Solon (ca. 638-558 B.C.)Solon (ca. 638-558 B.C.) - Athenian statesman, lawgiver and poet. He earned a reputation as one of the "Seven Sages of Greece" and his reforms are considered a foundation for Athenian democracy. The events of his life that we know today are limited by a lack of records from his time. Most of our information comes from Herodotus and Plutarch. Around 594 B.C. political unrest led the aristocrats of Athens to appoint Solon "archon", or ruler of the city. Early in his life, Athens had adopted a series of laws given by the reformer Draco. These laws were extremely harsh, even for minor infractions (which is where we get the word "Draconian"). Solon abolished Draco's laws and put in place more reasonable ones. They were written down on wooden pillars and, thus, do not survive today. So the exact content of the laws is not known. One of the most significant reforms attributed to Solon was the abolishment of nobility as a criterion for sitting on the Athenian Boule (council). This was seen as a giant step toward a more open political society.