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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.…

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…

Archai

(511 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἀρχαί; archaí, ‘office holder’). In most Greek states the powers of hereditary kings were divided in the  Dark Ages and the archaic period and distributed among a series of officials ( archai or   archontes ), who were usually appointed for a year, often without the option of re-election. This process cannot be traced in detail because the sources tend toward a too schematic reconstruction. Apart from the offices that were responsible for the state as a whole, special offices were created on occ…

Aisymnetes

(276 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (αἰσυμνήτης; aisymnḗtēs). Formed from aísa (‘fate’) and   mna (‘to have in mind’): ‘one who has fate in mind (and announces it to the one it affects)’. The Phaeacians (Hom. Od. 8,258-9) name nine aisymnetai, who are responsible for contests ( agones), in the Iliad 24,347 a prince's son appears as aisymnḗtēs. Aristotle sees in the aisymnetes of ancient Greece a kind of monarch, a ‘chosen tyrant’, as demonstrated in  Pittacus of Mytilene around 600 (Pol. 3,1285a 29 - b 1). In the 5th cent. the word appears in Teos synonymously with ‘tyrant’ (Syll.3 38 = ML 30,A; SEG 31,985…

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…

Epidosis

(53 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἐπίδοσις; epídosis). Voluntary tax requested by Greek states during special emergencies to supplement the revenue from regular taxes and contributions furnished through public office. In Athens, epidóseis are documented since the 4th cent. (see for example Dem. Or. 21,161); they were probably introduced by Eubulus. Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)

Nesiotai

(273 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
(νησιῶται/ nēsiôtai). [German version] [1] See Hecatonnesi See Hecatonnesi Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham) [German version] [2] Aegean league of islanders, with Delos as its centre, c. 315 BC League ( k oinon ) of islanders in the Aegean with Delos as its centre, probably founded by Antigonus [1] Monophthalmus in 315/4 BC rather than by Ptolemaeus in 308 BC. After the defeat of Demetrius [2] Poliorcetes 286 BC, the league was taken over by Ptolemaeus. It served as a political alliance and celebrated festivities in honour of its patron. Under the Ptolemies, there were a nēsíarchos (‘island ruler…

Decate

(231 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (δεκάτη; dekátē), ‘the tenth (part)’, primarily refers to various forms of tithe: 1. Crop yield taxation, e.g. in Athens under  Peisistratus (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 16,4; but perhaps it is a ‘twentieth’, eikostḗ, in Thuc. 6,54,5, and decate is a generic term in the Ath. Pol.), in Crannon (Polyaenus, Strat. 2,34), in Delos (IG XI 2, 161, 27) and in Pergamum (IPergamon 158, 17-18; a twentieth on wine and a tenth on other field crops). The lex Hieronica for Sicily, too, includes a decate (Cic. Verr. 2,3,20). 2. Building taxation, e.g. in Delos (IG XI 2, 161, 26) and Egypt…

Epicheirotonia

(84 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἐπιχειροτονία; epicheirotonía). Epicheirotonia generally means voting (literally: ‘raising one's hand’). In particular epicheirotonia was used in the 4th cent. in Athens to mean a vote of confidence in officials that was cast in every prytany ([Aristot.] Ath. Pol. 43,5; 61,2; but epicheirotonia used in connection with an ostracism in 43,5 is probably an error for diacheirotonía) and a vote of confidence conducted annually for each of the four different subject areas of law (Dem. Or. 24,20-23). Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)

Isonomia

(250 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἰσονομία; isonomía). The concept of isonomia, (equality before the law) - along with other compounds formed with the element iso- (‘equal’) - seems to have played a significant role in political discourse in Greece during the late 6th and early 5th cents. BC. In the constitutional debate at the Persian Court, Herodotus uses isonomia to refer to democracy (3,80,6; 83,1), and in other places (3,142,3; 5,37,2) he employs isonomia to designate a constitutional government in contrast to one that is tyrannical ( Tyrannis); in the latter sense he also uses the words isēgoría

Tettarakonta

(191 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (οἱ τετταράκοντα/ hoi tettarákonta, 'the Forty'). In Athens, a college of forty judges appointed by lot, four each out of the ten phylai ( phyle [1]) after 404/3 BC. They were assigned to a phyle other than their own and handled cases concerning defendants of that phyle. They decided private suits for sums up to 10 drachmae on their own, and referred private suits ( dike [2]) for larger sums to the diaitetai [2]. However, it was possible to appeal against the decision of the diaitetes to a dikasterion presided over by one of the Forty. The college succeeded the dikastai kata de…
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