculus 1.28.7.

The actual history of Athens, or Kekropia as it was then known after the King Kekropos, who had the body of a snake, begins at around 3000 BC. On top of the Acropolis, a huge hill standing some 150 meters above sea-level and measuring around 330 meters in length was the place where Athens began. With attacks from other parties a very real possibility, it made sense that Athens should be situated at the very top of the Acropolis where it was very easy to defend against outside attack.

Though as previously mentioned the history of Athens started at around 3000 BC, it was in fact inhabited at around 8000 BC by the Pelasgians.

These original inhabitants are credited with the building of the oldest walls around the rock of the Acropolis. They are known today as either the Pegasgian or Cyclopean walls. Many other ancient temples are also credited to them.

As well as King Kekropos being credited to the introduction of monogamy and the ritual of buring the dead, he was also present in the Council of the Twelve Gods of Olympus, when Poseidon and Athens were staking their claim to Attica. Mythology tells us that Poseidon struck the rock of the Acropolis with his trident and a horse leapt out from that point along with a stream of rushing water.

Athena replied by striking the rock next to it with her spear and from this point, the very first olive tree appeared. It was decided that Athena had won the contest, and she became the proctector of the city, which then took her name in place of Kekropia. To compensate Poseidon however, the Athenians built him a huge temple at Sounion, on the southernest point of Attica.

As well as Athena and Poseidon, Athens and Attica are also connected with two other Gods. The first being Dionysos, the God of Wine and Intoxication. His gift to the city of Athens which he loved was the vineyard. Dionysia, a festival in his honour was celebrated during the historical times in Attica. Dances took place and also shows of tragedy and comedy.

The other God or Goddess was Demeter, and her daughter Persephone. Persephone was actually abduced by Hades who wanted to make her his wife. While Demeter was desperately searching for her daughter, she was offered refuge by Kekleos, the King Of Eleusis. As a jesture of gratitude, Demeter taught the people of Eleusis how to cultivate the earth. A temple was built at the sight were Athenians first met the Goddess.

Athens was not always an important city and during the rise and decline of the Mycenaean civilastion was merely like any of the other city-states. However, after beginning to merge with other villages around it, it did in fact become a very powerful city.

The person responsible for this was Theseus, who was a hero to the people of Athens. He was the son of Aegeous, the King of Athens. Though a historical person, the lie of Theseus lies somewhere between reality and myth.

 

Theseus was considered as a demigod, who was able to carry out amazing feats due to his amazing physical strength and ability and also his free spirit. It was his desire for Athens to merge with smaller surrounding villages that brought Athens to be a powerful force, and ruler of Attica. His accomplishment was rewarded with the Panathenaia, a collection of processions and contests.

Theseus also had a relationship with the area of Sounion in the southernest point of Attica. Mythology tells us that there was an obligation from Minos, the King of Crete, that each year, he would send seven young men and seven young women to Athens as a sacrifice for the Minotaur. Theseus was against this blood-thirsty ritual and wanted to free Athens from it.

Getting on board the ship which was carrying these young people, Theseus had agreed with this father that the masts should have black sails, but on its return, if Theseus was successful in his mission, then these sails should be changed to white. After defeating the Minotaur with his superior physical strength and finding his way out of the labyrinth where the Minotaur was situated, the ship made its way towards Athens.

However, Theseus, too caught up in his happiness about defeating the Minotaur, forgot about changing the sails from black to white. His father Aegeus, who was at Sounion, watching the sea for the arrival of the ship saw that the black sails were still on the masts. Believing that the mission was unsuccessful and his son dead, Aegeus leapt to his death in the sea. The sea has been known ever since as the Aegean sea.

During the seventh century Athens became a very powerful industrial and naval force. An aristocratic form of government was in place, but again, this led to situations where aristocrats were fighting over themselves to gain more power. An attempted coup by Cylons failed in 632 BC and this lead to the writing down on laws by Draco.

