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Article

Pittacus of *Mytilen (c. 650–570 bce), statesman, lawgiver, and sage. He commanded in the war against Athens for *Sigeum, on which *Periander of Corinth later arbitrated (see arbitration); helped to overthrow the tyrant Melanchros, then after further complex factional struggles in Mytilene, was elected *aisymnētēs for ten years. *Alcaeus (1) accused him of being tyrant, but he laid down office and died ten years later. One of his sayings was that ‘painted wood’, i.e. law, was the best protector of the city. His best-remembered law doubled the penalty for all offences if committed while drunk. A moderate reformer, like his contemporary *Solon, he was violently attacked by his fellow citizen and former ally Alcaeus, whose family had helped overthrow tyranny but wished to perpetuate the old aristocratic rule.

Article

Pnyx  

Simon Hornblower

Pnyx, hill at Athens, 400 m. (c.440 yds.) south-west of the *Agora, where the Classical assembly or *ekklēsia usually met. The auditorium was reconstructed, and its orientation altered, at the end of the 5th cent. bce, perhaps in connection with the introduction of pay for assembly attendance. See athens, topography.

Article

D. M. MacDowell

Polemarchos (πολέμαρχος), one of the nine *archontes appointed annually in Athens. The name indicates that the polemarchos' original function was to command the army; presumably the office was created to take over this function from the king. Eventually military command was transferred to the *stratēgoi, but the date and stages of the transfer are not clear. At *Marathon in 490 bce the strategoi debated and voted on strategy but Callimachus (1) the polemarchos had a casting vote (Hdt. 6. 109), and he was the ‘leader’ (ἡγεμών, Arist. Ath. pol. 22. 2); it is disputed whether that means he was the real or merely the titular commander-in-chief. Certainly the polemarchos no longer had military authority after 487/6, when archontes were appointed by lot (see sortition) and it could not be expected that every polemarchos would make a competent commander.Thereafter the polemarchos' main functions were legal. In the 4th cent. he had charge of trials of *metics' family, inheritance, and status cases, and of the allocation to tribe-judges (members of the Forty) of other private actions involving metics; and it is likely that at an earlier period his responsibilities for cases involving aliens were more extensive.

Article

D. M. MacDowell

Pōlētai (πωληταί) ‘sellers’, were Athenian officials. The date of their institution is not known, but they already existed in the time of *Solon. In *Aristotle's time there were ten, appointed annually by lot from the ten *phylai. They conducted the selling or leasing of property belonging to the state, especially property confiscated from convicted offenders. They sold as slaves *metics who failed to pay the metics' tax, and they let rights to work *mines, to collect taxes, and to carry out public works. The method generally used was an auction held in the presence of the *Boulē. The pōlētai then made out lists of the payments due from purchasers and tenants; sales of confiscated property and mining leases were inscribed on stone, and numerous fragments of these inscriptions have been found.

Article

police  

Tim Cornell

In any discussion of police it is necessary to distinguish between the function of policing, that is, maintaining public order and enforcing the law, and the existence of a specialized agency of repression, i.e. a police force, to carry out these tasks on behalf of the state. Police forces as such, though taken for granted as a necessity, or at least a necessary evil, in modern societies, did not exist in the ancient world. They are a creation of the 18th and 19th cents., and reflect the growth of state power in the increasingly complex and bureaucratic societies of the modern industrialized world, and the extent to which mechanisms of social control have been centralized and monopolized by the state.On the other hand, ancient city-states recognized the need for publicly appointed officials to carry out functions of social regulation. For example, in Classical Athens annual boards of magistrates (*astynomoi, *agoranomoi, *sitophylakes, etc.

Article

polis  

Oswyn Murray

Polis (pl. poleis), the Greek city-state. The polis is the characteristic form of Greek urban life; its main features are small size, political *autonomy, social homogeneity, sense of community and respect for law. It can be contrasted with the earlier Mycenaean palace economy (see mycenaean civilization), and with the continuing existence of tribal (ethnos) types of organization in many areas of northern Greece. (See ethnicity. For a different sense of ‘tribe’ see below.) The polis arose in the late Dark Ages. It is present in *Homer; the archaeological signs of city development (public space, temples, walls, public works, town planning) appear in an increasing number of sites in the 8th–7th cents. (Old *Smyrna, *Eretria); the peaceful abandonment of smaller sites and the general decline of archaeological evidence from the countryside in the 7th cent. suggest early *synoecism or concentration of population in specific polis sites.

