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Article

Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood

Ceremonies were not identical all over Greece. For example, at Sparta they included a mock abduction (Plut.Lyc. 15. 3). But they were shaped by largely similar perceptions about the ceremony and the deities concerned with it. Thus, *Artemis was concerned with the girl's transition to womanhood, *Hera, especially as Hera Teleia, with the institution of marriage, *Aphrodite with its erotic aspect. The evidence is more plentiful for Athens, where it includes images on vases, some of which (e.g. the loutrophoroi) were actually used in the wedding ceremony. What follows is centred on Athens. But the main elements were common to all; thus, the form of the preliminary *sacrifices and offerings may have varied from place to place, but such sacrifices and offerings were made everywhere. After a ritual bath, in water carried in loutrophoroi from a particular spring or river, in Athens *Callirrhoë, the bride and groom were dressed and (especially the bride) adorned.

Article

D. M. MacDowell

Marriage in Greece was a process of transfer, by which the kyrios (‘lord’ or ‘controller’) of a woman (normally her father; if he had died, her nearest adult male relative) gave her away to another man for the procreation of children. Originally this was merely a private arrangement between the two men; but, because the procreation of children affected inheritance of property and membership of the community, cities made laws regulating marriage in order to define legitimacy for those purposes.In Athens a marriage was legal only if it began with engyē (see betrothal, Greek), a formal statement by the kyrios granting the woman to a husband. (A woman with no father or brother living could be awarded to a husband by the archon, see archontes.) The woman's own consent was not legally required. She could not be married to a direct ascendant or descendant, nor to her brother or half-brother by the same mother, but marriage to a half-brother by the same father or to an uncle or cousin was permitted. From 451/0 bce marriage between an Athenian and a foreigner was forbidden (see citizenship, Greek).

Article

metics  

David Whitehead

As the Greek *polis evolved it sought to differentiate, amongst its inhabitants, between insiders and outsiders. Insiders par excellence were its own members, the citizens; palpable outsiders were its slaves, indigenous or imported (see slavery); but this simple dichotomy would have sufficed only for communities like *Sparta which discouraged immigration. Elsewhere it was necessary to recognize free persons who lived, temporarily or permanently, in the polis without becoming its citizens. Several-oikos words are attested of such persons, with metoikos (‘metic’) most common. The precise nature and complexity of metic-status doubtless varied from place to place; evidence approaches adequacy only for Athens, atypical in its allure and, consequently, the numbers of those who succumbed thereto (half the size of the (reduced) citizen body of c.313 bce (Ath. 272c); perhaps proportionately larger in the 5th cent. bce (R. Duncan-Jones, Chiron 1980, 101 ff.)). With *Solon having created only indirect incentives to immigration, Athenian metic-status probably owes its formal origins to *Cleisthenes (2), after whom the presence of metics was recognized in law and could develop in its details at both city and local (*deme) level.

Article

P. J. Rhodes

Metronomoi, overseers of *weights and *measures in Athens; five for the city and five for the *Piraeus, appointed by lot for one year (Ath. pol. 51. 2). In other states their duties were carried out by the *agoranomoi.

Article

D. M. MacDowell

Nautodikai (ναυτοδίκαι) were Athenian magistrates who presided over trials involving men who travelled by sea, either as merchants or as overseas residents (cleruchs; see cleruchy). They are first heard of around 445 bce, when Athenian commercial and imperial success probably increased the number of such trials. They were abolished around 350, when new arrangements for mercantile cases (δίκαι ἐμπορικαί) were established.

Article

Simon Hornblower

Neutrality, a word with no single Greek or Latin equivalent. In Greek, the idea is expressed by terms meaning e.g. ‘keeping quiet’, ‘helping neither side’. Individuals may be neutral between parties, and states between states. The first, domestic, sort of neutrality was allegedly prohibited by *Solon (Ath. pol. 8), and though possibly fiction this is not actually absurd because *Pericles (1), according to *Thucydides (2) (2. 40. 2), later expresses high Athenian expectations about civic involvement. In his analysis of faction (see stasis) at *Corcyra (3. 82. 8) Thucydides says that ‘middle people’ fell victim to both parties; this carries the idea ‘moderate’ as well as ‘neutral’. Neutrality in wars between Greek states, and even in wars between Greeks and ‘*barbarians’, was possible: Archaic *Miletus formalized its neutral status with Lydia then Persia; Argive neutrality in the *Persian Wars (see argos(1)) amounted in Herodotus' view (8.

