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Polemarchos

(334 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (πολέμαρχος/ polémarchos, plural polémarchoi, 'leader in war') was the title of military officialsin various Greek states. In the stories of the rise of tyrants, Cypselus [2] in Corinth (Nicolaus of Damascus FGrH 90 F 57,5) and Orthagoras [1] in Sicyon (POxy. XI 1365 = FGrH 105 F 2) are said to have been polémarchoi. But it is unlikely that men outside the ruling aristocracy would be appointed to such an office or that the polémarchos of archaic Corinth would have civilian judicial duties like that of classical Athens. In the Spartan army of the fifth-f…

Aeisitoi

(100 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἀείσιτοι; aeísitoi). Aeisitoi are entitled, not just occasionally but regularly, to participate in the banquets prepared by the Greek states (cf. Poll. 9,40). In Athens one so honoured was accorded   sitesis in the  Prytaneion (e.g. IG II/III2 I 1,450b) [2; 3]; as aeisitoi were designated also the officials who were assigned to the council and who ate with the   prytaneis (e.g. Agora XV 86) [1]. Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham) Bibliography 1 Agora XV, 1974, 7-8 2 A. S. Henry, Honours and Privileges in Athenian Decrees, 1983, 275-78 archontes 3 M. J. Osborne, Entertainmen…

Deka

(286 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (οἱ δέκα; hoi déka) ‘the Ten’; a committee of ten men, elected after the overthrow of the Thirty in 403 BC to rule the oligarchy of Athens. According to Lysias (12,58) and some other sources, they were to work towards a peace settlement (accepted by [2]), but there is no hint of this in Xenophon (Hell. 2,4,23f.) and it is probably not so (cf. [1]), although the democrats around  Thrasybulus may have hoped that the change of regime in Athens would be followed by a change in direction.…

Ephodion

(65 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (ἐφόδιον; ephódion, ‘travel money’). In Greece, ephodion denotes the allowance for travel expenses paid to an ambassador (e.g. in Athens: Tod 129; cf. the parody in Aristoph. Ach. 65-67; in Chios: SIG3 402). In the Hellenistic and Roman periods a rich citizen could aid his city by declining such a payment due to him (e.g. IPriene 108). Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)

Petalismos

(113 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (πεταλισμός; petalismós). Petalismos was the name for a ballot using the leaves (πέταλα/ pétala) of the olive tree. At Syracusae, the petalismos was the equivalent of the Athenian ostrakismós , i.e. a procedure for sentencing a leading individual to a period of banishment without finding him guilty of a misdemeanour. Diodorus Siculus (11,87) mentions the petalismos for the year 454/3 BC: it was introduced in the wake of a failed attempt to set up a tyrannis; its consequence was a five-year exile, but it was soon abolished again, as the fear of falling victim to the petalismo…

Corinthian League

(450 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] Modern term for the union of Greek states brought into being in 338/7 BC at an assembly in Corinth by  Philippus II of Macedonia after the battle of  Chaeronea (338 BC). The league evidently included all Greek states with the exception of Sparta, and was associated with a treaty establishing a ‘general peace’ (  koinḕ eirḗnē ). The members' oath and list of league members have survived in part in the form of an inscription (IG II2 236 = Tod 177; further information in Dem. Or. 17). The customary obligations of the treaty among its co-signatories also incl…

Boule

(1,326 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
(Βουλή; Boulḗ) . [German version] A. General In Greek communities the boule was a council assembly, usually that responsible for current public duties, which also had to prepare the work of the public assembly (  ekklēsía ). Composition and responsibilities could change according to the respective form of constitution. In Homeric times the council consisted of nobles convened by the king as advisors; in oligarchically organized communities the boule could become a relatively powerful body, compared with a comparatively weak public assembly, by restricting eligi…

Synoikismos

(484 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (συνοικισμός/ synoikismós, lit. 'living together'). In the Greek world, the combination of several smaller communities to form a single larger community. Sometimes the union was purely political and did not affect the pattern of settlement or the physical existence of the separate communities: this is what the Athenians supposed to have happened when they attributed the Attic synoikismos to Theseus, commemorated by a festival in classical times, the Synoikia (Thuc. 2,15) — whereas …

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…
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