Article

Oswyn Murray

1. Politics as power struggle. This is the dominant interpretation of politics in the modern world since Macchiavelli; it requires organized groups, either operating out of group self-interest or with differing conceptions of the common interest. In the archaic age of Greece there is some evidence for the existence of aristocratic groups supported by retainers, notably in the poetry of *Alcaeus (1) and at Athens before *Cleisthenes (2); in the Classical period organized aristocratic *hetaireiai occasionally emerged as politically important, but usually as a consequence of lack of success in normal political life. Organized political parties never existed, and political programmes were confined to groups trying to change the constitution.2. Politics as ritualized decision-making. Specific political institutions and methods for decision-making are first found in the archaic age, and were highly developed by the Classical period; the best-known examples are *Sparta and *Athens (see lycurgus(2); sparta; democracy, athenian).

Article

D. M. MacDowell

Probouloi was a name used for officials in various Greek states. In *Athensprobouloi were appointed in 413 bce. They were ten men over 40 years of age, including *Sophocles (1) the tragedian and Hagnon the father of *Theramenes. They were appointed immediately after the failure of the Sicilian expedition (413 bce, see athens, history), evidently because it was felt that the *ekklēsia and the *boulē could not conduct the war efficiently. They had some executive powers, but the precise extent is not known; they may have taken over some functions from the *prytaneis. In 411 they were included in a commission appointed to draft a new constitution; this led to the revolution of the *Four Hundred, after which they are not heard of again.

Article

D. M. MacDowell

Proedroi were chairmen. In the 5th cent. bce in Athens the chairman at meetings of the *boulē and *ekklēsia was the foreman of the *prytaneis; but later, probably from 403/2 onwards, this duty was taken over by proedroi, presumably because the foreman of the prytaneis was thought to be overburdened. At each meeting of the boulē or ekklēsia the foreman of the prytaneis picked nine proedroi by lot from the other members of the boulē, one from each of the ten *phylai except that to which the prytaneis themselves belonged, and then he picked by lot one of these nine proedroi to be their foreman (ἐπιστάτης). One man could not be a proedros more than once in a prytany, nor foreman of the proedroi more than once in a year. The proedroi kept order at the meeting, brought forward the various items of business in accordance with the agenda, counted or estimated the votes given by show of hands, and finally dismissed the meeting.

Article

Simon Hornblower

Propaganda is not easy to define. It means active manipulation of opinion and some distortion of the truth; it also perhaps aims at exclusive indoctrination of one set of opinions, contrast ideology (a value-system which may admit the possibility of other value-systems) or mentality (values unconsciously subscribed to rather than actively promoted). Propaganda has been divided (Ellul) into agitation propaganda and integration propaganda; the first seeks to change attitudes, the second to reinforce them. This division is helpful (see below) for the understanding of the ancient world.Lacking modern techniques for the dissemination of information, the ancient world was spared some modern manifestations of propaganda; nor were conditions suitable for the emergence of professional governmental ‘propaganda machines’ of a modern sort (*decision-making was amateur and theoretically in the hands of the citizens). There were however ways of making general proclamations. Thus Rome exploited *Delphi to make pronouncements adverse to *Perseus (2) of Macedon, see Syll.

Article

William Mack

Proxeny (proxenia) was an official honorific status granted by Greek states to members of external political communities and was closely related to the private institution of ritualized friendship (xenia). Recipients, who became proxenoi as a result, constituted a formal network of local friends for the granting state, capable of facilitating interactions for both official delegates and their citizens visiting on private business. Proxeny was consequently a central element of the Greek system of interstate institutions. It enabled state actors to establish connections with individuals at a wide range of other political communities within the densely fragmented city-state culture of the ancient Mediterranean.References to proxeny occur from the late 7th century bce until the end of the Hellenistic period, with some epigraphic outliers occurring until 2nd centuryce , but the composition of this record changes significantly over time. Proxenoi are frequently depicted in literary texts for the Classical period, typically in relation to the communities that granted them this status—providing services for visiting representatives ( .

