|May 24, 2013
| The inhabitants founded the cities:
Thurii. It was one of the latest of all the Greek colonies in this part of Italy, not
having been founded till nearly 70 years after the fall of Sybaris. The site of
that city had remained desolate for a period of 58 years after its destruction
by the Crotoniats; when at length, in B.C. 452, a number of the Sybarite exiles
and their descendants made an attempt to establish themselves again on the spot,
under the guidance of some leaders of Thessalian origin; and the new colony rose
so rapidly to prosperity that it excited the jealousy of the Crotoniats, who,
in consequence, expelled the new settlers a little more than 5 years after the
establishment of the colony (Diod. xi. 90, xii. 10). The fugitive Sybarites first
appealed for support to Sparta, but without success: their application to the
Athenians was more successful, and that people determined to send out a fresh
colony, at the same time that they reinstated the settlers who had been lately
expelled from thence. A body of Athenian colonists was accordingly sent out by
Pericles, under the command of Lampon and Xenocritus; but the number of Athenian
citizens was small, the greater part of those who took part in the colony being
collected from various parts of Greece. Among them were two celebrated names,
-Herodotus the historian, and the orator Lysias, both of whom appear to have formed
part of the original colony (Diod. xii. 10; Strab. vi.; Dionys. Lys.; Vit. X.
Orat.; Plut. Peric. 11, Nic. 5).
|This extract is from: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854) (ed. William Smith, LLD). Cited July 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks|
Amphipolis, on the Strymon, founded by Hagnon
Hagnon, son of Nicias. was the Athenian founder of Amphipolis, on the Strymon. A previous attempt had been crushed twenty-nine years before, by a defeat in Drabescus. Hagnon succeeded in driving out the Edonians, and established his colony securely, giving the name Amphipolis to what had hitherto been called "the Nine Ways." (Thue. iv. 102.) The date is fixed to the archonship of Euthymenes, B. C. 437, by Diodorns (xii. 32). . .
| Colonizations by the inhabitants
Athenocles settled at Amisus in Pontus
Athenocles (Athenokles). The leader of an Athenian colony, who settled at Amisus in Pontus, and called the place Peiraeeus. The date of this event is uncertain. (Strab. xii.)
Damon, among the settlers of Phocaea
Damon. An Athenian, who joined his countryman Philogenes in supplying ships to the Phocians and leading them into Asia at the time of the Ionian migration. These were the settlers by whom Phocaea was founded. (Paus. vii. 2, 3; comp. Herod. i. 146; Strab. xiv.)
| Participation in the fights of the Greeks
Battle of Plataea
. . . next to these six hundred Plataeans. At the end, and first in the line, were the Athenians who held the left wing. They were eight thousand in number, and their general was Aristides son of Lysimachus.
Naval Battle of Salamis
The following took part in the war: . . the Athenians provided more than all the rest, one hundred and eighty ships.
Naval Battle of Artemisium
The Athenians furnished a hundred and twenty-seven ships
Battle of Marathon
Athenian Empire in the Golden Age
Perseus Project - Thomas R. Martin, An Overview of Classical Greek History from Homer to Alexander
The Golden Age of Athens
Archon was the title of the chief magistrates in many Greek states. The wide diffusion
of the name is attested by a multitude of inscriptions. We find it in Boeotia
applied both to federal and city magistrates; at Delphi, where a long list of
archons is preserved, and other towns of Phocis; towns in Thessaly, with three
archons to each; in Locris, in many islands of the Aegaean, and in outlying cities
like Cyzicus and Olbia.
At Athens, according to tradition, royalty was abolished on the death
of Codrus, B.C. 1068, and his son Medon became the first archon for life. The
archonship remained hereditary in the line of Medon and twelve successors, and
must have been a slightly modified royalty under another name; but there is no
sufficient ground for the conjecture (presently to be noticed) that neither the
name nor the attributes of royalty underwent any change at all. The next step,
dated B.C. 752, was to limit the continuance of the office to ten years, still
confining it to the Medontidae, or house of Codrus, in whose family it was hereditary.
