It was part of the foundational myth of ancient constitutions that they were given by a wise man-legislator, like Lycurgus in the case of Sparta, worthy of hero worship by posterity. Though these ancient constitutions were often subject to fundamental changes, in principle they were supposed to be perpetual, as in the case of Sparta thanks to an oath taken by the people never to break with the system. The future framers of modern constitutions were confronted with a tradition of immutable, tradition-sanctioned constitutions and, many among them, have gradually...
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