Article

D. M. MacDowell

Nomophylakes (νομοφύλακες) were ‘guardians of the laws’. In Athens, according to one authority (*Philochorus), officials with this title were instituted when *Ephialtes(4) deprived the *Areopagus of most of its powers in 462/1 bce; but this statement is disbelieved by some modern scholars, and even if it is true the office cannot have become permanent, since it is not heard of again until the late 4th cent. It was probably instituted or reinstituted in the 320s. At this period there were seven nomophylakes. Their chief duty was to attend meetings of the *boulē and the *ekklēsia and veto actions or proposals which were illegal or contrary to the interests of Athens. They had some kind of power to check magistrates (see magistracy, greek) who acted illegally, and they also had some religious functions.

Article

D. M. MacDowell

Nomothetai (νομοθέται), ‘law-makers’, were usually individuals like *Draco and *Solon, but in Athens in the late 5th and the 4th cent. bce large groups with this title were appointed. The earliest known was appointed in 411 in connection with the Five Thousand (Thuc. 8. 97. 2) and must have lapsed when that regime fell. In 403, when democracy was restored, one group of nomothetai was appointed by the *boulē to draft and display proposed additions to the laws, and another body of 500 nomothetai was elected by the demes to consider these proposals in conjunction with the boulē (Andoc. 1. 82–4).Thereafter nomothetai were appointed regularly to consider proposed changes in the laws, on which they, not the *ekklēsia, now took the final decisions. In some cases (or in all, according to one view) they were drawn by lot from the list of 6,000 jurors; thus they were ordinary citizens, without special expertise, but their function was to examine proposals more closely than the ekklēsia would do.

Article

From the end of the Archaic era to the end of the Hellenistic period, all officials of Greek cities were required to render their accounts (euthynai) through procedures, which varied according to political regimes and times. Most of the time a board of controlling officials examined the accounts. This examination would take place at the end of the officials’ terms of office, but sometimes a partial examination took place during the terms. The controlling magistrates could initiate prosecutions against officials. In democracies, ordinary citizens could also sue magistrates in court. The procedure for holding officials accountable is called euthynai (correction) in the ancient sources. Many literary texts and epigraphic sources show the importance of the practice, particularly during the Classical and the Hellenistic periods. It was one of the most important features of civic institutions. From the End of the Archaic Period onwards, the Greek cities took a series of measures to prevent abuses of power by officials: accountability was only one of these measures. In fact, in Greek political thought, tyrannical power is characterised as aneuthynos (e.g., Herodotus 3.80.3), which broadly means “not subject to legal proceedings” or “uncontrolled.” Officials had to render their accounts (mostly logon apodidonai or tas euthynas didonai in Greek), at the end of their time in office as well as while in office. In most poleis, a separate body of magistrates was tasked with examining these accounts. At these moments, a set of procedures (which varied from city to city) enabled ordinary citizens to bring charges against officials before the courts.

Article

Victor Ehrenberg and P. J. Rhodes

Oligarchy (‘the rule of the few’), with monarchy (see kingship) and democracy one of the three basic categories of constitution commonly used by the Greeks from the 5th cent. bce onwards. Whereas a democratic regime gave basic political rights to all adult males in the free non-immigrant population, and had slight or non-existent limitations on eligibility for office, an oligarchic regime excluded some of the free population even from basic political rights, and might exclude even more of them from office-holding and reduce the amount of business which came the way of the full citizen body. In practice those who were admitted to political activity by democracies but not by oligarchies were the poor, and *Aristotle, after listing the three categories of constitution and distinguishing correct and deviant versions of each, went on to say that really oligarchy is the rule of the rich and democracy is the rule of the poor (Pol.

Article

D. M. MacDowell

Ostracism in Athens in the 5th cent. bce was a method of banishing a citizen for ten years (cf. exile, Greek). Each year in the sixth *prytany the question whether an ostracism should be held that year was put to the *ekklēsia. If the people voted in favour of holding an ostracism, it was held on a day in the eighth prytany in the *agora under the supervision of the *archontes and the *boulē. Each citizen who wished to vote wrote on a fragment of pottery (ostrakon) the name of the citizen whom he wished to be banished. The voters were marshalled by *phylai in an enclosure erected for the occasion, to ensure that no one put in more than one ostrakon. When all had voted, the ostraka were counted and, provided that there was a total of at least 6,000, the man whose name appeared on the largest number was ostracized. (An alternative view, attributed to *Philochorus, FGrH 328 F30, is that the ostracism was valid only if at least 6,000 votes were cast against one man.

