вторник, 8 февраля 2022 г.

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Even before becoming a legislator, Solon took an active part in the political life of Athens. His hometown waged a long war with the neighboring city of Megara for possession of the island of Sala-min, lying off the coast of Attica. After another defeat, the Athenian popular assembly forbade under pain of death to raise the issue of resuming the war. Many citizens, dissatisfied with the ban, did not dare to openly oppose it. Then Solon, in order to raise the morale of the Athenians, ran out, pretending to be crazy, into the square and sang verses in which he called for the capture of Solomin. The poems made such a strong impression on the citizens of Athens that they immediately decided to start a war with the Megarians and appointed Solon as commander. The island was reconquered, and Solon gained considerable political authority. There is nothing strange in the fact that the performance of a madman was taken seriously by his compatriots: madness, the ancients believed, was from the gods. And in this case, the gods through Solon expressed their will. 

Solon's actions characterize him as a rational person. Constantly referring to the authority of the gods, in worldly affairs he preferred to be guided by common sense. Proving the original belonging of Salamis to Athens, Solon was not afraid to open several graves on the island and show the Megarians that the dead were buried according to the custom of the Athenians. Moreover, he went on a frank forgery: using the authority in Greece of Homer's poems, he inserted into one of them a line proving Salamis's long-standing connection with Athens. Such tricks were not considered a vice at that time - on the contrary, they created a reputation for a person as a smart and subtle politician. Solon began to be invited to mediate in disputes between noble Athenian families. Respect and fame throughout Greece brought him a speech in defense of the Delphic temple of the god Apollo, whose land was seized by the inhabitants of the city of Kirra.

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