The Areopagus council was the most respected court in Classical Athens. It had jurisdiction in trials for intentional homicide, intentional wounding, poisoning, and arson. The Areopagus could launch investigations into crimes on its own initiative or at the command of the assembly and exercised surveillance over religious matters. The assembly might also delegate specific tasks to the Areopagus. There is no reason to think that the Areopagus acquired additional powers during the Persian Wars later removed by the reforms of Ephialtes. During the Roman period, the Areopagus was the leading political body alongside the council and assembly, and the herald of the Areopagus one of the most prestigious offices.The Areopagus was the most respected political institution in Classical Athens and retained its prestige down to the Roman Empire. Lycurgus(Leoc. 12) called it the finest example of justice in all of Greece. Demosthenes(23.65) claims that “in this tribunal alone no defendant who has been convicted or accuser who has lost has even proved that his case was wrongly decided.” .
Cleruchy (κληρουχία), a special sort of Greek colony (see colonization, greek) in which the settlers kept their original citizenship and did not form a completely independent community. In Classical Greek history (see end of this article for the Hellenistic position) the term is confined to certain Athenian settlements founded on conquered territory (Greek and non-Greek) from the end of the 6th cent. bce, especially during the period of the *Delian League. It is often difficult to decide whether a settlement of the 5th cent. is a cleruchy, as ancient authors do not always distinguish cleruchies from other colonies (see apoikia), and because it seems that colonists did not forfeit their Athenian citizenship any more than did cleruchs. Perhaps in the 5th cent. ‘cleruchy’ was appropriate where (as at *Lesbos, Thuc. 3. 50) the original Greek inhabitants remained, ‘colony’ where they did not. (This does not work for 4th-cent. *Samos.
Demes dēmo (δῆμοι), local territorial districts—villages, in effect—in Greece, and, by extension, the inhabitants or members thereof. The first of these twin meanings has been detected in the Linear B tablets, and both of them occur in *Homer (Whitehead (below), app. 1, with D. M. Lewis in O. Murray and S. Price (eds.) (1990), The Greek City 260 ff.); the first remains common thereafter, but of greater significance is the second, which at local level—*dēmos as the word for an entire citizen-body being a related but separate story—expresses the fact that a Classical or Hellenistic state's dēmoi sometimes served as its official, constitutional subdivisions, besides sustaining internally organized communal functions of their own. Jones (below) assembles evidence, mainly epigraphic, concerning one or the other or both of these roles in 24 places altogether. Some of them manifest deme systems apparently sui generis (e.g. *Calymnos, *Chalcis, *Cos, *Elis, *Eretria, *Histiaea, *Rhodes, *Stratonicea) but more than half betray the impact, direct (*cleruchies) or indirect (e.
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.