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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…

Sitesis

(218 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (σίτησις/ sítēsis). Provision of food at public expense, on a particular occasion or regularly. There were three categories of recipients [5.308f.]: (a) Officials had the right of sitesis during their term of office; in Athens the prytáneis ate in the tholos (Ath. Pol. 43,3), and secretaries ( grammateîs ) and other officials ate with them [1.7-20] (these officials are called aeísitoi , 'regular eaters'; [1.86,84]). The archons (árchontes) ate in the thesmotheteîon (Schol. Plat. Phd. 235d; location unknown). (b) Recipients of major honours were given…

Dioiketes

(83 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (διοικητής; dioikētḗs). In Ptolemaic Egypt as well as in other parts of the Greek world, the word dioíkēsis was used to designate the administration in general and the financial administration in particular. The title of dioiketes was held by the official in charge of the king's financial administration (see, for instance, OGIS 59; Cic. Rab. Post. 28). Local financial officials may also have held this title (Pol. 27,13,2 with Walbank, Commentary on Polybius, ad. loc.).  Dioikesis Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)

Euthynai

(257 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (εὔθυναι; eúthynai). The term euthynai (‘straightening out’) was used specifically in reference to the audits of the official conduct of administrators after their departure from office. In Athens, this procedure was split into two parts: on the one hand, there was the lógos (‘statement of accounts’), which looked into the way officials handled public funds, carried out by a committee of ten logistaí (‘auditors’) plus one synḗgoros each (‘legal advisor’) ([Aristot.] Ath. Pol. 54,2), and on the other the euthynae in a stricter sense, offering the opportunity …

Prohedria

(286 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (προεδρία/ pro(h)edría). The right to occupy a place in the front row in institutions of various kinds; it was conferred by the state on prominent fellow citizens and visitors and is recorded for many poleis. In the 6th cent. BC pro(h)edría was bestowed by Delphi on Croesus of Lydia (Hdt. 1,54,2), and Olympia gave it to a Spartan próxenos (SEG 11, 1180a). In Athens among the recipients of pro(h)edría were the oldest living descendents of Harmodius and Aristogiton (Isaeus 5,47); Demosthenes [2] provided the ambassadors of Philip [4] II of Macedonia with pro(h)edría at the…

Phoros

(1,696 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
(φόρος/ phóros, plural phóroi, 'tribute', 'contribution', from phérein, 'carry', 'take', 'bring'). [German version] A. Definition Phóroi were payments by states to a superior power or to an organization to which they belonged. In particular phoros was the term for the financial contributions made by the members of the Delian League. Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham) [German version] B. Size and administration At the foundation of the Delian League in 478/7 BC, the contributions of members were assessed by Aristides [1] from Athens; they were either to provide sh…

Gynaikonomoi

(161 words)

Author(s): Rhodes, Peter J. (Durham)
[German version] (γυναικονόμοι; gynaikonómoi). The officials who were responsible in various Greek towns for compliance with laws regarding the behaviour of women, especially at festivals and at funerals, were called gynaikonomoi (‘Women's overseers’). Aristotle regarded this office as neither democratic nor oligarchical but as aristocratic (Pol. 4, 1300a4-8; 6, 1323a3-6). Actually gynaikonomoi are however found in states in varying ways, for instance in Thasos ([2. no. 141, 154-155]; 4th-3rd cents. BC), Gambrea (Syll.3 1219; 3rd cent. BC) or Sparta (IG V 1, 170; 3…

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 …

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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