*Aristotle is credited with works on the constitutions of 158 states: a papyrus containing all but the opening few pages of the Athenian constitution was acquired by the British Museum, and was published in 1891. About the first two thirds (chs. 1–41) give a history of the constitution to the restoration of the democracy after the regime of the Thirty (see thirty tyrants). This part derives from a mixture of sources, and is of uneven merit, but at its best it contains valuable information which does not survive in any other text. The remaining third (42–69) gives an extremely useful account of the working of the constitution in the author's time, and appears to be based on the laws of Athens and the author's own observation.There has been much argument as to the authorship of the work: it was regularly attributed in antiquity to Aristotle, and was written (in the 330s bce, with some revision in the 320s) when he was in Athens; there are some striking agreements between the Athēnaiōn politeia and Aristotle's Politics (e.
Hubris, intentionally dishonouring behaviour, was a powerful term of moral condemnation in ancient Greece; and in Athens, and perhaps elsewhere, it was also treated as a serious crime. The common use of hubris in English to suggest pride, over-confidence, or alternatively any behaviour which offends divine powers, rests, it is now generally held, on misunderstanding of ancient texts, and concomitant and over-simplified views of Greek attitudes to the gods have lent support to many doubtful, and often over-Christianizing, interpretations, above all of Greek tragedy.The best ancient discussion of hubris is found in *Aristotle's Rhetoric: his definition is that hubris is ‘doing and saying things at which the victim incurs shame, not in order that one may achieve anything other than what is done, but simply to get pleasure from it. For those who act in return for something do not commit hubris, they avenge themselves. The cause of the pleasure for those committing hubris is that by harming people, they think themselves superior; that is why the young and the rich are hubristic, as they think they are superior when they commit hubris’ (Rh.
Kingship (basileia). The Mycenaean political system (see mycenaean civilization) was monarchic, with the king (wanax) at the head of a palace-centred economy; the 10th-cent. bce ‘hero's tomb’ at *Lefkandi may imply some limited continuity into the Dark Age. Kingship appears to have been rare later: *Homer borrows elements from Mycenae and the near east, but seems essentially to be describing an aristocratic world, in which the word basileus is often used in the plural of an office-holding nobility. The earliest true monarchies were the 7th–6th-cent. *tyrannies, which were regarded as aberrations; the Spartan dual ‘kingship’ (see sparta) is a form of hereditary but non-monarchic military leadership. The Classical period knew kingship only from myth and as a *barbarian form of rule, found in tribal areas and in the near east. *Sophists established a theoretical table of constitutions, with kingship and tyranny as the good and bad forms of monarchy, opposed to the rule of the few and the rule of the many (see oligarchy; democracy; political theory).
In antiquity constituted a network of social relationships constructed through marriage and legitimate filiation (including *adoption). It stretched beyond the *household (which usually included non-kin, especially *slaves), and also extended through patrifiliation to form corporate descent groups (tribes, etc. ) recognized as subdivisions of the state.Indo-European kinship seems generally to have been bilateral (with more agnatic bias in Roman law), without any prescriptive marriage rule (the range of kin with whom marriage was prohibited varied, being wider in Rome than in Greece).Association between tribes and their named sub-groups may have stabilized only as the city-state developed. Momigliano (below) argued that early Roman pairs of social categories (patricians/plebeians, gentiles/clients, classis/infra classem) overlapped, being used in different contexts. In early Greece the same sets of ‘Ionian’ and ‘Dorian’ tribe names (see phylai) recur from the mainland to the Anatolian coast; the *phratry also seems to be an early and widespread institution, but phratry names are local.