Aristotle In The Athenian Constitution

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Athens in the mid-sixth century BCE was in chaos. The reforms of Solon had attempted to fix the problems of the Athenian political system, but in reality had left the city unstable. The political instability that plagued Athens during this time gave way to tyrants such as Pisistratus; whose dynasty helped establish Athenian democracy some decades later. Even with the uncertainty during this time, many would look back at the reign of Pisistratus as a golden age, for his tyranny and policies ultimately led the way for political stability. Aristotle in The Athenian Constitution tells of the conditions Athens faced during this time including experiencing several years of peace, followed by a year of disorder due to the inability to elect an Archon.…show more content…
According to Aristotle Pisistratus was “in every respect humane and mild,” “burdened the people as little a possible,” and “in all things he was accustomed to observe the laws, without giving himself any exceptional privilege.” He was able to win over the Athenians by this fair treatment, but also established policy to benefit the common people, which included adavancing “money to the poorer people to help in their labors.” Herodotus reaffirms Pisistratus’ benevolent rule by stating that he kept the current constitution, and adminstisted it “fairly and well.” Because of Pisistratus’ benevolent actions and popualr policies, many often looked back favorably upon his reign. Both Aristotle and Herodotus provide an excellent account of the political instability that plauged Athens during the mid-sixth century BCE, and how Pisistratus was able to use this to his advantage to become a tyrant. Though it took several attempts, Pisistratus was able to establish his rule as tyrant fully and implemented policies that were favorable among the Athenians, so much so that they regarded his regin as a golden age, and would later help set the stage for the development of Athenian

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