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Title: Old Oligarch: The Constitution of the Athenians Attributed to Xenophon
Author: Marr, J L P J Rhodes (eds)
Publisher: Aris and Phillips; Publication Date: 2009
Hardcover; ISBN: 9780856687761
Volumes: 1; Pages: 189
List Price in Cloth: $80.00 Our price: $80.00
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'Old Oligarch' is a label often applied to the unknown author of the Athenian Constitution preserved with the works of Xenophon. Probably written in the mid 420's B.C., it is the earliest surviving Athenian prose text, and its author was probably a young pupil of the teachers known as sophists. It is an essay which replies to oligarchic criticisms of the Athenian democracy by agreeing with the critics that democracy is distasteful but arguing that it is appropriate for Athens as a city whose power depends on the poorer citizens who row the navy's ships, and that it is successful and could not easily be overthrown. This edition provides a Greek text and English translation, with Introduction, Commentary and Appendixes which discuss the date, authorship and character of the work, the historical background, the statements and arguments presented by the author and features of the author's style.