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Aristokratia

(364 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἀριστοκρατία; aristokratía, ‘power in the hands of the best’). In the Greek states there was no institution to ennoble families but in the archaic period the families that were most successful after the  Dark Ages and stood out by wealth and status considered themselves the best ( aristoi). The place of a governing king was taken by a government of members of these leading families: some early testimonials explicitly mention that appointments were made aristíndēn, from the ranks of the best (for example, in Ozolian Locris: ML, 13; Tod, 34). In modern r…

Areopagus

(700 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (Ἄρειος πάγος; Áreios págos). The ‘Ares Hill’ in Athens north-west of the Acropolis. It gave the old council, which met there, its name (‘Areopagus’). There are no noteworthy remains on the hill, the place of the sessions was probably located on its north-east side. Probably, the council was initially simply called the boule and only named after the hill when  Solon had created another council. In Solon's time the council consisted of all former   archontes , who joined at the end of their office term (not so in [1]). It probably had about 150 members. Presumably, the counci…

Politeia

(402 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
(πολιτεία/ politeía) can denote either the rights of citizenship exercised by one or more citizens (Hdt. 9,34,1; Thuc. 6,104,2) or a state's way of life, and esp. its formal constitution (Thuc. 2,37,2). [German version] I. Citizenship Citizenship of a Greek state was the privilege of only free, adult males of citizen parentage: commonly, a father with politeía was required; the law of Pericles [1] (451 BC) required a father and mother with politeía (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 26,4). Men not of citizen descent could be rewarded politeía for proven benefaction, but could not acquire citize…

Autonomia

(364 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (αὐτονομία; autonomía). In the sense of ‘having (one's) own laws’, and not, therefore, being required to obey the laws of others, autonomia can be used as a synonym for eleuthería ( Freedom). This referred in particular to the freedom in the internal matters of an alliance, the structure of which was hegemonic and whose members hoped that the aforementioned freedom would be maintained whilst they assigned decisions regarding matters external to the alliance. The word autonomia was perhaps therefore supposed to have been coined as the expression of this …

Ekklesiasterion

(156 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἐκκλησιαστήριον; ekklēsiastḗrion). Meeting-place of a Greek public assembly. Among the cities where the word ekklesiasterion is used are Olbia (SIG3 218) and Delos during the period of the Athenian klerouchoi in the 2nd cent. BC (SIG3 662). In Athens, the regular meeting-place was the Pnyx in the south-west part of the city, where three different building stages from the 5th and the 4th cent. were identified. From the late 4th cent., the theatre of Dionysus came to be used more and more as a meeting place. As oppo…

Diapsephismos, diapsephisis

(166 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (διαψηφισμός, διαψήφισις; diapsēphismós, diapsḗphisis). Literally, a ballot using pebbles to select alternatives. Both terms were occasionally used to designate votes in legal proceedtings (e.g. Xen. Hell. 1,7,14; cf. the verb diapsēphízesthai e.g. in Antiph. 5,8). In Athens, however, they refer specifically to ballots with the purpose of confirming or refuting the citizenship of people who at a certain time laid claim to that right. That happened in 510 BC, when the tyranny of the Peisistratids ([Aristot.] Ath. Pol. 13,5: diapsēphismós) was overthrown, agai…

Panhellenes, Panhellenism

(618 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] The idea of Panhellenism is based on the tendency to place greater significance on the similarities that connect all Greeks as Greeks than on the perceptions of differences. 'Panhellenism' is not a term used in Antiquity, although in the Iliad (2, 530) and elsewhere in early Greek verse panhéllēnes is used to describe the Greeks (Hes. Op. 528; Archil. fr. 102 West). The Trojan War (see Troy) was presented as an untertaking in which the Greeks united in order to regain Helen [1] from the Trojans - although the latter are not described in Homer as being un-Greek. In the Archaic …

