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The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers (Hardcover)

By: Diogenes Laertius


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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: in the city of the Prieneans, then we ourselves will come thither and settle near you. LIFE OF SOLON. I. Solon the son of Execestides, a native of Salamis, was the first person who introduced among the Athenians, an ordinance for the lowering of debts; for this was the name given to the release of the bodies and possessions of the debtors. For men used to borrow on the security of their own persons, and many became slaves in consequence of their inability to pay; and as seven talents were owed to him as a part of his paternal inheritance when he succeeded to it, he was the first person who made a composition with his debtors, and who exhorted the other men who had money owing to them to do likewise, and this ordinance was called enadna; and the reason why is plain. After that he enacted his other laws, which it would take a long time to enumerate; and he wrote them on wooden revolving tablets. II. But what was his most important act of all was, when there had been a great dispute about his native land Salamis, between the Athenians and Megarians, and when the Athenians had met with many disasters in war, and had passed a decree that if any one proposed to the people to go to war for the sake of Salamis lie should be punished with death, he then pretended to be mad and putting on a crown rushed into the market place, and there he recited to the Athenians by the agency of a crier, the elegies which he had composed, and which were all directed to the subject of Salamis, and by these means he excited them; and so they made war again upon the Megarians and conquered them by means of Solon. And the elegies which had the greatest influence on the Athenians were these: — Would that I were a man of Pholegandros,t Or small Sicinna,J rather than of Athens : Vide Thirlwall, ...



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