Until these laws were written down, the law lay within the hands of nobility. Draco’s laws were very harsh and essentially included a law that a person was forbidden revenge after a murder. It also introduced that the punishment for a murderer should be determined in court.

594 BC was the year in which Solon drafted legislation in a bid to defuse tensions between people who were well off and those who were not. Debts were cancelled and those who had been imprisoned because of their debts were freed. Four classes of people emerged from his legislation and Solon organized the state and political power based on wealth and not birthright. This lead to him being credited as one of the forefathers of democracy.

Overpopulation once again became a problem for Athens, and instead of opting for the obvious solution of expanding and colonization, Athens only managed to form one colony. This was Sigeum. After several long and hard fought conflicts with Aegina and Megara, Athens also gained control over Salamis.

The production of olives and grapes was increased and there became more space to trade after the Attica coin was devalutated. The increase in productivity lead to an increase in exports which was in turn used to import more food to feed the ever-growing population.

However, not all of these measures were appreciated and social conflict started to take place. Farmers, who had previously been able to operate as they wanted were unable to loan anything that they might need to help them during this time of hardship.

This led in the number of farmers decreasing as it was hoped that every farmer could produce enough crops. Many of these ex-farmers then moved into the city and relied on other farmers to produce enough for them to live on.

This problem was resolved however by the tyrant Peisistratos, who ruled Athens during the sixth century BC. As well as the usual promise of cultivating the land and carrying out needed public works, Peisistratos also won over popular support with his interest and concern for the arts and sciences. This created a cultural explosion among the people of Athens. As well as the city’s commercial increasing dramatically, output from the mines in Laviro also rose.

This period under Peisistratos was a milestone in the history of Athens. Trade, which had risen dramatically was being exported as far away as Eygpt and Sicily. The cultural explosion resulted in many new and beautiful monuments and also gave birth to some of the most famous philosophers in modern history such as Plato and Socrates. Hippias, son of Peisistratos, took over the tyranny from him in 528 BC.

However, his legency was short lived after a failed murder attempt on him made many suspicious of him. In 510 BC, with the help of the Spartan military, he was banished and so the tyranny of Athens had come to an end.

Straight away after the Spartans had left Athens, social life and the political atmosphere returned to how it had been before Solon’s legislation. Nobility again fought for the right to control Athens, and eventually Kleisthenis, the renowned politician took power. Public support for him grew by his promise to reform the political structure.

He also presented the people of Athens with institutions that would consolidate the power to stop the Persian empire from taking over Greece in its quest for control of the European continent.

