The Good Inheritance: The Democratic Chance

The Good Inheritance: The Democratic Chance

The Good Inheritance: The Democratic Chance

The Good Inheritance: The Democratic Chance

Excerpt

HIS NAME was Hesiod and he lived in Boeotia on the slopes of Mt. Helicon. Beyond his writings and the fact that he was a farmer, we do not know much about him, but we gather he liked to walk in the fields, thinking about the miracle of life, marveling at the state of perfect balance in nature that made it possible, about work and progress, about the evolution of man--how far he had come and how far he was likely to go--about the struggle for survival.

His land had been bequeathed to him by his father. When given to him it was a strip of waste land. But Hesiod, by means of diligent application of agricultural principles he himself had discovered, filled in the land and cultivated it, and it had become fertile and productive.

Adjoining his farm was a larger tract, originally more arable, which had been willed to his brother. Under the terms of the will, the land to be bequeathed was to be divided equally between the two brothers according to size and fertility. But the local administrators cut up the land in such a way that Hesiod was given only a small section of waste land, while his brother, Persis, received not only a larger share but the only part considered valuable for farming. Such an inequitable division came about because Persis had bribed the adminis-

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