Article

D. M. MacDowell and Simon Hornblower

Prytaneis means ‘presidents’, sing. prytanis (πρύτανις). In Athens the *boulē, after it was reorganized in 508/7 bce by *Cleisthenes (2), consisted of fifty men chosen by lot from each of the ten *phylai, and each group of fifty served as prytaneis for one-tenth of the year (see calendar, greek). This period was called a prytany (πρυτανεία); owing to the vagaries of Athenian methods of reckoning a year, a prytany might be anything from 35 to 39 days. It was reduced to one-twelfth of the year when the number of phylai was increased to twelve in 307/6. To decide which phylē's group was to be prytaneis next, lots were drawn shortly before the beginning of each prytany except the last by all the groups which had not been prytaneis so far that year.The prytaneis were on duty every day. They made arrangements for meetings of the boulē and *ekklēsia, received envoys and letters addressed to the state, and conducted other day-to-day business.

Article

According to *Cicero (Ad Brut. 23. 3), it was a dictum of *Solon's that a community was held together by rewards and penalties, and the ascription seems plausible, in so far as Archaic Greek law-codes already show the city asserting its authority in laying down penalties both for universally recognized crimes and for failure to perform the duties imposed by its statutes. Cicero himself argued that the instinct to take vengeance (vindicatio) is nature's gift to man to ensure his own and his family's survival (Inv. 2. 65). Both in Greece and Rome criminal law emerged as an attempt to circumscribe and replace private revenge. Accordingly, just as prosecution in many cases fell to injured persons or their relatives, so the treatment of the convicted man was often closely related to his victims, for example in early homicide law and in matters of physical injury and *theft.

Article

rape  

Sharon James

Only the rape of citizens was taken seriously by law. Sexual assaults on non-citizens were lesser matters. Rape of enslaved persons, a daily reality, was a crime only if committed by someone other than their owner. Rape of citizen males damaged their reputations; rape of citizen females could render them ineligible for marriage. Ancient myth features almost countless stories of rape, usually of human females by divine males. These tales were common subjects in ancient art and literature. Overwhelmingly, the victims are unmarried girls, who may suffer brutal treatment afterward and frequently bear miraculous offspring, some of whom establish cities (e.g., Romulus and Remus). Rape by human men is rarer in myth; rape of a wife causes massive militarized response (e.g., Helen of Troy, Lucretia). War-rape and post-war rape were standard practice around the Mediterranean.

Rape in antiquity was a matter of social and civic class. As a crime, it was understood as happening only to citizens: sexual assault of non-citizens was not a concern of law. The law took rape of citizens very seriously. Rape of citizen girls and women was a violation against the men who were responsible for them—father, husband, brother, guardian—but female victims would have experienced it as a personal violation first, rather than damage to their guardian’s ownership of their sexuality.

Article

Robert Parker

The category of “sacred laws” is one within which modern scholarship on Greek religion assembles inscriptions which in various ways regulate the conduct of cult. Many have a broadly policing function: fines or other punishments are imposed for cutting wood, pasturing animals, lighting fires within a sanctuary, or disorderly conduct at a festival. Some deal with other aspects of sanctuary management such as the positioning and care of votive offerings. Some prescribe ritual activities such as processions or sacrifices to be conducted at new or reorganized festivals; the financing of cult is often a concern. Many define the duties and perquisites of priests and priestesses. A distinctive subclass is the “sale of priesthood” text, from those parts of the east Greek world where some priesthoods were so allocated. Each time a sale was to occur, a job description was published which functioned as a cross between advertisement and contract. Calendars listing month by month the sacrifices to be offered by a particular city or subgroup within one are also conventionally included among sacred laws.

Article

Arnold Wycombe Gomme, Theodore John Cadoux, and P. J. Rhodes

Solon, Athenian politician and poet, was of noble descent but, whether or not the tradition that he was of moderate means is correct, came to sympathize with the poor. He was prominent in the war against *Megara for the possession of *Salamis (1), urging the Athenians to renewed effort when they despaired of success (c.600 bce). In 594/3 he was archon (see archontes), and the link between his archonship and his reforms is probably to be accepted, though some have wanted to put the reforms 20 years later. He is said to have spent the 10 years after his reforms in overseas travel, during which his measures were not to be altered: if he continued to travel after that, he may have met *Amasis of Egypt and Philocyprus of Cyprus, but if he died c.560/59 he is unlikely to have met *Croesus of Lydia (though that tradition is as old as Hdt.