The initial name of Athens was Akte or Aktike, named after the first king, Akteos. Her second name,Kekropia, received it from the king,Kekrops, who succeeded Akteos, by marrying his daughter. According to the legend, his lower body was that of a dragon. During his reign, goddess Athena and Poseidon were competing for the protection of the city and each one offered presents. Poseidon struck the rock at the Acropolis with his trident (the three marks can be seen behind the Erectheion..) and a spring with salted water gushed up. With the blow also leaped the first horse, ready to serve the man faithfully, while Athena offered an olive tree. The legend tell us, that all the men of Athens voted for the gift of Poseidon and all the women, for the gift of Athena and because there was one woman more than the men, goddess Athena was selected and from her, the city took her name.
To defend the country from the Karian pirates from the sea and the Boeotians from the land, Kekrops, in order to manage better the population, distributed Attica in the following twelve sections: Aphidna, Brauron, Dekeleia, Epakria, Eleusis, Kekropia, Kephisius, Kytherus, Phalerus, Sphettus, Tetrapolis, Thorikus. He also ordered each man to cast a single stone and by counting the stones, it was found that they were twenty thousand inhabitants.
Kekrops introduced the worship of Zeus and the ritual offerings of sweet meats (pelanoi), instead of human sacrifice. His grave in Acropolis was preserved until the fourth century BC.
When an enemy army besieged Athens, the Athenians asked the advice of Delphi, which gave them the oracle, that in order to save the city, an Athenian ought to be sacrificed by his own will. When the daughter of king Kekrops, Agravlos, learned about the oracle, she ascended to the Acropolis and fell to her death. Athenians to honor her, build a temple in the Acropolis and every year, were celebrating the Agravleia.
According to another legend, Agravlos or Aglavros, the same daughter of king Kekrops and her two sisters Herse and Pandrosos, they were entrusted with a box by goddess Athena, which commanded them not to open it. Pandrosos, the younger one, obeyed, but Agravlos and Herse opened it and saw a serpent shaped child or according to another version, a snake surrounding the child Erichthonios, which came out and crawled to the shield of Athena. The girls were so frightened from what they saw, that they leapt to their deaths, from the Acropolis.
Kekrops was succeeded by his son, Erysichthon, who had no children and he was succeeded by Kranaos. One of the daughters of Kranaos was called Atthis and from her, the whole region took the name, Attica.
Kranaos was dethroned by Amphiktyon, who in return was expelled by Erichthonios, son of Hephaestos and the Earth.
The Legend represents him as half man and half serpent. He took power around 1500 BC and started a powerful dynasty from which the heroes Pandion, Erechtheos, Aegeas, Theseus descended. Erichthonios placed in the Acropolis the wooden statue of Athena and introduced the festival of Athenaea. He was the inventor of the four wheeled chariot and the first to bread horses. He married the nymph Pasithea and had a son, Pandion. Pandion married the nymph Zeuxippe and had twin sons Erechtheos and Butes and two daughters, Prokne and Philomela.
Pandion was succeeded by Erechtheos. When Erechtheos was at war with the Eleusinians and Thracians, under their leader Eumolpos, he was advised by the Delphic oracle, that in order to win the war, he ought to sacrifice the three of his six daughters. When the girls voluntary consented, Erechtheos put them to death. After this, he went to the battle with confidence and totally vanquished his enemy. When the Eleusinians were defeated, Poseidon in anger destroyed the house of Erechtheos, who was probably killed in the battle.
Erechtheos was succeeded by his son Kekrops II and he by his son Pandion II, who had four sons, Aegeus, Pallas, Nisus and Lycos.

