On his own initiative he conducted exhaustive inquiries into the conditions of the Sicilian peasants and of the Tuscan metayers, and in 1877 published in co-operation with Signor Leopoldo Franchetti a masterly work on Sicily (La Sicilia, Florence, 1877).
In Athens about the time of Solon's legislation (594 B.C.) the bulk of the population, who had originally been small proprietors or metayers, became gradually indebted to the rich to such an extent that they were practically slaves.
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