Aristotle: Athenian Constitution

(320 BCE)

Explanation and Analysis of the Document

In parts 1 through 42, the Athenian Constitution traces the history of Greek rulers and their constitutional reforms up to the year 403 BCE. Parts 42 through 69 are an account of the Athenian constitution in Aristotle's own day. Only a short fragment of Part 1, beginning in midsentence, survives. Beginning with Part 2, however, the document is complete.

Parts 2–4

In parts 2 through 4, Aristotle documents the political situation in Athens prior to and during the time of Draco, who instituted a law code in 621 BCE. Athens was ruled by an...

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Columns of Olympieum (Temple of Olympian Zeus) with Acropolis in background (Library of Congress)

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