By A. H. J. Greenidge
Excerpt from A instruction manual of Greek Constitutional History
Origin of the city-state; the tribe and the extended family, 12. starting place of Greek monarchy, 14 personality of the heroic monarchy, 15; downfall of this monarchy, 17. move of presidency to the clans, 19 nature of the extended family, 20. The early aristocracies, 21; tendency to oligarchic govern ment, 22. Impulse to colonisation, 24. Early Greek tyranny, 25; its beginning, 25 the tyrants, 27 personality in their govt, 30 how a ways was once it constitutional, 31 political and social results in their rule, 32; downfall of tyranny, 33. upward push of constitutional govt, 34.
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Additional info for A Handbook of Greek Constitutional History
The preciseformsassumedby the early aristocraciesof the Greek world can very rarely be determined. They depended on the supremacyof casteor of wealth combinedwith caste and they may rightly be termed " constitutions/7in so far as the power of these governments,like that of the monarchies which had precededthem, wassupposedto he limited by the observance of traditional law. There is only one extremeform, which, if it is rightly interpreted by Aristotle, hardly deserves the nameof constitution. "1 The governmentof the Thessalian clans in later times furnishes instances of at least the relics of such a system; but the best example of such a "dynasty" which we possessis the rule of the Bacchiaclaeof Corinth, where the caste system was more marked, and the governmentapparently more tyrannical, than elsewherein the states The of Greece.
V. 6 = p. 1306a). are tyrannical in so far as he is despotic and rules according to his own In some states, such as Teos, Cyme, Naxos, and Megara, the title is found fancy" (Joivett). asthat of a standingoillce. 2 ib. iii. 15. G. 3 if), iii. 14. n. ) 28 OUTLINES OF GREEK CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY CHAP which it was exercised. Absolutism and irresponsibility are the chief connotations of the word. To the citizen of a later age the tyrant was an outlaw in a threefold sense. He had placedhimself outsidethe pale of positivelaw ; for this reason he seemedexempt from all moral control, and, as an equally necessary consequence,was outside the protection of the law.
The tyrannies that sprang up during the closeof the sixth century in Sicily and Southern Italy, at Leontini, Gela,and Khegium,developedout of oligarchies,5 and were probably due to the sameassertionof their claims by the rich and unprivileged classes. In other states, where a commercial had not yet replaceda wholly agricultural civilisation, it was the championshipof the poorest class on which the despot based his claim to power. iii. 52. 4 Her. v. f>8. ';' Straho p. £382. "' Arist. /W. v. 12--p.
A Handbook of Greek Constitutional History by A. H. J. Greenidge