Seven decennial archons are reckoned, Charops, Aesimides, Cleidicus, Hippomenes,
Leocrates, Apsandrus, Eryxias; but only the four first of these were of the ancient
royal race. In 713 a further revolution threw open the chief magistracy to all
the Eupatridae. With Kreon, who succeeded Eryxias, the archonship was not only
made annual, but put into commission and distributed among nine persons. It is
from this date, B.C. 683, that trustworthy Athenian chronology begins; and these
nine archons annually changed continue throughout the historical period, interrupted
only by the few intervals of political disturbance and foreign domination.
The essentially legendary character of these accounts of early times
would seem to render any criticism of their details, from the historical point
of view, more or less unprofitable. The broad fact remains that at Athens, as
elsewhere in Greece, hereditary monarchy passed into a commonwealth which at the
dawn of authentic history was still in its oligarchic stage. But when we find,
in works of high authority, attempts to reconstruct the Athenian constitution
for the four centuries assumed between Codrus and the annual archons, some notice
of them seems demanded. It has been maintained, as the result of a critical inquiry,
that the monarchy existed at Athens, without essential modifications, until B.C.
752; the hereditary successors of Codrus had therefore, during three centuries,
the same powers as their illustrious ancestor. We must therefore briefly touch
upon the questions how far (1) the powers and (2) the name of royalty were really
affected by the change traditionally associated with the death of Codrus.
The received view is thus stated in an often-quoted passage of Pausanias
(iv. 5,10): The people first deprived the successors of Melanthus [the father
of Codrus], who were called Medontidae, of the greater part of their authority,
and changed the monarchy into a responsible government (archen hupeuthunon); they
afterwards further limited their government to ten years. On this M. Caillemer
raises the objection, that we know of no political body to whom the archons can
have been responsible. The answer is obvious, to the general body of the Eupatridae,
who were at this time and long afterwards the demos at Athens, the only fully
enfranchised citizens. Even in the Heroic age the royal power had its limits (epi
rhetois gerasi, Thucyd. i. 13); and when the halo of divinity which attached to
the name of basilus had disappeared with the change of title, the controlling
influence of the nobles was doubtless augmented. Probably, like the barons in
feudal monarchies and the Venetian nobles under the early doges, they at least
exercised the right of deposition. We can hardly, therefore, accept the assertion
that the powers of royalty were not limited ; the prestige of royalty had vanished,
though Athens, like other ancient republics, granted a large amount of arbitrary
authority, even in matters of life and death, to her chief magistrates. And as
regards the mere name, too much has been made of Plato's essentially rhetorical
and dramatic language (Menex. 238 D; Sympos. 208 D), and of the casual expressions
of a writer so late as Pausanias, who couples the phrase tous apo Melanthou basileusantas
with the statement that Theseus introduced the democracy! (i. 3, cf. vii. 2,1)
or the still later and more uncritical Aelian (V. H. v. 13, viii. 10). It is enough
to say with Westermann that the archons are some-times called by the Beiname,
familiar or nickname, of basileuontes. The single archon, whether perpetual or
decennial, of course discharged those priestly duties of the old kings which were
afterwards assigned to a subordinate member of the Nine, the second or king-archon;
and this circumstance is quite sufficient to account for the occasional use of
The nine annual archons during nearly the first century of their existence
were still chosen from the Eupatridae exclusively, and by show of hands (arche
hairete or cheirotonete). They still in reality stood at the head of the state
as the supreme magistracy, combining the chief administrative and judicial functions.
It is probable that a law of Draco (621) transferred the jurisdiction in cases
of homicide from the archons and court of Areiopagus to the Ephetae; but, with
this exception, the entire judicial system seems to have been in their hands.
At the time of Cylon's revolt (about 612) they still managed the greater part
of the public affairs (Thucyd. i. 126). This arrangement continued till the timocracy
established by Solon, who made the qualification for office depend not on birth,
but property, still retaining the election by suffrage. Two important changes
remained to be made, before we arrive at the developed democracy as it stood from
the age of Pericles to that of Demosthenes: the abolition of the property qualification,
and the election by lot. The date and authorship of the former of these changes
are matters of little doubt. Aristides, who had himself been archon in 489, the
year after Marathon, under the old rule as a pentakosiomedimnos (Plut. Asrist.
