Solon, Testimonium

LCL 258: 106-107

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Elegiac Poetry

Solon

Testimonium

1 Suda (iv.396.29 Adler)

Σόλων, Ἐξηκεστίδου, Ἀθηναῖος, φιλόσοφος, νομοθέτης καὶ δημαγωγός. γέγονε δὲ ἐπὶ τῆς μζ΄ Ὀλυμπιάδος, οἱ δὲ νϛ΄. ἐπιβουλευθεὶς δ᾿ ὑπὸ Πεισιστράτου τοῦ τυράννου ἀπεδήμησεν ἐν Κιλικίᾳ καὶ ἔκτισε πόλιν, ἣν Σόλους ἐκάλεσεν ἐξ αὑτοῦ. οἱ δὲ καὶ τοὺς ἐν Κύπρῳ Σόλους ἐξ αὐτοῦ φασι καὶ τελευτῆσαι αὐτὸν ἐν Κύπρῳ. ἔγραψε νόμους Ἀθηναίοις, οἵ τινες ἄξονες ὠνομάσθησαν διὰ τὸ γραφῆναι αὐτοὺς ἐν ξυλίνοις ἄξοσιν Ἀθήνησι· ποίημα δι᾿ ἐλεγείων, ὃ Σαλαμὶς ἐπιγράφεται· ὑποθήκας δι᾿ ἐλεγείας· καὶ ἄλλα. ἔστι δὲ

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Solon

Solon

Testimonium

Much of our information about Solon can be found in Aristotle’s Constitution of Athens, Plutarch’s Life of Solon, and Diogenes Laertius 1.45–67, all available in Loeb editions. Herodotus 1.29–33 gives an account of Solon’s visit to Croesus, king of Lydia, but this is improbable on chronological grounds, since Croesus became ruler c. 560 and Solon died about a year later (see n. 2 below). For a full list of testimonia see A. Martina, Solon. Testimonia veterum (Rome 1968), and for Solon’s laws see E. Ruschenbusch, Σόλωνος νόμοι. Die Fragmente des solonischen Gesetzeswerkes mit einer Text- und Überlieferungsgeschichte (Wiesbaden 1966).

1 Suda

Solon, son of Execestides,1 an Athenian philosopher, lawgiver and leader of the people. He flourished in the 47th Olympiad (592/89), according to others in the 56th (556/3).2 When the tyrant Pisistratus plotted against him, he spent time abroad in Cilicia and founded a city which he called Soloi after himself.3 Others say that also Soloi in Cyprus was named after him and that he died in Cyprus.4 He wrote laws for the Athenians which were given the name axons5 because they were written on wooden axles in Athens. He wrote an elegiac poem entitled Salamis6 elegiac exhortations, and others.7 He is also one of the Seven

  • 1See introduction to fr. 22a.
  • 2The first date is close to that commonly assigned to his archonship (594/3), the latter close to the probable year of his death. According to Phaenias (fr. 21 Wehrli), as reported by Plutarch (Solon 32.3), Solon lived less than two years after Pisistratus became tyrant (560/59).
  • 3A few other sources also mention this (e.g., Diog. Laert. 1.51).
  • 4On Soloi in Cyprus see fr. 19. Diog. Laert. 1.62 claims that Solon died in Cyprus at the age of 80.
  • 5See P. J. Rhodes, A Commentary on the Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia (Oxford 1981) 131–35, for a thorough discussion of the word.
  • 6Frr. 1–3.
  • 7Diog. Laert. 1.61 states that Solon’s elegies contained 5000 lines and he adds that Solon also composed iambic poems and epodes. No mention is made elsewhere of the latter.
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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.solon-testimonium.1999