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Solon   


there was a public well within a hippicon, that is, four furlongs,
all should draw at that; but when it was farther off, they should
try and procure a well of their own; and if they had dug ten fathoms
deep and could find no water, they had liberty to fetch a pitcherful
of four gallons and a half in a day from their neighbours'; for he
thought it prudent to make provision against want, but not to supply
laziness. He showed skill in his orders about planting, for any one
that would plant another tree was not to set it within five feet of
his neighbour's field; but if a fig or an olive not within nine; for
their roots spread farther, nor can they be planted near all sorts
of trees without damage, for they draw away the nourishment, and in
some cases are noxious by their effluvia. He that would dig a pit
or a ditch was to dig it at the distance of its own depth from his
neighbour's ground; and he that would raise stocks of bees was not
to place them within three hundred feet of those which another had
already raised.
He permitted only oil to be exported, and those that exported any
other fruit, the archon was solemnly to curse, or else pay an hundred
drachmas himself; and this law was written in his first table, and,
therefore, let none think it incredible, as some affirm, that the
exportation of figs was once unlawful, and the informer against the
delinquents called a sycophant. He made a law, also, concerning hurts
and injuries from beasts, in which he commands the master of any dog
that bit a man to deliver him up with a log about his neck, four and
a half feet long; a happy device for men's security. The law concerning
naturalizing strangers is of doubtful character; he permitted only
those to be made free of Athens who were in perpetual exile from their
own country, or came with their whole family to trade there; this
he did, not to discourage strangers, but rather to invite them to
a permanent participation in the privileges of the government; and,
besides, he thought those would prove the more faithful citizens who
had been forced from their own country, or voluntarily forsook it.
The law of public entertainment (parasitein is his name for it) is
also peculiarly Solon's; for if any man came often, or if he that
was invited refused, they were punished, for he concluded that one
was greedy, the other a contemner of the state.
All his laws he established for an hundred years, and wrote them on
wooden tables or rollers, named axones, which might be turned round
in oblong cases; some of their relics were in my time still to be
seen in the Prytaneum, or common hall at Athens. These, as Aristotle
states, were called cyrbes, and there is a passage of Cratinus the
comedian-
"By Solon, and by Draco, if you please,
Whose Cyrbes make the fires that parch our peas." But some say those
are properly cyrbes, which contain laws concerning sacrifices and
the rites of religion, and all the others axones. The council all
jointly swore to confirm the laws, and every one of the Thesmothetae
vowed for himself at the stone in the market-place, that if he broke
any of the statutes, he would dedicate a golden statue, as big as
himself, at Delphi.
Observing the irregularity of the months, and that the moon does not
always rise and set with the sun, but often in the same day overtakes
and gets before him, he ordered the day should be named the Old and
New, attributing that part of it which was before the conjunction
to the old moon, and the rest to the new, he being the first, it seems,
that understood that verse of Homer-
"The end and the beginning of the month," and the following day he
called the new moon. After the twentieth he did not count by addition,
but, like the moon itself in its wane, by subtraction; thus up to
the thirtieth.
Now when these laws were enacted, and some came to Solon every day,
to commend or dispraise them, and to advise, if possible, to leave
out or put in something, and many criticized and desired him to explain,
and tell the meaning of such and such a passage, he, knowing that

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