1), ten years later, when all classes of citizens had been drawn together in enthusiastic
resistance to the Persian invader, proposed and carried a law that the archonship
and other offices should be open to all Athenians without distinction (ib. 22).
The effect of this chance was less sweeping than at first sight appears. We must
remember that the Solonian constitution had reckoned only income from land, not
personal property, in classifying the citizens; and the actual effect of Aristides'
law was solely to get rid of the monopoly of these offices by the larger landed
proprietors, in favour of the trading classes and of capitalists in general. Besides,
the devastation of Attica by the Persian invader had compelled many who had hitherto
been rich to part with their lands, and had created a dangerous class of discontented
Eupatrids who were not only impoverished but saw their political rights diminished,
and were ready to conspire against the constitution (Plut. Arist. 13).
The question at what time the election by lot was introduced is both
difficult and obscure, owing to the conflict of ancient authorities; and recent
scholars have arrived at very different conclusions. The notion that this change
was due to Solon may be at once dismissed; it rests only on the loose statements
of orators, who flattered their hearers by ascribing all democratic legislation
to the great lawgiver (Demosth. c. Lept. 90; c. Androt. 30). And Aristotle expressly
states that Solon made no change in the halresis or mode of election, but only
in the qualification for office (Pol. ii. 12,3). The introduction of the lot is
ascribed to Cleisthenes by Westermann. Among those who have upheld a later date
are Niebuhr and Grote; some regarding it as anterior to the battle of Marathon,
others as connected with Aristides' admission of all classes to the office, and
therefore later than the battle of Plataea. In favour of the earlier date are
the statements of Herodotus that Callimachus, the polemarch at Marathon, was ho
toi kuamho lachon (vi. 109); and of Plutarch, who uses the same words of Aristides'
archonship in 489 (Plut. Arist. 1). But the dates of political changes were, as
has been seen, so speedily forgotten by the Athenians themselves that we cannot
be surprised if Herodotus, a foreigner, made a mistake on this point though writing
in the next generation; while Plutarch mentions that the historian Idomeneus (circ.
310-270) had stated that Aristides was elected by suffrage. We may grant to Schomann
that Plutarch had no doubt that the lot was the rule, and yet argue that Idomeneus
may have preserved a genuine tradition which Plutarch, who records it, did not
know how to explain. There is, we think, a strong case to be made out in favour
of the view of Lugebil and Caillemer (ubi supra), that this was one of the reforms
of Ephialtes, the friend of Pericles, about 461-458. We may be allowed to see,
though Herodotus did not, the absurdity of supposing that Callimachus, as an archon
appointed by lot, could have had equal authority with the ten generals; and the
fact that, in the early part of the century, the ablest Athenian statesmen--Themistocles,
Aristides, Xanthippus the father of Pericles--were all eponymous archons, while
afterwards neither Pericles himself nor any Athenian known to history enjoyed
that honour, may fairly be balanced against the testimony of uncritical writers,
however numerous. On the whole, this late date for the change may be accepted,
not as certain, but as by far the most probable.
The frequent occurrence at Athens of boards of ten men, one from each
tribe, and the tribal constitution of the senate of 500 and its prytanies, have
led to the suggestion that the nine archons also belonged each to a different
tribe. This conjecture of H. Sauppe's is approved by Schomann. The tenth tribe
may have been represented by the grammateus or secretary, as suggested by Telfy,
rather than by the hieromnemon, as Sauppe thought. There is evidence that the
grammateus was on some occasions associated with the archons as a tenth man, e.
g. in drawing lots for the dicasts among the tribes (Schol. Aristoph. Plut. 277
; Vesp. 772).
Still,, after the removal of the old restrictions, some security was
left to insure respectability; for, previously to an archon entering on office,
he underwent a double dokimasia (not, like other magistrates, a single one [DOKIMASIA])
before the senate and before a dicastery. Pollux calls this inquiry anakrisis:
but that word has another technical sense, and in the Orators we only find the
verb anakrinein (Dem. c. Eubul. 66,70; Deinarch. in Aristog. 17; Pollux, viii.
