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THE BIRTH OF DEMOCRACY


1.
Once upon a very long time in the eleventh century B.C.
There was a king in, Athens, who ruled both land and sea

2.
To all was known as king Codrus*, a mighty warrior was he 
His enemies were much afraid in his kingdom once to be
 
3.
Yet, the Spartans** war declared and marched into Codrus’s land  
Wishing all Athens to burn down, nothing vertical to stand

4.
Codrus, saw the Spartans coming and his army he prepared  
To defend the holiest ground thus his city to be spared 
 
5.
First he sent to ask the oracle of God Apollo at Delphi*** 
To reveal to the king, Codrus, who the winner would be 

6.
God at once the answer gave: “The victor of war would be
The city of which the King is slain" that’s the way to be free
 
7.
Codrus, was much determined his beloved Athens, he to save
Thus his kingly clothes took off, went the enemy to brave 
 
8.
To Spartans the oracle was known, to their soldiers gave orders 
No one to hurt king Codrus, else they had to leave the borders

9.
Codrus, as a peasant soon was dressed, ax in hand was he holding 
As he approached the Spartans’ camp, his fury was fast unfolding
  
10
Spartans, him, didn’t recognize and with a sword they cut him down 
But then saw that the king was he, wrapped inside that filthy gown 

11.
Instantly their camp the Spartans broke and left that same day
To return to Sparta their city and found themselves at bay   

12.
The Athenians then decided, by no means, a new King  them to find 
For none would love his land As Codrus did, with all his heart and mind

13.
This the way democracy**** was born, some thirty-one centuries ago
When Athenians, the King’s powers passed to people, by only a single law


© Demetrios Trifiatis
   12 OCTOBER 2014


*Codrus (in Greek, Kodros) was the last of the semi-mythical Kings of Athens that ruled between 1089-1068 B.C. He is considered the finest example of patriotism and self-sacrifice. This is his story!
**The most powerful states in ancient Greece was Sparta and Athens..
During the time of the Spartan invasion of Athens territory in 1068 B.C. the Spartans consulted the Delphic Oracle, who prophesied that their invasion would succeed as long as the king of Athens was not harmed.
***At Delphi was the temple of Apollo, son of Zeus! One of Apollo’s duties was
To reveal to humans his father’s Will. The Greeks of old were doing nothing 
unless they were consulting Apollo who was the prophet par excellence.  Once 
Apollo was giving his reply the Greeks obeyed it to the letter!
****Democracy is the combination of two words: Demos and Cratos . Demos means the People and Cratos means Power so Democracy means Power to the People.



Copyright © | Year Posted 2014




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Date: 1/3/2015 9:51:00 AM
I enjoyed this story very much Demetrios, thanks for directing me to it.
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Date: 10/12/2014 9:32:00 PM
Yes you have defined democracy quite well but it is trumped by a republic which means rule of law. While power to the people sounds grands without the rule of law it will always lead to tyranny in the end.
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Demetrios Trifiatis
Date: 10/13/2014 12:47:00 AM
Yes, my friend, that what Plato said as well! This can be avoided though if the right people are in control whom Plato and the ancient wise men have described very well. My upcoming poem DEMOCRACY will deal with what you say. Thank you, my learned new friend for your visit and very serious comment! For your information, Plato did not consider Democracy as the best political system exactly for the reasons you mentioned. However, here is something historic and if you know something on the story, comment! The rest are unnecessary for they belong elsewhere!
Date: 10/12/2014 2:07:00 PM
Demetrios, A wonderful couplet write in every respect!! A wonderful "7" from me too. I did not know that there is a statue behind the U.S. Capitol of Athena. It makes perfect sense though. I must check this out the next time I'm back in Washington, DC to visit. (I lived there four different times during my military and civil service careers.) Athena with Her "Bubo" is a favorite of mine. Tremendous influence from Greece today in the West. All the Best, Gary
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Demetrios Trifiatis
Date: 10/13/2014 4:55:00 AM
Gary, mein guter freund, wie gets es ihnen? Thank you so much for visiting and commenting in such an impressive way. I also thank you for your generosity. Yes, there is a monument where Athena standing dictates to America, who is sitting, the constitution. If I recall well it is on the side of the Abraham Lincoln memorial. Danke sehr!
Date: 10/12/2014 6:57:00 AM
A thrilling tale, my dear. Very sweet and it is nice to see how words in English are derived from that beautiful language of yours. This is what bravery is all about. Fine write.
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Demetrios Trifiatis
Date: 10/12/2014 1:18:00 PM
Thank you, Eileen, for your kind visit and lovely comment! Yes, more than 30% of the English language have Greek origin. After the 1776 declaration of America's independence, the Americans wished to adapt the Greek language as the official language of the states. It lost only by one vote. Behind the Capitol in Washington D.C. there is a statute that represents Goddess Athena daughter of Zeus, and America. Under it is engraved: "Athena dictates the constitution to America!" I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw it in one of my visits to the Capitol! Thank you!