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inimene С НА Р. ІІ. of the State of Athens, from Theseus to the Decennial
HESEUS, being by the fore-mention'd Accident advanced to 1 the Regal Scepter, foon found the Inconvenience of having his People dispers'd in Villages, and canton'd up and down the Country. “ Therefore for the Remedy of this Evil, he fram'd in his Mind (faith u Plutarch) a vast and 'wonderful Deliga of gathering together all the “ Inhabitants of Attica into one Town, and making them one People • of one City, that were before dispers’d, and very difficult to be af« sembled upon any Affair, tho' relating to the common Benefit of of them all. Nay, often fuch Differences and Quarrels happen'd among " them, as occasion': Blood-shed and War ; these he, by his Per. “ sualions, appeas'd, and going from people to People, and from • Tribe to Tribe, propos'd bis Design of a common Agreement be“ tween them. Those of a more private and mean Condition readily “ embracing so good Advice; to those of greater Power and Interest,
« Theseus caus'd to be proclaim'd, when he thus set up a Common" wealth, consisting in a manner of all Nations.
« For all this, he suffer'd not his State by the promiscuous Multitude " that flow'd in, to be turn'd into Confusion and Anarchy, and left “ without any Order or Degrees, but was the first that divided the " Common-wealth into three distinct Ranks, Eirktgides, rewpogos, Amo o pingeyot, i. e. Noblemen, Husbandmen, and Artificers. To the No“ bility he committed the Choice of Magistrates, the teaching and dis“ penling of the Laws, and the Interpretation of all holy and religi« ous Things; the whole City, as to all other Matters, being as it “ were reduc'd to an Equality, the Nobles excelling the rest in Ho" nour, thc Husbandmen in Profit, and the Artificers in Number. “ And Thefeus was the first, who, as Aristotle says, out of an Inclination « to popular Government, parted with the Regal Power; which Homer “ also seems to intimate in his Catalogue of the Ships, where he gives “ the Name of Anu@, or People, to the Athenians only.
In this manner Thefeus setel'd the Athenian Government, and it continu'd in the same State till the Death of Codrus the seventeenth and last King, a Prince more renown'd for his Bravery, than Fortune. For Attica " being invaded by the Dorians, or Spartans, or Peloponnefians, or, as some will have it, by the Thracians, the Oracle was consulted about it, and answer made, that the Invaders should have Succefs, if they did not kill the Athenian King ; whereupon Codrus preferring his Country's Safety before his own Life, disguis'd himself in the Habit of a Peasant, and went to a place not far from the Enemy's Camp, where picking a Quarrel with some of them, he obtain’d the Death which he so much dcfird. The Athenians being advertis'd of what had happen'd, fent 317 Herald to the Enemy to demand the Body of their King, who were so much disheartened by this unexpected Accident, that they immediately broke up their Camp, and left off their Enterprize without striking another Blow.
The Athenians, out of Reverence to Codrus's Memory, would never more have any Governor by the Name or Title of King, but were govern'd by Archontes, whom they allow'd indeed to continue in their Dignity as long as they liv'd, and when they dy'd, to leave it to their Children ; and therefore most Writers reckon them rather amongst the Kings, than the Archontes that succeeded them, who were permitted to sule only for a certain time; yet they differ'd from the Kings in this, that they were in a manner subject to the People, being oblig'd to render an Account of their Management, when it Tould be demanded. The first of these was Medon, the eldest Son of Codrsas, from whom the thirteen following Archontes were firnam'd Medontida, as being dercended from him. During their Government the Athenian State suffer'd no considerable Alteration, but was carried on with so great Ease und Quictness, that scarce any mention is made of any memorable Action done by any of them, and the very Names of some of them are almost quite forgotten.