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Sympoliteia

(417 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (συμπολιτεία/ sympoliteía, 'joint citizenship'). The verb sympoliteúein is used from the late fifth cent. onwards to denote the merging of separate communities in a single state, similar to synoikismos; e.g. Thuc. 6,4,1; Xen. Hell. 5,2, where the states threatened with incorporation in the Chalcidian koinon contrast sympoliteúein (5,2,12) with autopolítai eînai, ‘being autonomous’ (5,2,14). In inscriptions the verb and the noun are used of the merging of two or more communities in one, esp. when a greater state politically absorbs bu…

Demokratia

(1,075 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (δημοκρατία; dēmokratía, ‘people-power’) the standard Greek term for a form of government in which power resides with the many rather than with the few ( oligarchía) or with a single man ( monarchía). That threefold classification is first found in Pindar's Pythia (2,86-88), perhaps of 468 BC; it is used by Herodotus, in his debate about constitutions, set at the 6th-cent. Persian court (3,80-84) and is a commonplace thereafter. Aeschylus mentions the dḗmou kratoûsa cheîr, ‘powerful hand of the people’, (Suppl. 604; perhaps of 463 BC) and the power of t…

Agraphoi nomoi

(193 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἄγραφοι νόμοι; ágraphoi nómoi, ‘unwritten laws’). The earliest laws of the Greek states were unwritten and lived on in the memory of the leading families. Already in archaic times, people began to write them down as in the laws of  Dracon and  Solon in Athens (621/20 and 594/93 BC, respectively) or in a constitutional law in Dreros on Crete (ML 2). Because not all valid laws were written down right away, unwritten laws existed alongside the written ones (e.g. Andoc. 1,115-6, where i…

Symmachia

(494 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (συμμαχία; symmachía). An alliance, literally an agreement between two or more states to fight (Gr. máchesthai) together ( syn-). Such alliances might be made either for a limited period or for all time. Thuc. 1,44,1; 5,48,2, distinguishes between a symmachia, as a full offensive and defensive alliance, and an epimachia, as a purely defensive alliance; but that use of the two terms is not widespread, and, for instance, the 'prospectus' of the (Second) Athenian League, which was a defensive alliance, consistently uses symmacheîn and cognate words (Tod 123). In a full …

Prostates

(354 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (προστάτης/ prostátēs, pl. προστάται/ prostátai), a person 'standing at the fore', either as leader (e.g. Aesch. Supp. 963 f.) or protector (e.g. Aesch. Sept. 408). Both aspects converged when Cyrus [2] became the prostates who freed the Persians from the yoke of the Medes (Hdt. 1,127,1), or Megabazus [1] what Myrcinus may do with Histiaeus [1] as prostates (Hdt. 5,23,2). When the Spartans were regarded as the prostatai of Greece at the time of Croesus (mid-6th cent. BC) (Hdt. 1,69,2), this was no expression of a leading position; when they were t…

Ateleia

(187 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἀτέλεια; atéleia). Freedom from obligations, especially from taxes and other financial obligations, was regarded as a privilege, which the state could bestow in order to honour someone. This term and the adjective atelḗs were used in Athens in connection with the freedom from liturgies (Dem. Or. 20,1, etc.), from contributions in the Delian League (ML 65) and from the metic tax (Tod, 178). Other examples include elsewhere the freedom from sales taxes (Syll.3 330, Ilium), from import and export taxes (Syll.3 348, Eretria), from duties that were levied against…

Diobelia

(116 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (διωβελία; diōbelía). A payment of two   oboloí in Athens. According to the author of the Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia (28,3), the diobelia was introduced by Cleophon whereupon a certain Callicrates promised to increase the sum but in fact abolished the diobelia. The diobelia is attested from 410 to 406/5 BC from inscriptions (in 406 temporarily reduced to an obolos) and in 405/4 was probably replaced by a distribution of grain. The basis for the payment is uncertain but it was probably granted during the Decelean War …

Epigamia

(131 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἐπιγαμία; epigamía). In the Greek world, epigamia refers to the right of entering into a legal marriage with a person from a different state. It also granted legitimacy and citizenship to the children of such a marriage. It was possible to be granted this right in cases when such a marriage would not have been recognized according to the prevailing laws of the respective states. Examples can be found in international treaties (for instance between Aetolia and Acarnania: SIG3 421; Messenia and Phigalia: SIG3 472). Epigamia could also be one of the special rights g…

Axones

(115 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἄξωνες; áxōnes; axes). In Athens the laws of  Dracon and  Solon were recorded on numbered axones. The term   kýrbeis , the origin of which is unknown, was another name for axones (ML 86; Aristot. Ath. Pol. 7,1; Plut. Solon 25). Probably they were three- or four-sided wooden pillars that were mounted vertically on axes in such a way that a person looking at them could turn them. In the 4th cent. BC it was probably still possible to read and study them, at the time of Plutarch small fragments were still in existence. Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham) Bibliography E. Ruschenbusch, όλωνο…

Isopoliteia

(143 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἰσοπολιτεία; isopoliteía). The term isopoliteia (equal citizenship), was used from the 3rd cent. BC, (instead of   politeia ) to denote the granting of citizenship by a Greek state to individual persons (e.g. IG V 2,11 = Syll.3 501) or indeed chiefly to whole communities (e.g. IG V 2, 419 = Syll.3 472). Modern research distinguishes between isopoliteia, the exchange of rights between states, which maintained their independence, and   sympoliteía , the merging of two or more states into a single state. The ancient linguistic usage …

