Solon (Greek: Σόλων Sólōn [só.lɔːn]; c. 630 – c. 560 BC)[1] was an Athenian statesman, lawmaker and poet. He is remembered particularly for his efforts to legislate against political, economic and moral decline in archaic Athens.[2] His reforms failed in the short term, yet he is often credited with having laid the foundations for Athenian democracy.[3][4][5] He wrote poetry for pleasure, as patriotic propaganda, and in defence of his constitutional reform.

Bust of Solon, copy from a Greek original (c.110 BC) from the Farnese Collection, now at the National Archaeological Museum, Naples
Bornc. 630 BC
Diedc. 560 BC (aged approximately 70)
OccupationStatesman, lawmaker, poet

Modern knowledge of Solon is limited by the fact that his works only survive in fragments and appear to feature interpolations by later authors and by the general paucity of documentary and archaeological evidence covering Athens in the early 6th century BC.[6] Ancient authors such as Philo of Alexandria,[7] Herodotus, and Plutarch are the main sources, but wrote about Solon long after his death. Fourth-century BC orators, such as Aeschines, tended to attribute to Solon all the laws of their own, much later times.[2][8]