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date: 02 December 2022

magistracy, Greeklocked

magistracy, Greeklocked

  • Victor Ehrenberg
  •  and P. J. Rhodes


Magistracies (archai) in Greek states were the successors of the *kingships, which rarely survived into the Classical period. By a process which cannot now be followed in detail, and which the sources tend to reconstruct in too systematic a fashion, the powers of a hereditary king came to be divided between a plurality of magistrates, normally appointed for one year and often not eligible for reappointment. In addition to general offices of state, more specialized offices were sometimes created, for example to control a treasury or to supervise public works or the market (see agoranomoi). A small state could manage with a small number of magistrates, but in a large one there might be many, and many duties might be given to boards rather than single individuals: Athens in the 5th cent. bce developed a particularly extensive range of offices—700 internal and 700 external, according to the text of Arist. [Ath.


  • Greek Law

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