THE BIRTH OF DEMOCRACY
Once upon a very long time in the eleventh century B.C.
There was a king in, Athens, who ruled both land and sea
To all was known as king Codrus*, a mighty warrior was he
His enemies were much afraid in his kingdom once to be
Yet, the Spartans** war declared and marched into Codrus’s land
Wishing all Athens to burn down, nothing vertical to stand
Codrus, saw the Spartans coming and his army he prepared
To defend the holiest ground thus his city to be spared
First he sent to ask the oracle of God Apollo at Delphi***
To reveal to the king, Codrus, who the winner would be
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
Codrus, was much determined his beloved Athens, he to save
Thus his kingly clothes took off, went the enemy to brave
To Spartans the oracle was known, to their soldiers gave orders
No one to hurt king Codrus, else they had to leave the borders
Codrus, as a peasant soon was dressed, ax in hand was he holding
As he approached the Spartans’ camp, his fury was fast unfolding
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
Instantly their camp the Spartans broke and left that same day
To return to Sparta their city and found themselves at bay
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
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 © Demetrios Trifiatis | Year Posted 2014