The numerous legends which have grown up round his name yield very little that can fairly be regarded as authentic. It seems that he carried on the democratic tradition of his house by helping to overthrow an oligarchic government which succeeded the tyranny in Agrigentum, and was invited by the citizens to become their king.
The Great Council of Venice, the curiae of Rome, were each of them the assembly of a privileged class, an assembly in which every member of that class had a right to a place, an assembly which might be called popular as far as the privileged class was concerned, though rigidly oligarchic as regarded the excluded classes.
This was the germ of the great council, the Maggior Consiglio, which was rendered strictly oligarchic in 1296.
In 479 he was re-elected strategus, and invested with special powers as commander of the Athenian contingent at Plataea; he is also said to have judiciously suppressed a conspiracy among some oligarchic malcontents in the army, and to have played a prominent part in arranging for the celebration of the victory.
Power passed into the hands of John de Witt, who represented the oligarchic element and the special interests of one province, Holland, and was taken from the Orange party which represented the more democratic element and the more general interests of the Seven Provinces.
Even though we admit that Chios, Lesbos and Samos (up to 440) retained their oligarchic governments and that Selymbria, at a time (409 B.C.) when the empire was in extremis, was permitted to choose its own constitution, there can be no doubt that, from whatever motive and with whatever result, Athens did exercise over many of her allies an authority which extended to the most intimate concerns of local administration.
This was owing partly to the evils of an oligarchic government; partly to the weakness resulting from the natural attraction of the Orthodox-Greek element in Lithu ania towards Muscovy, especially after the fall of Constantinople, but chiefly to the administrative superiority of the highly centralized Muscovite government.
The island was nearly lost to Athens by two attempts of the oligarchic faction to effect a revolution; on each occasion the popular party ultimately won the day and took a most bloody revenge on its opponents (427 and 425).
For ten years the land remained under Athenian control, which was exercised through the newly installed democracies; but in 447 the oligarchic majority raised an insurrection, and after a victory at Coronea regained their freedom and restored the old constitutions.
The city was at first governed by an oligarchic senate, composed of sixty members, known as aµvinlove, and presided over by a magistrate called an apEo-rjp; but, though it is proved by inscriptions that the old names continued to a very late period, the constitution underwent a popular transformation.
The oligarchic constitution established in Canada in 1 774 by the Quebec Act did not suit men trained in the school of local self-government which Britain had unwittingly established in the American colonies, and the gift of representative institutions was soon necessary.
The winter of 428-427 was marked by the daring escape of half the Plataean garrison under cover of a stormy night, and by the capitulation of Mytilene, which was forced upon the oligarchic rulers by the democracy.
The thousand' oligarchic prisoners were however executed,.
This coalition between two different elements - an anti-oligarchic party and a war party - had no chance of permanent existence.
Ultimately the Spartans were successful over the coalition at Mantinea, and soon afterwards an oligarchic revolution at Argos led to an alliance between that city and Sparta (c. Feb.
Cyrus promptly agreed on the special request of Lysander (q.v.) to pay slightly increased wages to the sailors, while Lysander established a system of anti-Athenian clubs and oligarchic governments in various cities.
Oligarchic and democratic ?
In the last years, of the war - that Sparta was identified with the oligarchic policy.
It is true that we find oligarchic government in Chios and Lesbos (up to 428) and in Samos (up to 440), but this is discounted by the fact that all three were " autonomous " allies.
The generous and enlightened policy of the imperial administration asked nothing of the people of Gaul but military service and the payment of the tax; in return it freed individuals from patronal domination, the people from oligarchic greed or Druidic excommunication, and every one in general from material anxiety.
A fresh struggle, the great Peloponnesian War (q.v.), broke out in 431 B.C. This may be to a certain extent regarded as a contest between Ionian and Dorian; it may with greater truth be called a struggle between the democratic and oligarchic principles of government; but at bottom its cause was neither racial nor constitutional, but economic.
In Coningsby the political conditions of the country were illustrated and discussed from the constitutional point of view, and by light of the theory that for generations before the passing of the Reform Bill the authority of the crown and the liberties of the people had been absorbed and extinguished in an oligarchic system of government, itself become fossilized and soulless.
When these two powers quarrelled after the peace of Nicias it remained loyal to the Spartans; but the latter thought it prudent to stiffen the oligarchic government against a nascent democratic movement.
It is probable, again, that party interest was a leading motive in Cleophon's mind, since a peace would have meant the return of the oligarchic exiles and the establishment of a moderate oligarchy.