Belong to Amphictyonic League, identify Eurytion with Oechalia, attempt in vain to capture Ceressus, at war with Phocians, dedicate image of Zeus at Olympia, their treachery at battle of Tanagra, Thessalian cavalry help Athenians in Peloponnesian war, defeated by Agesilaus, revolt from Macedonia, lie in wait for retreating Gauls, grave of Thessalian cavalry at Athens.
Penestae (penestai), Thessalian serfs. The word is no doubt from the root of penomai, ponos, penes (Dionys. ii. 9), and we must reject the ancient derivation quoted below. The Penestae of Thessaly were old inhabitants of the land conquered and reduced to villenage by the Thesprotians: according to Theopompus, they were Perrhaebians and Magnetes (Athen. vi.); but Aristotle (Pol, ii. 9, 3) distinguishes these tribes front the Penestae, speaking of them rather as Perioeci than as serfs. Others call them Pelasgi, or, in other words, regarded them as the primitive indigenous people of Thessaly; while Archemachus gives the following account of them:--The Aeolian Boeotians who did not emigrate when their country Thessaly was conquered (compare Thuc. i. 12), but from love of home surrendered themselves to serve the victors, on condition that they should not be carried out of the country (whence, he adds, they were formerly called Menestai, but afterwards Penestai), nor be put to death, but should cultivate the land for the new owners of the soil, paying by way of rent a portion of the produce of it; and many of them are richer than their masters. It appears, then, that they occupied an intermediate position between purchased slaves and freemen, being reduced to serfdom by conquest, and they are generally conceived to have stood in the same relation to their Thessalian lords as the Helots did to the Spartiatae; but this is not exactly the case, for they were apparently not, like the Helots, serfs of the state, but belonged each to some family for whom the personal service was performed, for which reason they were sometimes called Thettaloiketai (Athen. vi.). They were very numerous, for instance, in the families of the Aleuadae and Scopadae (Theoc. xvi. 35), but they were not only tillers of the soil; they formed the retainers of these great families, and served under their masters as cavalry: a body of 300 Penestae under Menon of Pharsalus assisted the Athenians in the Peloponnesian war (Dem. c. Arist.,199; Dem. peri Sntax., 23). They resembled the Helots, however, in the fact that they often rose against their masters.
This text is from: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890) (eds. William Smith, LLD, William Wayte, G. E. Marindin). Cited Oct 2005 from The Perseus Project URL below, which contains interesting hyperlinks
Aethices a barbarous Epirot clan, who lived by robbery, are placed by Strabo on the Thessalian side of Pindus. They are mentioned by Homer, who relates that the Centaurs, expelled by Peirithous from Mt. Pelion, took refuge among the Aethices. (Hom. Il. ii. 744; Strab. pp. 327, 434; Steph. B. s. v. Aithikhia.)
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