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State, and chole Draco, a Person of known Wisdom and Probicy among them, for their King; who no sooner was feccled at the Helm of Affairs, than he published a System 'of very severe and rigorous Laws ; which, because of their extreme Rigour, (punishing with Death the smallest as well as the greatest Crimes) were said to be written with Blood. But these had the same fate, which most things chat are too violent have ; for the ill-judged Severity of chem made their Execution to be very much neglected, and at length entirely laid aside. .
Solon, who was afterwards chosen their Le gillator, being a Person of extraordinary Me fit, and Sweetness of Temper, went on with more Caution in correcting and aniending che Diseases of the Common-Wealth; he chang'd. their Laws, and new fashiond their Government, but feldom attempted any thing till "he had persuaded the Citizens of the Reasonableñess and Advantage of his Laws, and the Changes that he brought about in their Conftitution : Sometimes indeed he made use of the Authority and Power he was invested with, but pever except when it was visibly join’d with Reason and Justice. , Being once ask'd, if the Body of Laws, which he gave the Athenians were the best and most perfect, Yes, says he, they are the best that the Aibenians are capable of receiving. The first thing he did, was to sec at liberty from their Slavery, all such as had fold themselves for Debt, and at the same time, publifhd an Edict, whereby he cancelled and annullid the Debts themselves ; but some of his Friends, who knew of this Resolution before the Edict was published, taking advantage of 5 No. XVIII. 1732.. . R
. VOL. II.“
it, had borrowed, great Sumas of Money, where with they purchased Land, which, amongit the
Albenians, no Debt could affect; This Deed of his Friends, thos utcerly unknown to him, rais'd the Indigration of the Generality of the People, which fell upon Solon, as if he had been in concert with them. He repealed or moderated all the Laws of Draco, except those against Murder'; he divided the People into four Classes, according to the Estimate of their yearly Revenue. To the Rich, he committed all the publick Offices; and in some fort to make reparation to the Poor, for their Exclusion from publick Employments, he gave them the Privilege of voting in all the ARsemblies and Deliberations of the People; which, at first, appeared to be but of little moment, came, however, in the end to be of very greai Importance, as it made them entirely Masters of all publick Affairs, and gave them a strong Influence in all Processes and Judgments of Ma. giftrates ; 'most of them being brought in the last Resort by Appeal before the People : Which made Airacharfis, the Scythian Philosopher, fay to Solón, I wonder you have left to the Wife the Right of deliberating only, and that you have put the Right of deciding in the hands of Fools.
He re-established and added to the Number of the Areopagus, which was, the Sovereign Court of Justice amongst the Athenians, and perhaps one of the most august that ever was in the World; whose Reputation was so great, that even the Románs themselyes appeal'd to it, in Cases that appear'd too difficul for them
Télyes to decides
Moreover, to give a check to the Abuse, that was made of the too great Power which he had left the People, he created another Senate, consisting of four hundred, viz, one hundred out of each of the four Tribes, to whose Judg ment the People commonly paid a very great. deference. - Tho’Solon well perceived the Inconveniencies of a popular Government; yet knowing the Genius of the Athenians, he judged it in vain to wrest the Sovereign Power out of the hands of the People; well knowing, that if they allow'd themselves to be divested of it at one time; they would, on some other Occasion, re-afsuine i: by force.
It was permitted by Solon's Laws to any who saw another oppress’d or insulted, to espouse his Quarrel, and prosecute the Offender, ..., : By another Law he declared infamous, and condemn'd to perpetual Banishment, all such as in the civil Commotions of the State did not side with one or other of the Parties. · He abolished the Custom of giving Portions in Marriage with their Daughters, and made many useful Laws for the Encouragement of Industry, and the Improvement of the Arts and Sciences.,'; o;';; ::
Pilifrates, by his Cunning and Address, found means to possess himself of the Government of Athens, two Years before Sclon's Death;, his Son and Successor, Hippias; being expelled Athens by the Party of the Alcmeonides, and be ing disappointed of means of restoring himself any other Way, he retir'd.co Artapbernesy: the King of Persia's Governor, at Sardis, and en-t deavour'd to engage him to turn his Arms aan gainst the Albenians. ioid · Rr2
“Artaphernes commanded the Athenians to reestablish him upon the Throne, which they aber folurély refused ; and this gave occasion to the first beginning of the War, which the Persians made against the Greeks ; the Detail whercot makes the Subject of the next Volume. 1
The ninch and last ARTICLE is wholly taken up in giving an Account of all the Men famous for Learning and Wisdom, that lived in those first Ages of Greece. . ,'
He begins with the Poets, as being the most ancient, and places Homer as the most celebratéd, at the head of them. Our Author seems to give Smyrna, preferable to all the other Cities that contended for it, the Honour of his Birth.
What is most surprizing in this gréat Poet is, that he being the first who (of all that are known to us) apply'd himself to a kind of PoeEry, the most sublime and difficult of any, Thould have carried it all of a sudden to so high a Degree of Perfection, that none of those who came after him, have ever been able to come up to it. Velleius Paterculus, Lib. 1. Cap. 5. speaking of Homer, passes the fame Judgment upon him. si
The next í order is Hefiod; of whom it is faid, that, of the three-Poems ascribed to him, the first, which is called the WORK S and the DAYS, served as a Model to Virgil, in composing his Georgicks ; and the laft called the BUCKLEŘ of HER CU L'ES, is suspected not to be. Hefiod's. 't Trend . The rest in this Catalognre are, Arcbilecbus, Inventor of Tambick Verses; Hipponax, of E. pbesus; Stefichorusof Himera, famous in the Lyrick kind. Alcman, of Lacedemon; Aléeus
and Sapbo, both of Mitylene, a City of Lesbos. Our Author says of Sapho, that it were to be wilhed, the Purity and Chastity of this Lady's Manners had been answerable to the Beauty of her Genius, and that she had not dishonour'd her Sex, by her Vices and Lasciviousness.
Mr. Rollin treats next of the Philosophers, and Men famous for their Wisdom ; where he Cakes notice of the most remarkable things in their Lives, as he had done before in treating of the Poets. ,
The first of there is Thales the Milesian, who laid the first Foundation of Philosophy in Greece, and was Author of the Topick Sect; he it was who first mark'd che precise Time of that famous Solar Eclipse, which happened in che Reign of Atyages, King of Media. This Philosopher used to thank God for three things, viz. That he had made him a reasonable Creaa cure, and not a Brute: A Man, and not a Woman : A Greek, and not a. Barbarian. .
Next to him, art, Sólon, who hath buen alseady spoke of; . Chilon, the Lacedemonian ; Pittacus, King of Mitylene, ; Bias, of Prien ; Cleobulus, of Lindos, in the one of Rhodes ; Periander, King of Corinth ; Anacharsis, the Scythian, who, in his Conference wich Solon, compares the Laws.to so many Cobwebs, which reftrain and intangle small Insects, but the great ones break through them. Æfop, the Phrygian, as famous for the Deformity of his Body, as the Beauty of his Genius.. “This is the Substance of what Mr. Rollin hath said on this period of Greek History.