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The Story of the Greeks

Page: 42

The Greek actors soon dressed in costume, and all wore masks expressing the various emotions they wished to represent. The principal parts of the play were recited; but from time to time singers came on the stage, and chanted parts of the play in chorus.

[Pg 95]

Some of these plays were so sad that the whole audience was melted to tears; others were so funny that the people shouted with laughter. When you learn Greek, you will be able to read the grand tragedies which were written by Æs´chy-lus, Soph´o-cles, and Eu-rip´i-des, and the comedies or funny plays of Ar-is-toph´a-nes.


XXXVI. THE TYRANT PISISTRATUS.

Not very long after Solon had given the new laws to the Athenians, the two political parties of the city again began to quarrel. One of these parties was composed wholly of rich men and nobles, or aristoi, from which Greek word is formed our English word "aristocrat;" the other party included the farmers and poor people, or demos, the Greek term which has given rise to the word "democrat."

Among the aristocrats, or nobles, there was a nephew of Solon called Pi-sis´tra-tus. He was very rich; but, instead of upholding his own party, he seemed to scorn the rich, and always sided with the poor. To make friends with the democrats, he pretended to obey the laws with the greatest care, and addressed every man with the utmost politeness.

Once, having killed a man by accident,


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