Theseus
ca 1300 BC

Theseus was the son of the king of Athens, Aegeus and Aethra. He had been educated by his grandfather, Pittheus at Troezen, and at age sixteen, he dedicated his forelocks to the Delian Apollo. His father Aegeus was childless and when he consulted the oracle at Delphi, he received an obscure reply and in order to interpret it, he visited Pittheus, the king of Troezen, famous for his wisdom. Pittheus made him drunk and put him to sleep with his daughter, Aethra, which became pregnant after that. When Aegeus departed, he left behind a sword and a pair of sandals, under a rock and told Aethra, that if the child was a boy and reaches manhood to lift the rock, take the sword and the sandals and come to Athens.
When Theseus reached the age of sixteen, his mother led him to the rock, which he lifted with ease, took his father presents and set out to meet him. In his way to Athens, he had a series of adventures, all of them victorious. When Theseus arrived at Athens, Medeia, the wife of Aegeus, suspecting who was, she persuaded Aegeus to invite him to a banquet, intending to kill him with poison. His father however recognized him in time, from the sword he was wearing and banished Medeia and her son, to Asia.
Theseus was the first social reformer of Athens. At his time, Attica was consisted from twelve towns, each one having her own ruler (tyrannisko), who came often in conflict between them. Theseus united the towns (synoikismos) and renamed the city of Athena, Athenae, meaning the union of the twelve cities. To commemorate this event, he instituted the feast of the union of the tribes (synoikia or metoikia) and the Athenaea, the festival Erichthonios had introduced, renamed themPanathenaea, a celebration of the new united city of Athens.
He distributed the people in three classes: the Eupatridae, Geomoroiand Demiourgoi. Eupatridae were the rich and educated people, governors, generals, priests, etc. Geomoroi were agricultural people and Demiourgoi were the artisans. All three classes had the same rights. He issued coins, with the picture of an ox upon them, the so called dekaveia and ekatoveia, with the value of ten and one hundred oxen.
Theseus took also part in the Argonautic expedition and fought with Herakles against the Amazons. He increased the territory of Athens, by conquering Megara, reaching as far as the Isthmos of Corinth.
He also introduced the Isthmia Games, at Isthmos.
Menestheos, the rival of Theseus, took advantage to destroy his popularity with the people, while Theseus was away from Attica, to help his friend Perithoos. At the same time Kastor and Pollux invaded Attica, in order to free their sister Helen, whom Theseus had abducted from Sparta. A friend of Menestheos, Academos, who had gardens in the place where later the Academy was created, told Dioskouroi where Theseus was hiding Helen, in Aphidnae. With the Dioskouroi fought also against the Athenians, the general Marathos, from Arkadia. The place, where he was killed in battle, was named Marathon.
When Theseus returned to Athens, he found out that the people were no more disposed to listen and honor him and thus, he left his sons under the protection of Elephenor in Euboea and went to the island of Skyros.
Theseus was assassinated by his friend king Lykomedes of Skyros. His remains were brought by Kimon in 475 BC, from the island of Skyros to Athens and were buried south west of Agora. Near it, a set of rooms decorated by the famous painters Mikon and Polygnotos, were used for feasts, in his honor. The Doric temple of Hephaestos andAthena Ergane or Theseum, which stands at the western end of the Agora, on the hill of Agoraios Kolonos, erected by the architect Ictinos (449-440 BC), depicts the exploits of Theseus in its friezes and metopes.
Menestheos later became the commander of the Athenian troops, at Troy. Even though he was alive, he did not return to Athens and Athenians restored the sons of Theseus, Demophoon, Oxynias,Apheidas and Thymaetes, who in succession governed Athens for about sixty years.
When the Dorians invaded Peloponnesos, they forced Melanthos and the Neleid family of Pylos, to abandon their kingdom and to find shelter at Athens. When a war broke between Athenians and Euboeans for the boundary of Oinoe, the Boeotian king Xanthos challenged Thymaetes to a single combat. When Thymaetes declined to accept, Melanthos took his place and skillfully fought and killed his opponent. After this event Thymaetes resigned and Melanthos became king.

Kodros
ca 1100 BC

Melanthos and his son Kodros, reigned for almost sixty years. There is a story that during the reign of king Kodros, a powerful Dorian force under Aletes from Korinth and Althaemenes from Argos, invaded Attica. The Delphic oracle had promised them success to their expedition, provided that they will not injure Kodros. When this was learned by Kodros, he disguised himself as a peasant woodcutter and went to the enemy camp, provoking a quarrel with the Dorians and he was killed. When the Dorians learned that the killed person was Kodros, they left Athens and conquered Megara. According to an older tradition, Kodros was killed in the battle.
Kodros was the last king of Athens. After his heroic sacrifice, the Athenians did not permit anyone else, to bear the title of king. His descendants, they were called Archons. After his death, his sonsMedon and Neleus quarreled for the succession, which was decided by the Delphi oracle. Medon became Archon and Neleus left, leading
the Ionians to colonize the Asia Minor.
After Medon, followed twelve Archons for life: Akastos, Archippos, Thersippos, Phorbas, Megakles, Diognetos, Pherekles, Ariphron, Thespieos, Agamestor, Aeschylos and Alkmaeon.
In the second year of Alkmaeon (752 BC), the duration of the Archon changed to ten years. There were seven Archons, which reigned for ten years each: Charops, Aesimides, Kleidikos, Hippomenes, Leokrates, Apsandros, Eryxias.
After Eryxias, the title of Archon was given to nine distinguished persons, descendants of Kodros and Medon, who changed annually, but after 714 BC, they were including distinguished Eupatridae.
From the nine Archons, who governed since 683 BC, to the end of democracy, three had special titles: the archon Eponymos, from whom the year was named after, the archon Basileus, the archon Polemarch. The other six had the title of Thesmothetae (legislators).