Article

Robin Osborne

There was no Greek term for ‘ownership’. For *Aristotle (Rhet. 1361a21) the mark of a thing being one's own is that one is free to give or sell it, but under Classical Athenian law a man could sell property which he could only give in bequest if he had no surviving legitimate son. While a distinction between ‘ownership’ and ‘possession’ was recognized, the distinction was not elaborated in the body of law at Athens, or, as far as we know, elsewhere.The sense in which an individual could be said to ‘own’ property depended on what that property was. There are traditions which attest inalienable, heritable but not marketable, grants of land to individuals; in Classical Athens, there was no bar on the sale of land, but the regulation of bequests and the aspersions cast in court on those who sell ancestral land suggest that in some sense land was held to belong to the family and not simply to the individual. Regulations about dowries (see betrothal; marriage law), which passed through the husband to the wife's children and could be used but not alienated by the husband, similarly suggest a sense of ‘family’ property.

Article

Those who owned property in the Greek world enjoyed all the basic rights and duties recognized in all legal systems. They had the right to security against arbitrary confiscation and theft, the right to enjoy the fruits, the right to alienate, the right to manage, and the right to pass on their property to their heirs. Their property could also be seized by the state as a penalty or to pay for fines or by private lenders in satisfaction of debts or other obligations. Property could be owned by private individuals, by private groups, by the state or by subdivisions of the state. In certain cases women had the right to own property, but their rights might be restricted by law. Most Greek communities only allowed citizens to own land unless they obtained permission to acquire land from the Assembly.

Secure property rights are crucial for economic prosperity.1 If owners of land cannot rest assured that their control over their property will not be threatened, they will have no incentive to build or make improvements. If they fear that someone may take their land at any moment, there will be no reason to invest in crops such as olives that will not produce immediate returns. If their title to the land is not secure, lenders will not be willing to accept the farm as security for a loan. If the threat of arbitrary confiscation hangs over owners, it becomes impossible to make any plans for the future. Finally, if the state does not protect the rights of owners, it is very difficult for individuals to buy and sell movable and immovable property in ways that lead to a better allocation of resources.

Article

H. Maehler

Papyrus, manufactured in Egypt since c.3000 bce from a marsh plant, Cyperus papyrus (see books, greek and roman), was the most widely used writing material in the Graeco-Roman world. The object of papyrology is to study texts written on papyrus (and on ostraca, wooden tablets, etc. in so far as they come from the same find-spots) in Egyptian (hieroglyphs, demotic, Coptic), Hebrew, *Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Pahlavi, and Arabic. Greek papyrology also deals with Greek texts written on parchment (see palaeography, Introduction). The vast majority of Greek papyri have been found in Egypt, preserved in the dry sand; with the exception of some carbonized papyri from *Bubastis and Thmouis, no papyri have survived in the damp soils of the Delta or *Alexandria (1). Outside Egypt, Greek papyri have been found at *Herculaneum, at Dura-*Europus, in Palestine, and one text has come from Greece: the carbonized Orphic commentary found in a burial at Derveni near Salonica; see orphic literature; orphism.

Article

D. M. MacDowell

Paragraphē (παραγραφή) in Athenian law was a procedure for objecting that a prosecution was inadmissible because it was in some way contrary to law. Before the main trial (εὐθυδικία) could proceed, the objection had to be heard at a separate trial, in which the objector (the defendant in the original case) spoke first and his opponent replied. If the objector won, the original case was dropped; if he lost, it went to trial. Whoever lost at the hearing of the paragraphē had to pay his opponent one-sixth of the sum at stake in the case (ἐπωβελία); this discouraged the use of paragraphē as a device for delaying a trial without justification. The procedure was instituted under a law proposed by Archinus in 403/2 bce, permitting paragraphē against prosecutions which contravened the *amnesty of that year. The first paragraphē heard under this law was the one for which *Isocrates wrote his speech Against Callimachus.

