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Kleisthenes' Reform Bill

  • A. Andrewes (a1)

Modern research has done much to elucidate the question what the reforms of Kleisthenes in fact achieved, and the work continues, but that does not settle the question what he was trying to achieve. Herodotos gives him a political motive in outline, that he brought the people over to his side because he had been defeated in a struggle for power against Isagoras (5.66.2); and in resuming this proposition after a digression he describes the Athenian people as (5.69.2). But he gives us no clear insight into the nature or mechanism of the struggle with Isagoras, and in particular he does not say that the latter's election to the archonship in 508 constituted his victory, though the dating of the reform to the archonship of Isagoras ('A.21.1) makes that highly probable; nor does he explain in what sense or by whom the Athenian people had been ‘previously excluded’.

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page 241 note 1 See Traill J. S., Hesperia Suppl. 14 (1975), with the bibliography listed at ppjc-xi. This paper originated from discussion in a class held jointly by D. M. Lewis and myself early in 1976 on the basis of Traill's work, and an earlier drafi was read by M. I. Finley and P. J. Rhode to all these I am grateful for comment, and this does not of course imply their agreement. I also thank K. H. Kinzl for sending me in advance of publication a copy of the paper referred to in n.2.

page 241 note 2 Martin J., Chiron 4 (1974), 5–42; K. H. Kinzl, ‘Athens: between Tyranny and Democracy’, in the forthcoming Festschrift for Fritz Schachermayr.

page 241 note 3 e.g. Hignett C., History of the Athenian Constitution, pp.127–8.

page 241 note 4 Historians often assume (e.g. Hignett, op.cit, pp.126–7), with some plausibility but no direct evidence, that at that time the archon controlled the procedure of the assembly, so that very strong popular pressure would have been needed even to get these matters on to the agenda; and it is surely the case that Isagoras as archon was in a strong position and would not easily have given way. The question here, strictly unanswerable, is whether these pressures were applied to constitutional machinery still more or less functioning, or in a more fluidly revolutionary situation. If Isagoras remained in office after the passage of the reform (p. 247 below), that tells a little in favour of constitutional procedure, but there can be no certainty and it does not greatly matter.

page 242 note 1 The Athenian case is the most clearly dated and documented, but it is not in doubt that Sparta abandoned, probably much earlier, the three old tribes named in Tyrtaios fr.19.8 (West). For a similar change at Argos, probably in the middle of the fifth century, see my note in HCT to Thuc.5.72.4 and the literature there cited.

page 243 note 1 Cf. e.g. Forrest W. G., The Emergence of Greek Democracy, p.195.

page 243 note 2 It would be interesting to know what lies behind the statement of inline-graphic.21.5 that the demes replaced the naukrariai.

page 243 note 3 Eliot C. W. J., Coastal Demes of Attica, pp.146–7.

page 243 note 4 Symb.Osl.46 (1971), 72–9; cf. Lewis D. M., Gnomon 35 (1963), 174.

page 243 note 5 So Kinzl (loc. cit.), who argues that Kleisthenes had the support of the majority of the aristocrats, who alone ‘could deliver the mass vote in the Assembly.’

page 244 note 1 Young R. S., Hesperia 20 (1951), 140–3, suggested that some boundaries might have followed roads, partly because they are easy to follow; but a road, at least one inhabited on both sides, tends to unify rather than divide, and on the procedure I suggest below it would not matter if the ‘boundary’ ran behind the houses.

page 244 note 2 Kydathenaion has been thought an artificial name, because of its supposed meaning; but see Judeich, Topographie von Athen 2, p.172, and the literature there cited on the doubtful etymology of it.

page 244 note 3 inline-graphic.21.5 inline-graphic cannot mean that Kleisthenes invented all the names, and need not mean that he invented any new name. The last clause of that sentence, in spite of valiant attempts to make it intelligible, remains opaque to me, and I suspect that the source has been condensed too drastically.

page 244 note 4 See Traill, pp.87–91.

page 244 note 5 See Lewis D. M. in Problèmes de la terre en Grèce ancienne, ed. Finley M. I. (1973), p.205, nos. (25)-(26); for the date, p.191.

page 244 note 6 The names for these rolls, inline-graphicinline-graphic, should have some relation to their origin or function, but no very convincing explanation has yet been found.

page 245 note 1 See Trail's Map 1, which supersedes previous maps and simplifies the picture by not attempting boundaries. The location of Upper and Lower Potamos should be corrected in the light of his pp.44–5 with n.18. Doubts about deme locations are indicated, but doubt about the affiliation of a few demes to trittyes could not be.

page 245 note 2 Historia 12 (1963), 2240.

page 245 note 3 See Traill, p.54.

page 245 note 4 Traill's Table 1 on p.71 (also to be corrected from pp.44–5) gives the number of bouleutai from each trittys. This is the most reliable indicator of the numbers involved, in spite of some slight distortion due to the fact that a deme can only have a whole number of bouleutai, so that there is no indication of differences in population between demes with the same number of bouleutai. The figures of known demotai compiled by Gomme A. W. (Population of Athens (1933), pp.5565) from Kirchner's Prosopographia Attica (1901 3) are subject to more varied and serious distortions.

page 245 note 5 Historia 13 (1964), 405–9.

page 245 note 6 Forrest, op. cit., pp. 197–200; Bicknell P. J., Studies in Athenian Politics and Genealogy (Historia Einzelschrift 19, 1972).

page 246 note 1 See Thompson, loc. cit., pp. 78–9; and cf. Lewis , Historia 12 (1963), 32.

page 246 note 2 e.g. Hignett, p.126 with Appendix VI.

page 247 note 1 Pollux 8.110 says that the tribes became ten under Alkmeon, which is most naturally interpreted as meaning that the reform, carried in a previous year, came into operation when he was archon: cf. Cadoux T. J., JHS 68 (1948), 114. There is no other evidence of the date of his archonship, which must thus depend on the view taken about the time needed to implement the reform.

page 247 note 2 Eliot, op. cit., p.146 n.18; Rhodes P. J., The Athenian Boule, pp.192–3, 210.

page 247 note 3 Ibid., pp.209–10.

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