85). The archon was examined as to his being a legitimate and a good citizen,
a good son, and his having served in the army, and, it is added, being qualified
in point of property (ei to timema estin autoi, Poll.); but this latter condition,
if it existed at all after the time of Aristides, soon became obsolete. We read
in Lysias (Or. 24, pro Inval.13) that a needy old man, so poor as to receive a
state allowance, was not disqualified from being archon by his indigence, but
only by bodily infirmity ; freedom from all such defects being required for the
office, as it was in some respects of a sacred character. Yet, even after passing
a satisfactory dokimasia, each of the archons, in common with other magistrates,
was liable to be deposed, on complaint of misconduct made before the people, at
the first regular assembly in each prytany. On such an occasion, the epicheirotonia,
as it was called, took place; and we read (Dem. c. Theocrin.28; Pollux, viii.
95; Harpocrat. s. v. kuria ekklesia) that in one case the whole body of thesmothetai
was deprived of office for the misbehaviour of one of their body: they were, however,
reinstated, on promise of better conduct for the future.
We are enabled, by means of inscriptions, to trace the archonship
through the greater part of the Roman period. Athens as a libera civitas (eleuthera
kai autonomos) was freed from the duty of receiving a Roman garrison, and had
the administration of justice (jurisdictio) according to its own laws. But, as
with the consulate at Rome, the archonship now became merely honorary, and the
dignity of eponumos was given by way of compliment to distinguished foreigners,
like king Rhoemetalkes of Thrace and the emperor Hadrian. In these instances,
at least, it would seem that election by lot was no longer the rule.
With the growth of democracy, the archons gradually lost the great
political power which they had possessed as late as the time of Solon, perhaps
even of Cleisthenes. They became, in fact, not as of old, directors of the government,
but merely municipal magistrates, exercising functions and bearing titles which
we will proceed to describe.
It has been already stated that the duties of the single archon were
shared by a college of nine. The first or president of this body was called ho
archon, by way of pre-eminence; and in later times eponumos, from the year being
distinguished by and registered in his name. But this phrase, contrary to the
general opinion, did not come into use until after the Roman conquest. The second
was styled basileus, or the king-archon; the third, polemarchos, or commander-in-chief;
the remaining six, thesmothetai, or legislators. As regards the duties of the
archons, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish what belonged to them individually
and what collectively. It seems, however, that a considerable portion of the judicial
functions of the ancient kings devolved upon the Archon Eponymus, who was also
constituted a sort of state protector of those who were unable to defend themselves
(Lex ap. Dem. c. Macart. 75; Pollux, viii. 89). Thus he had to superintend orphans
and their estates, heiresses, families losing their representatives (oikoi hoi
exeremoumenoi), widows left pregnant, and to see that they were not wronged in
any way. Should any one do so, he was empowered to inflict a fine of a certain
amount, or to bring the parties to trial. Heiresses, indeed, seem to have been
under his peculiar care ; for we read (Lex ibid. 54) that he could compel the
next of kin either to marry a poor heiress himself, even though she were of a
lower class, or to portion her in marriage to another. Again we find (Lex ibid.
16; Pollux, viii. 62) that, when a person claimed an inheritance or heiress adjudged
to others, he summoned the party in possession before the archon-eponymus (epidikasia:
who brought the case into court, and made arrangements for trying the suit. We
must, however, bear in mind that this authority was only exercised in cases where
the parties were citizens, the polemarch having corresponding duties when the
heiress was an alien. It must also be understood that, except in very few cases,
the archons did not decide themselves, but merely brought the causes into court,
and cast lots for the dicasts who were to try the issue (Dem. c. Steph. ii.22,
23). Another duty of the archons was to receive informations against individuals
who had wronged heiresses, children who had maltreated their parents, and guardians
who had neglected or defrauded their wards [KAKOSIS].
The various modes of prosecution, by apagoge, ephegesis, endeixis, eisangelia,
or phasis, came as a rule before all the archons indiscriminately; but we find
the endeixis especially connected with the office of the thesmothetae (Dem. c.