Kylonion Agos
632 BC

Kylon, an Eupatrid and Olympic winner of the diaulos race in 640 BC, tried to take the city and become a tyrant. Kylon had requested an oracle from Delphi and received the answer that, he ought to seize the Acropolis of Athens during the celebration of Zeus. Acquiring an army from his father in-law, Theagenes of Megara and with Athenian friends, he seized Acropolis, during the Olympic games of Peloponnesos. When Athenians learned about the event, they blockaded Acropolis. Kylon and his brother managed to escape, but the rest, exhausted from hunger, sought asylum in the altar of Athena at Acropolis. Athenians promised them a fair trial, if they would surrender. The besieged suspicious, in order to be in touch with the temple, they fastened a rope to the altar and came out holding it. When the rope was broken, the Athenians killed almost everyone, at the precinct of Eumenides, near the Acropolis entry. This unholy event was named "Kylonean taint" (Kylonion agos).
The Archon of the Athenians, Megakles of the Alkmaeonidae family and his assistants, who took part in the killing, they were cursed and denounced. When epidemics fell in Athens, Megakles and his personal assistants, the ones who were alive at the time, were put on trial at the instigation of Solon (597 BC). They were found guilty and exiled for life from Attica.
The banishment of the Alkmaeonidae however did not deliver Athenians from their fears and calamities. They invited the sageEpimenides from Crete to purify the city from its guilt. Epimenides visited Athens in 596 BC, where he performed sacrifices and expiatory rites succeeding to purify the city and put a stop to the plague. Athenians in gratitude offered him one talent, but Epimenides accepted only a branch from the sacred olive tree of Acropolis.

Drakon
624 BC

Drakon is considered the first legislator of Athens, though the six minor archons, the so-called Thesmothetae, they were legislating unwritten laws from 683 BC.
In the beginning of sixth century, it seems that Athens needed new written laws, because the aristocrats were interpreting the unwritten law according to their advantage. The people commissioned Drakon in 624 BC, to legislate written code of laws.
Drakon did not change the political constitution. His laws were written upon marble plates (621 BC), the so-called Thesmoi or Ordinances, and placed in the Agora, where everyone could read them. The laws were extremely severe in some cases, punishing trivial and serious crimes equally. Drakon made distinction between intentional and unintentional homicide. He left to Areopagos the trial of willful murders, but he appointed fifty one judges (ephetae), who were judging the unintentional cases. Due to the severity of his laws, the people later said, that they were written with blood. Today the expression "Drakonian" describes repressive legal measures.
But the written laws, instead of helping the people, they became tools in the hands of aristocracy, to take their land, intimidate and oppress them. The whole Attica fell in the hands of aristocracy and the people, who were unable to pay their debts, were sold as slaves. There was so much dissatisfaction, that many people left Attica and immigrated.
Later Athenians looked back to Drakon with reverence, believing that their author was wise and did not oppress the unfortunate, alleviating the miseries of men, as far as it was possible.