Katacheirotonia

(108 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (καταχειροτονία; katacheirotonía) denotes the delivery of a verdict of guilty in a Greek court by means of raising the hand ( cheir). Sentencing by ballot ( psḗphos) is called katapsḗphisis. In Athens the word katacheirotonia was used for the people's verdict of guilty in cases of eisangelía (e.g. Lys. 29, 2; Dem. Or. 51,8), and also for negative votes of the public assembly after a probolḗ (complaint against a person; e.g. Dem. Or. 21,2), or after an apóphasis (recommendation) of the Areios pagos (e.g. Din. 2,20; it is probably referred to by [Aristot.] Ath. Pol. 59,2). Rho…

Hyperbolus

(225 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (Ὑπέρβολος; Hypérbolos). Athenian statesman (411 BC) from the deme Perithoedae. Contrary to the accusations levelled against him he was Athenian by birth. He seems to have acquired his wealth from the fabrication or sale of lamps (cf. Aristoph. Equ. 1315). Both Aristophanes (e.g. Equ. 1304) and Thucydides (8,73,3) describe him as ‘common’ ( mochthērós). As a  demagogue in the style of Cleon he strove for a leading position after Cleon's death in 422 BC and was a member of the council in 421/420 (Plato Comicus 166f. CAF = 182 PCG; cf. IG I3 82). According to Plutarch, in …

Proboulos

(167 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
(πρόβουλος/ próboulos). [German version] [1] Member of a preliminary deliberative body Member of a small body with the function of preliminary deliberation, e.g. in Corcyra (IG IX 1, 682; 686 = [1. 319, 320]). In Athens a board of ten próbouloi was appointed in 413 BC after the military disaster in Sicily in the Peloponnesian War (Thuc. 8,1,3), seems to have taken over some functions of the council ( Boulḗ ) and the prytáneis , and in 411 helped to bring the oligarchy of the 'Four Hundred' ( Tetrakósioi ) to power ([Aristot.] Ath. Pol. 29,2). Aristotle regarded próbouloi as characteristical…

Logistai

(197 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (λογισταί/ logistaí, ‘calculators’, tax officials). In 5th cent. BC. Athens, a collegium of 30 logistai is mentioned in the first three tribute lists of the Delian League (IG I3 259-261) and the first financial decree of Callias (ML 58 = IG I3 52, A. 7-9). It is presumably identical with the collegium which appears (without membership numbers) in the list of loans from the Sacred Money (ML 72 = IG I3 369) and in a document from Eleusis (IG I3 32,22-28). In the 4th cent. the authorities had an interim account (Lys. 30,5; [Aristot.] Ath. pol. 48,3) presented t…

Syngraphai

(160 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (συγγραφαί; syngraphaí). Documents which form the basis of a contract, for instance for public works (e.g. ML 44 = IG I3 35, Athens; IG VII 3073 = Syll.3 972, Lebadea) or leases (e.g. Syll.3 93 = IG I3 84, Athen; IG XII 7, 62 = Syll.3 963, Arcesine) or loans (e.g. IG XII 7, 67 B = Syll.3 955, Arcesine). [1: 620, 623, 628]; more on this syngraphe. In Athens in the 5th cent. BC, proposals drafted for the assembly (ekklesia) by a specially commissioned board of syngrapheis (e.g. ML 73 = IG I3 78). These boards were discredited by their involvement in setting up the oligarchi…

Timokratia

(155 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (τιμοκρατία/ timokratía). The modern term 'timocracy' denotes a form of constitution in which people's political rights depend on their wealth (cf. τίμημα, tímēma, 'assessment'), similar to 'plutocracy'. In general, a constitution in which this principle was applied to a significant extent would be called oligarchia by the Greeks, but ploutokratia is also found (Xen. Mem. 4,6,12). In Aristot. Eth. Nic. 8,1160a-b timokratia is used to denote the good form of demokratia ), which Aristotle otherwise calls politeia . Among the subdivisions of demokratia and oligarchi…