Timocr. 23). The last office of the archon which we shall mention was of a sacred
character; we allude to his superintendence of the greater Dionysia and the Thargelia,
the latter celebrated in honour of Apollo and Artemis. (Pollux, viii. 89; cf.
Meier, Att. Process)
The functions of the basileus, or King Archon, were almost all connected
with religion: his distinguishing title shows that he was considered a representative
of the old kings in their capacity of high priest, as the Rex Sacrificulus was
at Rome. Thus he presided at the Lenaean or older Dionysia ; superintended the
mysteries and the games called lampadephoriai, and had to offer up sacrifices
and prayers in the Eleusinium, both at Athens and Eleusis. Moreover, indictments
for impiety, and controversies about the priesthood, were laid before him; and,
in cases of murder, he brought the trial into the court of the Areiopagus, and
voted with its members. His wife, also, who was called basilissa basilinna, had
to offer certain sacrifices, and therefore it was required that she should be
a citizen of pure blood, and not previously married. His court was held in what
was called he tou basileos stoa (Dem. c. Neaer. 74, 75; c. Androt. 27: Lysias,
c. Andoc. 4, where the duties are enumerated; Elmsley, Ad Aristoph. Acharn. 1143,
et Scholia; Harpocr. s. v. Epimeletes ton musterion: Plato, Euthyphr. ad init.
et Theaet. ad fin.; Pollux, viii. 90). The Polemarch was originally, as his name
denotes, the commander-in-chief (Herod. vi. 109, 111; Pollux, viii. 91); and we
find him discharging military duties as late as the battle of Marathon, in conjunction
with the ten strategol: he there took, like the kings of old, the command of the
right wing of the army. This, however, seems to be the last occasion on record
of this magistrate being invested with such important functions; and in after
ages we find that his duties ceased to be military, having been in a great measure
transferred to the protection and superintendence of the resident aliens, so that
he resembled in many respects the praetor peregrinus at Rome. In fact, we learn
from Aristotle, in his Constitution of Athens, that the polemarch stood in the
same relation to foreigners as the archon to citizens (Arist. ap. Harpocr. s.
v.; Pollux, viii. 91, 92). Thus, all actions affecting aliens, the isoteles and
proxeni, were brought before him previously to trial; as, for instance, the dike
aprostasiou against a metoikos, for living in Athens without a patron; so was
also the dike apostasiou against a slave who failed in his duty to the master
who had freed him. Moreover, it was the polemarch's duty to offer the yearly sacrifice
to Artemis, in commemoration of the vow made by Callimachus at Marathon, and to
arrange the funeral games in honour of those who fell in war. The functions of
the three first archons are very clearly distinguished in a passage of Demosthenes,
c. Lacr. 48. These three archons--the eponumos, basileus, and polemarchos--were
each allowed two assessors (paredroi) to assist them in the discharge of their
The Thesmothetae did not act singly, but formed a collegium (sunedrion,
Hyperid. pro Eux. col. 22). They appear to have been called legislators, because
in the absence of a written code they might be said to make laws (thesmoi, an
older word for nomoi), though in reality they only declared and explained them.
They were required to review, every year, the whole body of laws, that they might
detect any inconsistencies or superfluities, and discover whether any laws which
had been repealed were wrongly retained in the public records (Aeschin. c. Ctes.38,
39). Their report was submitted to the people, who referred the necessary alterations
to a jury of sworn dicasts impanelled for the purpose, and called nomothetai [NOMOTHETAE].