Solon
638 - 559 BC

Solon, the famous statesman and lawgiver, son of Exekestides from Salamis, descendant from the family of Kodros and Neleid's, was born at Athens in 638 BC. His father was a merchant and Solon, who followed him in his profession, traveled in many countries. He was near forty, famous for his poetry and wisdom, when he took part in the civil life of Athens.
Megarians, after the Kylonian event, had taken possession of the island of Salamis, which belonged to Athens. Solon was bitter that Athens had lost the island. Megara, at that time, was a strong city-state, who was able to compete with Athens. The Athenians, after a long war with them, trying to regain the island, suffered many casualties. For this reason they took an oath, not to wage war for the island and whoever mentions again war, he would be punished by death.
Solon managed to persuade the Athenians to regain the island by reciting his poem Salamis in the Agora, and as General leading a force, he reached the acroterion of Koliada, where the Athenian women were sacrificing to Demeter. From there, he sent a trusted man to Salamis, pretending that he was a fugitive, informing the Megarians that the Athenian women were unprotected. The Megarians fell into the trap and when disembarked from the ships without their arms to catch them, they found out, that the women were disguised men, with hidden knives. They were all killed and Solon with their ships sailed immediately to the unprotected Salamis and conquered the island. Megarians tried to regain the island and a prolonged war between Athens and Megara proved disastrous for both of them. It was finally agreed to let Sparta decide, who would be the owner of the island. The arbitration of Sparta decided, that Salamis belonged to Athens.
Solon increased his reputation by supporting the Delphians against the inhabitants of Kirra. With difficulty, he persuaded the assembly of Amphictions to open war against the city of Kirra (first Sacred war 595-585 BC).
When Solon became archon in 594 BC at Athens, wealth and power were in few hands. The poor people (class of Thetes) were in debt, many had become slaves, because they were unable to repay their debts and even sold their children.
Solon, a person who loved justice, tried to change the harsh life of the poor people of Athens. He rejected proposals to become a tyrant and instead he made the memorable law of Seisachtheia, a word that means that he lifted from the shoulders of the poor the burdens, which caused them so much pain and anguish.
The law of Seisachtheia cancelled the contracts of the poor people, who had borrowed on the security of their person or their land. It also prohibited all future loans of such kind and abolished the power of the creditor to imprison or enslave. The law, by canceling the numerous mortgages of the land properties in Attica, left the land free from all past claims.
In other laws, he helped the wealthier debtors, who could repay back their loans. Solon increased the value of the mna, by twenty seven percent. He changed the currency from the Aeginetan to the Euboic standard, something that proved favorable to the Athenian trade, in order to facilitate the trade with Korinth, Chalkis and Eretria and other colonies. Solon did not only prohibit the mortgage of persons, he also limited the amount of the land an individual could possess. He forbade the big land owners to export the grain from Athens, by attaching a heavy fine and also the export of the agricultural products from Attica, except olive oil.
Solon repealed the laws of Drakon, except those on homicide. He abolished the death penalty, from all minor crimes.
Many people who had been punished, they were restored to full privileges of citizenship. Under this law the exiled family of Alkmaeonidae returned to Athens.
The laws of the legislator Solon were written in wooden triangular boards named kyrveis and were kept first in the Acropolis and later in the Prytaneum.
He also changed the political system, from Oligarchy to Timocracy, in other words, he diminished the power of noble birth and gave importance to wealth. He reorganized the council or senate (vouli) of 401 members, which had been constituted by Drakon (621 BC), whose members were selected from the whole body of citizens. He reduced it by one member to 400, 100 from each of the four tribes.
When Solon became archon, the population of Attica was divided in three classes, that often came in hostilities against each other. The three divisions were: the Paedieis, the Diakrioi and the Paralioi. Solon arbitrated successfully, bringing an end to their violent quarrels. He abolished the exclusive privileges of the Eupatrids and divided the population in four classes, according to their property.
The first class, the Pentacosiomedimnoi, had at least five hundred medimnoi of grain or wine or oil, as yearly income. The Hippeis(knights), with income of at least three hundred medimnoi, able to keep a warhorse. The third class, the Zeugitae (possessors of a pair of oxen), with at least one hundred and fifty medimnoi, and finally theThetes (workers for wages), which had less than one hundred medimnoi income. Only the first three classes could vote in the election and only from the first class men were elected to the highest offices. The class of Thetes was excluded from all official positions but they could vote in the general public assembly and also had the right to take part, as a jury, in trials. They could not serve in the army as hoplites, but only as light-armed troops.
