The Glory That Was Greece

poets who flourished in the eighth, seventh, and sixth centuries. We have, indeed, a considerable bulk of poetry which passes under the name of Solon. Some of it is not above suspicion, for it includes a so-called prelude to a versified edition of his laws, and other lines written in a tone very unsuitable to a philosopher. But from the undoubtedly genuine portion we gather that Solon, so far from being an impartial mediator, collected a popular following, vehemently attacked the rich, and then “gave to the people so much power as sufficeth, neither diminishing nor increasing their honour.” His principal work was to codify the laws which had hitherto existed only in the bosoms of the nobles. He did a great deal to fix the existing social classes in Athens by arranging the people in four ranks according to their property, reckoned, of course, on the basis of land-holding. And he removed agrarian grievances by forbidding loans on the security of the

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