In the Athenian legal system the thesmothetae had a more extensive
jurisdiction than the three archons who, in point of dignity, enjoyed precedence
over them. It may be said, indeed, that all cases not specially reserved to other
magistrates came naturally before them. Their duties included the receiving of
informations, getting up cases as juges d'instruction, and presiding at the trial
before a jury (hegemonia dikasteriou). The following are instanced as being under
their jurisdiction: endeixis, eisangelia other than kakoseos (see above), probolai,
the Dokimasia of magistrates generally and the Euthynae of the Strategi; among
public causes, graphai agraphiou, agraphou metallou, adikiou, apateseos tou demou,
bouleuseos, dekasmou, doroxenias, doron, exagoges, hetaireseos, kataluseos tou
demou, moicheias, nomismatos diaphthoras, xenias, proagogeias, prodosias, sukophantias,
turannidos, hubreos, pseudengraphes, pseudokleteias: among private ones, dikai
ageorgiou, ameliou (an obscure case hardly to be distinguished from ageorgiou)
anagoges, arguriou, bebaioseos, blabes, engues, enoikiou, exoules, kakegorias,
klopes, parakatathekes, sumbolaion parabaseos, chreous: and finally, all dikai
emporikai, metallikai, eranikai, and dikai apo sumbolon. We also find, in the
Orators, informations laid before the thesmothetae in the following cases: For
breach of the law against cutting down olive-tress (Dem. c. Macart. § 71); conspiracy
to defeat the ends of justice (Dem. c. Steph. ii. 35 f.); if a foreigner married
a citizen, or a man gave in marriage as his own daughter the child of another,
or confined as an adulterer one who was not so (Dem. c. Neaer.17, 52, 66). If
a man banished for homicide returned without a legal pardon, the thesmothetae
might order him to summary execution (Dem. c. Aristocr. 31). The name thesmothetae
is sometimes applied to all the nine, and not merely to the six minor archons:
mostly, no doubt, in late inscriptions (C. L. G. 380) and grammarians (Arg. to
Dem. c. Androt.), but occasionally even in classical writers. For instance, in
Dem. c. Eubul. 66, the phrase tous thesmothetas anakrinete must be equivalent
to tous ennea archontas anakrinete in the concluding section of the speech. On
the other hand, the words archai and archontes are used in reference to magistrates
in general, not to the nine exclusively. Thus in Isaeus (Or. 1,Cleonymus, 14)
certain archontes are spoken of who (in 15) are shown to be the astunomoi.
In their collective capacity the archons also superintended to epicheirotonia
of the magistrates, held every prytany (eperotosin ei dokei kalos archein), and
brought to trial those whom the people deposed, if an action or indictment were
the consequence of it. Moreover, they attended jointly to the annual ballot for
the dicasts or jurymen, and presided in the assemblies for the election of strategi,
taxiarchs, hipparchs, and phylarchs (Pollux, viii. 87, 88; Harpocrat. s. v. katacheirotonia).
The places in which the archons exercised their judicial power were,
with the exception of that assigned to the Polemarch, without doubt all situated
in the market. That of the first archon was by the statues of the ten Eponymi;
that of the archon Basileus beside the so-called Bucolium, a building not otherwise
known, in the neighbourhood of the Prytaneum, or else in the so-called Hall of
the King; that of the Thesmothetae in the building called after them Thesmothesium,
in which they, and perhaps the whole nine, are said to have dined at the public
expense. The Polemarch had his office outside the walls, but quite close to the
city, adjoining the Lyceum. In their oath of office the archons promised faithfully
to observe the laws and to be incorruptible, and in the case of transgression
to consecrate at Delphi a golden statue of the same size as themselves (isometreton,
Plat. Phaedr. 235 D). Suidas improves upon this, making them three statues instead
of one, at Athens, Delphi, and Olympia (s. v. chruse eikon). The simplest explanation
of this absurdity is Schomann's, that it is an ancient formula used to denote
an impossible penalty, the non-payment of which of necessity entailed Atimia.
A few words will suffice for the privileges and honours of the archons.
The greatest of the former was the exemption from the trierarchies--a boon not
allowed even to the successors of Harmodius and Aristogeiton. As a mark of their
office, they wore a chaplet or crown of myrtle; and if any one struck or abused
one of the thesmothetae or the archon, when wearing this badge of office, he became
atimos, or infamous in the fullest extent, thereby losing his civic rights (Dem.
c. Lept. 28, c. Meid. 33; Pollux, viii. 86). The archons, at the close of their
year of service, when they had delivered their account and proved them-selves
free from blame, were admitted among the members of the Areiopagus. [AREIOPAGUS]
The Archon Eponymus being an annual magistrate at Athens, like the consul at Rome,
it is manifest that a correct list of the archons is an important element in the
determination of Athenian chronology. Now from Creon (B.C. 683), the first annual
archon, to Myrus (B.C. 499), we have the names of about thirty-four. From B.C.