Kolakretai

(175 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (κωλακρέται; kōlakrétai). The etymological meaning of kolaketrai (from κωλᾶς and ἀγρεῖν) might be ‘thigh collector’ (for sacrificial purposes?). In Athens, kolaketrai were a group of ten financial officials. Kolaketrai existed already in Solon's time ([Aristot.] Ath. Pol. 7,3) and are attested in the 5th cent. BC as officials who issued payments from the central state treasury. Since access to the treasury implied a particularly great danger of corruption, they did not serve for a full year but only for the duration of one prytany (IG I3 73,224; also [3]; Prytane…

Katoptai

(113 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (κατόπται; katóptai, ‘observer’, ‘inspector’). Katoptai was generally used as a title in Boeotia as the name for a committee which supervised the expenses of officials, and indeed in the Boeotian League ( Boeotia with map; cf. the allusion to the katoptikòs nómos, IG VII 3073 = Syll.3 972, 88) as well as in the individual cities (e.g. Acraephia: IG VII 4131; Orchomenus: IG VII 3171-73); according to IG VII 3202, Orchomenus had two katoptai. The katoptai were also responsible for public works (e.g. Oropus: IG VII 303, 22; Acraephia: IG VII 3073). The city…

Nomothetai

(694 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (νομοθέται; nomothétai, ‘lawmakers’). Officials responsible for compiling or enacting legislation. A text from Corcyra seemingly indicates that the nomothétai there compiled and recorded the final version of a decision taken in principle by the popular assembly (IMagn 44). In Cyme [3], a decision by the popular assembly had to be submitted by the law's proponent ( eisagōgeús ) to a ‘tribunal of nomothetai ’( nomothetikòn dikastḗrion (IK 5,12). If it is assumed that Thucydides (8,97,2) used the term correctly, then nomothétai were appointed in Athens in the p…

Tetrakosioi

(464 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
(οἱ τετρακόσιοι/ hoi tetrakósioi, 'the four hundred'). A group of 400 Athenians, assigned to political tasks as a council (see 1), or usurping those same tasks (see 2). [German version] [1] Under Solon A 'probouleutic' council in Athens consisting of 100 members from each of the four (Ionian) tribes (Phyle[1]), created by Solon in 594/3 BC to advise the ekklesia (Ath. Pol. 8,4, Plut. Sol. 19,1 f.). Its existence has been doubted, but probably mistakenly [5. 92-96]. It was replaced after 508/7 BC by Cleisthenes' council of five hundred [1; 2. 153-156]. Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham) …

Synteleia

(108 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (συντέλεια/ syntéleia), 'joint contribution', in particular to the costs of liturgies in Athens; after 357, used of groups of men contributing to the costs of a trireme (in a strict sense, of the men who contributed to the costs but were not trierarchs, but used sometimes of all contributors including trierarchs) [1], and recommended by Demosthenes for festival liturgies (Demosth. 20. Lept. 23). The word is used also for membership of federal bodies such as the Boeotian federation (e.g. Diod. Sic 15,38,4; cf. télein ind Hdt. 6,108,5) and the Achaean League (e.g.…

Dokimasia

(411 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (Δοκιμασία; Dokimasía). In the Greek world it means the procedure of determining whether certain conditions have been met. In Athens the following dokimasíai are attested: 1. The dokimasía of young men who at the end of their eighteenth year were presented to the father's dḗmos to be recognized as a member of the deme and a citizen. The dḗmos, a college of judges and the council took part in this procedure. 2. The dokimasía of the   bouleutaí (council members) in the council and before a college of judges, that of the archontes likewise …

Epoikia

(119 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἐποικία; epoikía). Epoikia was occasionally used instead of apoikía for Greek colonies, e.g. the early 5th-cent. BC Locrian colony near Naupactus (ML 20). The Athenian decree of 325/4 BC regarding the foundation of a colony on the Adriatic coast contains the reconstructed [ apoi] kía as well as époi[ koi]. It has been claimed that strictly speaking epoikia and époikoi did not refer to the original settlement, but to its later reinforcement with additional settlers [1]. This special meaning may occasionally have been intended, but it is u…
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