Article

Victor Ehrenberg and Simon Hornblower

Sortition (klērōsis), election by lot, a method of appointing officials in Greek city-states, especially in democracies (see democracy, both entries). It was based on the idea of equality and reduced outside influence. Little is known of its use except at Athens. It remains uncertain when sortition was introduced there, perhaps as early as *Solon. From 487/6 bce the archons (see archontes) were appointed by lot out of nominated candidates (prokritoi, the process being prokrisis, and the whole two-stage process being klērōsis ek prokritōn); later, this became a double sortition. From the time when the archons began to be elected by lot, they lost political leadership. But all ordinary magistrates, a few excepted, were thus appointed; also the *boulē (a prytany of fifty from each phylē; see phylai; prytaneis) and the juries (by a very complicated procedure; see law and procedure, athenian, § 2). Lot decided very many questions in political and social life. Politically, sortition, combined with the prohibition or at least severe restriction of re-election, enabled rotation in office, and electoral contests were avoided by its use; moreover, the power of magistrates was reduced, and thus the sovereignty of the popular assembly guaranteed. Sortition was practicable, as almost every citizen had a minimum of political experience, and nobody could be elected without having presented himself. Certain precautions were always taken (see dokimasia), and military and some technical (especially financial) officials were appointed by vote.

Article

stasis  

P. J. Rhodes

Stasis (lit. ‘standing’), a Greek word commonly used for a group of men who take a stand in a political dispute, i.e. a party or faction, and by extension for the dispute itself, especially when the prosecution of the dispute goes beyond normal political activity to plotting and violence. The grounds for political dispute could be various, in the Greek world as in the modern, but from the 5th cent. bce onwards there was a tendency for disputants to represent themselves, and for the sources to represent them, as champions of the rich or the poor, or of the oligarchs or the democrats, or of one outside power or another. *Herodotus (1) writes of the rise of *Pisistratus in 6th-cent. *Athens in terms of three staseis with regional bases (1. 59. 3); later sources retain the regional bases for the staseis but give them ideological stances also (e.g. Ath.

Article

In Roman law, status describes the ‘legal position’ of an individual with respect to both that person's household (familia) and the broader civic community of Rome. The concept of status is linked to caput or persona, an individual's legal ‘personality’. Personality roughly defines the limits of what an individual is legally able to do: marry, make contracts, commit crimes or delicts, bring lawsuits, and so on. In modern law, such issues are treated as aspects of legal capacity; but the Roman jurists lack this more sophisticated concept.The most systematic exposition of status comes in Roman sources discussing change of status, what *Cicero (Top. 18, 29) and the jurists (esp. Gai., Inst. 1. 158–63; Dig. 4. 5) call capitis deminutio. Three issues are paramount, and they are arranged hierarchically: freedom, citizenship, and membership in a household. The most fundamental division is between free persons and slaves (Gai., 1. 9; see slavery, Roman); then, among free persons, between Roman citizens and others; and finally, especially among Roman citizens, between those who head households (the sui iuris) and those subject to the power of a head (the alieni iuris).

Article

R. M. Errington

Stratocles, son of Euthydemus, Athenian from the *deme of Diomeia (c. 355 to after 292 bce). He was the official prosecutor of *Harpalus (Din. 1. 1. 20) (324/3). After *Demetrius (4)'s democratic restoration in 307, Stratocles distinguished himself by unscrupulous demagogy and excessive praise of Demetrius and his entourage, whose agent in Athens he became. Inscriptions confirm Plutarch's unsavoury picture of him (Demetr. 11 ff.). His influence disappeared with Demetrius' defeat at Ipsus (301), but his recovery of Athens in 294 brought Stratocles back to the fore: his honorary decree for Lysimachus' friend, the poet *Philippides, in April 292 is preserved (IG 22. 649).