495 to 292, Diodorus and Dionysius of Halicarnassus furnish an almost unbroken
succession for a period of nearly 200 years. After B.C. 292, about 166 names have
been recovered, mostly from inscriptions, and many of them undated, down to the
latest Roman period; the latest with a date being A.D. 485 (Meier, Index Archontum
eponymorum qui post Ol. cxxi. 2 eum magistratum obtinuerunt; Marin. Vit. Proc.
(Appendix). Against the received tradition that the Medontidae, the early successors
of Codrus, held office for life, but without the title of king, the contention
of Lugebil and Caillemer that both the name and the attributes of royalty survived
almost unchanged, has now received important confirmation. In Ath. pol. c. 3 it
is stated that in the times before Draco the head of the state was styled basileus,
and ruled for life; next to him was a polemarchos, or commander-in-chief, who
indeed dates back to the period of the real kings; thirdly, an archon, or chief
civil magistrate. These two officers were probably elected for a term of years
by the Eupatrids, and formed an important check on the autocracy of the titular
king. Mr. Kenyon remarks: The abolition of the title of king as that of the chief
magistrate of the state probably took place when the decennial system was established.
The name was then retained only for sacrificial and similar reasons, and, to mark
the fact that the kingly rule was actually at an end, the magistrate bearing the
title was degraded to the second position, while the Archon, whose name naturally
suggested itself as the best substitute for that of king, was promoted to the
titular headship of the state.
Fresh light is also thrown on the question as to the time when the
election by lot was introduced. We find the following stages in the history of
the method of election to this office: (1) prior to Draco, the archons were nominated
by the Areopagus; (2) under the Draconian constitution they were elected by the
ecclesia; (3) under the Solonian constitution, so far as it was not disturbed
by internal troubles and revolutions, they were chosen by lot from forty candidates
selected by the four tribes; (4) under the constitution of Cleisthenes they were
directly elected by the people in the ecclesia; (5) after 487 B.C. they were appointed
by lot from 100 (or 500, see below) candidates selected by the ten tribes; (6)
at some later period the process of the lot was adopted also in the preliminary
selection by the tribes (Ath. pol. c. 22). As regards the number of candidates
selected under the arrangement of 487 B.C. the MS. here gives 500, but the writer
had previously stated (c. 8) that each tribe chose ten candidates, making a total
of 100. It is probable that for pentakosion (ph') we should read ekaton (r').
After the expulsion of Damasias, who in a two years' archonship (B.C.
582-1) tried to establish a tyranny, we have for one year the unprecedented number
of ten archons, of whom five were Eupatrids, three agroikoi = Geomori, and two
Demiurgi (c. 13). The conjecture that the tenth tribe, which did not elect an
archon, was compensated by having the appointment of the secretary (grammateus),
is stated as a fact (Ath. pol. c. 55).
The received account of the abolition of the property qualification
must also be modified. If, according to Plutarch's account, Aristides in 479 B.C.
widened the area of eligibility, he may at most have extended it from the pentakosiomedimnoi
to the hippeis. It is now definitely stated (Ath. pol. c. 26) that the zeugitai
first became eligible in 457 B.C., five years after the death of Ephialtes: which
shows incidentally that the murder of Ephialtes must have taken place immediately
after the triumph of his democratic legislation in 462. It is a further curious
fact, that the property qualification was never entirely abolished by law. The
thetikon telos or lowest class, was still in theory ineligible for any office,
but in the time of Aristotle a member of that class was allowed to represent himself
as a zeugites by a legal fiction (c. 7).
In the archons' oath we get a rational explanation of the chruse eikon
without the absurd addition isometretos. The archons and, it would seem, the diaetetae
also, swore that if they accepted bribes they would dedicate a golden image -presumably
of equal value to the amount received, though this is not explicitly stated. A
somewhat similar explanation is given by Thompson on Plat. Phaedr. 235 D (Ath.
pol. cc. 7, 54).
It has generally been held, as by Schomann, that all magistracies (archai in the
technical sense) were unpaid at Athens (cf. HYPERETES).