Rhabdophoroi

(88 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ῥαβδοφόροι/ rhabdophóroi, 'staff-bearers', also referred to as ῥαβδοῦχοι/ rhabdoûchoi, 'staff-holders'). A term applied to various officials who carried a staff of office, in particular to officials at contests and other festivals, whether judges (Plat. Prot. 338a 8) or assistants of the judges who enforced discipline (for Athens: Aristoph. Pax 734; for Olympia: Thuc. 5,50,4). In Roman contexts the Greek words rhabdophóroi and rhabdoûchoi are used of the lictores ( lictor ) who carried the fasces before holders of imperium (Pol. 5, 26,10). Rhodes, Peter J. (Du…

Hegemonia

(294 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἡγεμονία, ‘leading position’). An important basic feature of international relations in Greece was the formation of alliances in which one of the members took up a prominent position as hēgemṓn (‘leader’). The earliest example was a group of alliance agreements through which Sparta secured its position in the 6th cent. BC in the Peloponnese and which solidified into the  Peloponnesian League: therefore, Cleomenes I was therefore able ‘to collect an army from the entire Peloponnese’ in 506 (Hdt. 5,74,1), and …

Amphiktyonia

(597 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἀμφικτυονία; amphiktyonía). Probably arose from amphi-ktiones = ‘living in the environs’ (Androt. FGrH 324 F 58), although the Greek usually derived it from an eponymous hero Amphictyon (e.g. Hdt. 7,200; Theopomp. FGrH 115 F 63). Amphictyony designates a group of people who congregate around a sanctuary and tend its cult. As a rule, cult members lived near the sanctuary; the most significant ones, namely the amphictyony of Anthela and that of  Delphi, included members from many parts of Greece. They made good on their promise to become the amphictyony par excellence b…

Epimeletai

(325 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἐπιμεληταί; epiméletai). Functionaries, who ‘take care of something’ ( epimeleîsthai). The word is used as the title for several Greek officials; see also epískopoi, epistátai. 1. The author of the Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia mentions for Athens the epimeletai of wells (43,1), of the market (51,4), of the festival of Dionysia (56,4), and of the Eleusinian Mysteries (57,1). Also documented are epimeletai as court officials who deal with the tributes in the Delian-Athenian League (ML 68), epimeletai of shipyards (such as IG II2 1629, 178-179; Dem. Or. 22,63…

Pylagoras

(153 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (πυλαγόρας/ pylagóras; also πυλαγόρος/ pylagóros, Hdt. 7,213 f,. or πυλάγορος/ pylágoras). literally a participant in the Pýlaia [2] meetings, i.e. the meetings of the  amphiktyonía of Anthela (near Thermopylae) and Delphi. Each of the 12 éthnē of the amphiktyonía was represented in the Council by two hieromnḗmones , who could both speak and vote, and they could send further representatives who could speak but not vote. The latter were called pylágoroi in literary texts and a few inscriptions of the Roman period, but agoratroí in Hellenistic inscriptions. It has…

Demagogue

(216 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (δημαγωγός, dēmagōgós, ‘leader of the people’). Aristophanes uses demagogue to mean a political leader in the mould of  Cleon (for example in Equ. 191-193; 213-222). The word was possibly coined in the 2nd half of the 5th cent. BC in Athens for the new style of populist politician whose position depended less on the clothing of office than the ability to speak persuasively at meetings of the popular assembly and at jury trials. The older word for a political leader was prostátēs. Thucydides and Xenophon generally used prostátēs, but each of them twice used dēmagōgós to ref…

Naukraria, naukraros

(381 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ναυκραρία/ naukraría, ναύκραρος/ naúkraros). In ancient times, naukraría (pl. naukraríai) denoted a subdivision of the Athenian citizenry; naúkraros (pl. naúkraroi) were the leaders of such subdivisions. The meaning of the terms is controversial. Generally, the naúkraros was traditionally interpreted as ‘ship's captain’ (deriving from naûs, ‘ship’), but other derivations are proposed, e.g. from naós (‘temple’; [4. 56-72]; cf. [3. 153-175], [1. 11-16]) or from naíein (‘live’); [5. 10]). However, none of these more recent interpretations is …

Psephisma

(328 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ψήφισμα, Pl. ψηφίσματα/ psēphísmata), literally a decision made by voting using 'voting stones' ( psêphoi) as opposed to voting by show of hands ( cheirotonía ). But in normal Greek usage, psephisma was applied to decrees and cheirotonía to elections, irrespective of the method of voting.  Psephisma is the most widespread word for 'decree'; dógma is fairly frequent; gnṓmē usually means 'proposal' but is sometimes used for 'decree', especially in north-western Asia Minor and in the adjacent islands (e.g. IK Ilion 1 = Syll.3 330); also found are hádos, rhḗtra and tethmós…

Cheirotonia

(152 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (χειροτονία; cheirotonía, ‘raising the hand’). Method of voting in popular assemblies and other Greek committees. In large assemblies votes thus given were probably not counted: the chairman would have to decide where the majority voice lay. Distinct from cheirotonía is voting by psēphophoría (‘throwing-in of ballot stones’), which made possible the precise counting of votes in a secret ballot. Notwithstanding the method actually used, the tendency in Athens and generally was to use the term cheirotoneín in the case of elections and the term psēphízesthai in the …

Zetetai

(181 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ζητηταί/ zētētaí, 'investigators') were appointed ad hoc in Athens to enquire into breaches of law; the lexicographers (e.g. Harpocration [2], s. v. Ζ.) attribute an 'office' ( archḗ) to them, which was constructed in Athens from time to time. Z. are recorded in three instances: in 415 BC z. were assigned to look into the Mutilation of the Herms (Herms, Mutilation of the) and related religious offences (And. 1,40;  cf. 1,14; 1,36). Three members of the board are known (Diognetus, Peisander [7], Charicles [1]); Peisander was a…
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