The Hippeis could only serve from the two highest classes and hoplite from the first three. Only the Thetes were paid for public services, all other classes were serving without payment.
In minor laws, Solon put very small fines. In contrast, he awarded big sums of money to the Olympic winners (500 drachmas, a fortune at the time) and for the Isthmian games 100 drachmas. For the winners of the Panathenaic games, he awarded one hundred painted amphorae, filled with olive oil.
Though Solon was just at his legislations, he did not make radical changes, believing at his own words that the gods give to every man what is just for him. None was satisfied with his reforms, the poor, who were expecting redistribution of the land, were disappointed and the rich were upset by his concessions to the poor.
He retained and extended the power of the ancient council of Areopagos, which had jurisdiction in cases of religious crimes and premeditated murder.
Later generations considered Solon the father of democracy, because he liberated the individual from the political domination of the oligarchy and from the economic burdens, giving political rights to the Thetes, to take part in the meeting of Ekklesia, at the same time gave to the individual new responsibilities as a citizen, considering atimia not to take the arms against revolts and tyrants.
Before him the wills were unknown in Athens. The property was inherited from the kin. Solon gave freedom to the individual, permitting to regulate their properties at will, in case they did not have a son. Solon put the foundations for the industry. Every father ought to teach his sons a trade, otherwise his children were not responsible for him in his old age. In his economic reforms, he developed the Athenian industry by importing craftsmen from Corinth and other cities, giving them Athenian citizenship.
Solon was also an excellent lyric and elegiac poet. He was the first Attic poet and wrote iambics and elegiacs on moral, political and social subjects. His elegies amounted more than five thousands lines. In his political elegies, he wrote about the island of Salamis and how he roused the citizens of Athens to regain the island.
As a character, Solon was a sincere, kindly person and generous. He was characterized by moderation and his constant motto was the "Nothing in excess" (Μηδέν άγαν). He was one of the seven wise men. His wisdom and his noble patriotism marked the Athenian state, as the first true example of humanism.
He also wrote ethical elegies and his poem "the exhortations to himself" belongs to this category, as also the often-quoted line:
"I am getting old, but still I am learning a lot"
(Γηράσκω δ' αιεί πολλά διδασκόμενος).
After the completion of his work, Solon left Athens having said to Athenians not to change anything for ten or according to another testimony, for one hundred years. Unfortunately, he lived to see his constitution overthrown from the tyrant Peisistratos.
Solon first visited Egypt, meeting the kings and priests, learning the history from them. The priests told him about the island of Atlantis and the war of Athenians against the island, nine thousands years before. Solon, from the information the priests gave him, started to write a poem, but he died before finishing it. After Egypt, he went to Cyprus and later to Lydia, where he met king Croesos at Sardis. According to the tale of Herodotus, Croesos, after showing his vast treasures to Solon, asked him who was the happiest man he ever known, expecting from Solon that he would mention him. Solon, avoiding to flatter the king, named ordinary Greeks, the Athenian Telamon and the Argive brothers Kleobis and Biton. When Croesos replied that he had not taken under account his vast riches and glory, Solon told him, he considered no man happy, until he knew, how he ended his life: "Don't regard anyone happy, before you know his end" (Μηδένα προ του τέλους μακάριζε).
Croesos at the time showed contempt to Solon, but when was overthrown by Cyros and ready to be burnt, Solon came to his mind and uttered his name three times, with a loud voice: "Solon, Solon, Solon". When Cyros inquired about the strange invocation, he ordered his men to extinguish the fire, but it was too late. Luckily Croesos was saved by a sudden profuse rain. Cyros after the event reinstated Croesos and made him his closest friend and advisor.
During Solon's absence from Athens, the three parties had started violent quarrels between them. The Paedieis (people of the plains) were headed by Lykourgos, the Paralioi (people of seashore) by Megakles of Alkmaeonidae and the Diakrioi (mountaineers) by Peisistratos, a cousin of Solon. When Solon returned to Athens, about 562 BC, tried unsuccessfully to give an end to the ambitions of his cousin Peisistratos. He died at Cyprus and his ashes, according to his will, were scattered around his beloved island of Salamis.

Peisistratos
605 - 527 BC


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