The treatise before us mentions, on the contrary, the pay of many public officers;
and there is reason to think that that of the archons was four obols a day, though
the passage (Ath. pol. c. 62) is mutilated and the words enn[ea archon]tes partly
The Athenian name for the supreme authority established on the
abolition of royalty. On the death of the last king, Codrus, B.C. 1068, the headship
of the state for life was bestowed on his son Medon and his descendants under
the title of Archon. In B.C. 752 their term of office was reduced to ten years;
in 714 their exclusive privilege was abolished, and the right to hold the office
thrown open to all the nobility, while its duration was diminished to one year;
finally in B.C. 683 the power was divided among nine Archons. By Solon's legislation
his wealthiest class, the pentakosiomedimnoi, became eligible to the office; and
by Aristides' arrangement after the Persian Wars, it was thrown open to the whole
body of citizens, Clisthenes having previously, in the interests of the democracy,
substituted the drawing of lots for election by vote . . .
|This extract is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Oct 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks|
Demus (demos). A word which originally denoted a district or
country. Then, because in the early days the lower classes lived in the country
and the nobles in the city, it received the meaning of commons or common people.
A third use, likewise derived from the original signification, is seen in its
application to the local divisions, or townships as it were, of Attica.
A certain number of these demoi, or demes, were included in
each of the ten tribes established by Clisthenes to replace the four old Ionic
tribes. Their exact number at that time is not positively known, though it is
supposed by some, from a statement of Herodotus, to have been one hundred. In
the third century before Christ, at all events, they numbered one hundred and
seventyfour. The names of one hundred and forty-five of these are known to us
from inscriptions. If, however, we consider the division of some demes into kathuperthen
and hupenerthen, and of others between two different tribes, this sum is increased
to one hundred and fifty-six. The names were derived in part from places, as in
the case of Acharnae, Rhamnus, etc., and in part from the founders of the demes,
as in the case of Erchia and of Daedalidae. The largest deme, according to Thucydides,
was Acharnae, which in the Peloponnesian War was able to furnish three thousand
heavily armed troops.
At the time of his reforms Clisthenes admitted many resident
aliens and even slaves to citizenship, and to this fact is due that alteration
in the official designation of citizens which he also introduced. They were no
longer designated by the father's name only, but also by the name of the deme
to which they belonged. The demes now became the centres of the local administrative
power, and are said by Aristotle to have taken the place of the naucraries. Each
deme had its register of citizens, its own property, its own meetings and religious
observances, and its own demarch. This officer made out the lists of the deme's
property, kept in his possession the lexiarchic register, or register of qualified
citizens, and convened the demesmen at will (Harpocration, s. v. Demarchos). At
these meetings the public business of the deme was transacted, such as the leasing
of property, the election of officers, the revision of the lexiarchic register,
and the enrolment of new members.
When a man was first admitted to citizenship he had the right
to choose his own tribe and deme, but otherwise a man belonged to the same deme
as his natural or adoptive father. The legitimate children of citizens could be
enrolled on attaining their majority at the age of eighteen, and adopted children,
whenever presented by their adoptive fathers. The enrolment took place in the
presence of the assembled demesmen. If any member questioned the candidate's eligibility
the matter was settled by a majority vote of those presentIllegal registration,
however, was not uncommon, and certain demes, as Potamus for example, were notorious
for this abuse. To counteract this evil an official investigation of those inscribed
in the register, called diapsephisis (Harpocration, s. v. Diapsephisis), was held
at various times by the deme. A similar examination was also held if, by any chance,
the lexiarchic registers were lost or destroyed. If any one in the course of this
inquiry was disfranchised by vote of the demesmen, he had the right of appeal
to the courts. If the decision of the deme were sustained he was sold as a slave
and his property was confiscated. But were he successful in his suit his name
was restored to the register of the deme.
A man was not obliged to reside within the limits of the deme
of which he was a member. But he could only hold property in another deme upon
payment to the demarch of a tax, called enktetikon. This tax, however, was sometimes
remitted by the demes in the case of individuals to whom they desired to grant
special privileges or honours.
|This text is from: Harry Thurston Peck, Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities. Cited Nov 2002 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks|