Secondly, he established deme law-courts to prevent people from having recourse to the city tribunals; it is said that he himself occasionally "went on circuit," and on one of these occasions was so struck by the plaints of an old farmer on Hymettus, that he remitted all taxation on his land.
Topography And Antiquities The Attic plain, -ro ircSlov, slopes gently towards the coast of the Saronic Gulf on the south-west; on the east it is overlooked by Mount Hymettus (3369 ft.); on the north-east by Pentelicus or Brilessus (3635 ft.) from which, in ancient and modern times, an immense quantity of the finest marble has been quarried; on the north-west by Parnes (4636 ft.), a continuation of the Boeotian Cithaeron, and on the west by Aegaleus (1532 ft.), which descends abruptly to the bay of Salamis.
The Cephisus, rising in Pentelicus, enters the sea at New Phalerum; in summer it dwindles to an insignificant stream, while the Ilissus, descending from Hymettus, is totally dry, probably owing to the destruction of the ancient forests on both mountains, and the consequent denudation of the soil.
The surrounding rampart of mountains was broken towards the north-east by an open tract stretching between Hymettus and Pentelicus towards Marathon, and was traversed by the passes of Decelea, Phyle and Daphne on the north and north-west, but the distance between these natural passages and the city was sufficient to obviate the danger of surprise by an invading land force.
Among the land plants may be noted the blue anemone; the ranunculus along the road-sides, with a strong perfume of violets; the Malta heath, which flowers at all seasons; Cynomorium coccineum, the curious " Malta fungus," formerly so valued for medicinal purposes that a guard was set for its preservation under the rule of the Knights; the pheasant's-eye; three species of mallow and geranium; Oxalis cernua, a very troublesome imported weed; Lotus edulis; Scorpiurus subvillosa, wild and cultivated as forage; two species of the horseshoe-vetch; the opium poppy; the yellow and claret-coloured poppy; wild rose; Cartaegus azarolus, of which the fruit is delicious preserved; the ice-plant; squirting cucumber; many species of Umbelliferae; Labiatae, to which the spicy flavour of the honey (equal to that of Mt Hymettus) is ascribed; snapdragons; broom-rape; glass-wort; Salsola soda, which produces when burnt a considerable amount of alkali; there are fifteen species of orchids; the gladiolus and iris are also found; Urginia scilla, the medicinal squill, abounds with its large bulbous roots near the sea; seventeen species of sedges and seventy-seven grasses have been recorded.
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