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Athenian Constitution Summary

The origin of Athenian Constitution is uncertain, as scholars argue whether it was written by Aristotle himself or by one of his students. It is approximated that it was written in 320s BC. This document is a monograph, describing the key aspects of the political life of Athens at a certain time period. The story starts off with Solon becoming a new ruler of Athens, who was elected y people’s vote. Although there was no democracy in Athens at that time yet, electing Solon and his further political actions make a solid background for the formation of the democracy in the community. Solon commenced his rule at the time of crisis in Athens; he had to overcome a lot of problems, left to him by the predecessors. He issued a number of laws, protecting the rights of the citizens and fighting for freedom. After that we also learn about Pisistratus and a few other rulers of Athens, who caused a lot of anarchy, dismay and made the society concerned of the destiny of Athens.

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Considering the fact this monograph was written about three centuries later than the events described in it took place, a possible reason of its creation might be the enlightenment of the next generations, making them aware of the past. The possible audience of this monograph could be historians, who studied the history of Athens in the past, as well as Aristotle’s students. It was written as a manual for the future generations to be able to avoid the mistakes, done in the past and to get the best out of it.

The document cannot be guaranteed to be absolutely authentic, as it was written later than the actual events took place. The only proofs that the story is original are the excerpts of the old documents, included in it. Reading this document allows to conclude that the author was highly interested in the history of formation of democracy in Athens. 

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