Article

Simon Hornblower

Patrios politeia, ‘ancestral constitution (or way of life)’, slogan apparently (but see below) used in the late 5th cent. bce at Athens by proponents of *oligarchy, as a reassuring but fraudulent way of justifying constitutional change. See e.g. Ath. pol. 29. 3 (411); also 34. 3 (404), stressing explicitly the role of *Theramenes, which can be conjectured for 411 also. The fraud lay in the implied claim that earlier reformers like *Solon and *Cleisthenes (2) had denied full citizen rights (see citizenship, greek) to *thetes, the lowest Athenian property class, confining them to *hoplites (*zeugitai) and above. Such general nostalgia for the imagined world of Solon and Cleisthenes is found in the 4th cent. (see e.g. Isoc. 7. 20, although *Isocrates actually avoids the expression patrios politeia), and some of the tradition about the 5th cent. may reflect 4th-cent. arguments. See however Thuc. 8. 76. 6 for what may be a near-contemporary echo of the debate about the ancestral constitution at the time of the *Four Hundred; the reference is to oligarchic subversion of the ‘ancestral laws’.

Article

Antony Spawforth

Patronomos (πατρονόμος), official instituted c.227 bce by *Cleomenes (2) III (Paus. 2. 9. 1) in his reform of Sparta's polity, attested from the 1st cent. bce as Sparta's eponymous magistrate. Roman inscriptions link his duties with the ‘Lycurgan customs’ (cf. lycurgus(2)), so favouring the title's translation as ‘guardian of the ancestral traditions’. Probably the first patronomoi oversaw Cleomenes' revived *agōgē.

Article

Perioikoi ‘dwellers round about’, was the name employed usually to describe neighbouring people frequently constituting groups of subjects or half-citizens, normally with local self-government; but it could also be applied to outright slaves. Perioikoi of the usual, personally free type were found in Argolis (see argos(1)), *Crete, *Elis, *Thessaly, and elsewhere, but the best-known group are those of the Spartan state. Here, the origins of their status and ethnic affiliation are unclear, though their *dialect was the Laconian Doric (see laconia) common to all the state's inhabitants.Like the full citizen Spartiates, perioikoi were counted as Lacedaemonians in military contexts, not only serving in the Spartan army but (after c.450) in the same regiments. But they had no say in the making of Spartan policy and seem to have been subject to special taxation, so can be considered at best half- or second-class citizens of Sparta. One unreliable ancient source states that they were controlled by a system of *harmosts, as if they were Sparta's imperial subjects, but the only certainly attested harmost in a perioikic area was based on the strategically sensitive island of *Cythera (called Kutherodikes in Thuc.

Article

S. D. Lambert

Phratries (φρατρίαι, with dialectal variations), in Greek states, groups with hereditary membership and probably normally associated with specific localit (ies). The members were ‘phrateres’, related to words which in other *Indo-European languages mean ‘brother’. Phratry names often, but not always, had the patronymic ending -idai. The relationship between a phratry's eponym and its members, however, is largely obscure. Though the institution probably originated in the Mycenaean period or earlier, two references in *Homer's Iliad (2. 362–3 and 9. 63–4) are the earliest secure evidence.Phratries are attested in a wide range of Greek states, including *Sparta and *Argos (1) in *Dorian Greece and several *Ionian states, including *Athens. We are especially well informed about the Labyadai at *Delphi (Insc. Jur. Gr. 2 no. 28). At Argos and *Syracusephratries were subgroups of *phylai, and may also have been elsewhere, though this is nowhere securely attested in Ionian states. Phratries could contain subgroups such as the *genos.

Article

phylai  

John Davies

The Greek word phyle, usually but misleadingly translated ‘tribe’, was widely but not universally used in the Greek world to denote the principal components or divisions of the citizen body. Their origins are unclear. Entities so called are unknown to epic, except for the anomalous line *Homer, Iliad 2. 363, but their use in Aegean and colonial contexts suggests that they existed well before the 8th cent. bce. Two sets are well attested in the Archaic period: the *Dorian tribes Hylleis, Dymanes, and Pamphyloi, known as such in 7th-cent. Sparta (Tyrtaeus F 19 West) and elsewhere, and the *Ionian–Attic tribes Geleontes, Hopletes Argadeis, Aigikoreis, Oinopes, and Boreis, known in Archaic Athens (the first four), some Aegean islands, and Ionia. North-western Greece, Boeotia, Thessaly, and the areas of Aeolic dialect (Lesbos etc. ) used no such divisions till the Hellenistic period, using instead *phratries (Thessaly) or the formalized merē (‘parts’, ‘sections’) of federal *Boeotia (Hell.