The Ecclesia of Athens
But other orators follow on both sides. Once Timon, egged on by many supporters, tries to gain the Bema a second time, but is told by the president that one cannot speak twice on the same subject. Once the derision and shouting becomes so violent that the president has to announce, "Unless there is silence I must adjourn the meeting." Finally, after an unsuccessful effort to amend the proposal, by reducing the garrison at Byzantium to 250, the movers of the measure realize that the votes will probably be against them. They try to break up the meeting.
"I hear thunder!" "I feel rain!" they begin shouting, and such ill omens, if really in evidence, would be enough to force an adjournment; but the sky is delightfully clear. The president simply shrugs his shoulders; and now the Pnyx is fairly rocking with the yell, "A vote! A vote!"
The president rises. Taking the vote in the Ecclesia is a very simple matter when it is a plain question of "yes" or "no" on a proposition.
"All who favor the 'probouleuma' of Timon will raise the right hand!"
A respectable but very decided minority shows itself.
"Those who oppose."
The adverse majority is large. The morning is quite spent. There is a great tumult. Men are rising, putting on their himatia, ridiculing Timon; while the herald at a nod from the president declares the Ecclesia adjourned.
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