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Article

D. M. MacDowell

Sycophants (συκοφάνται), habitual prosecutors. In Athens there were, for most offences, no public prosecutors, but anyone (for some offences, any citizen) who wished was allowed to prosecute in a public action. Some individuals made a habit of bringing prosecutions, either to gain the financial rewards given to successful prosecutors in certain actions (notably phasis and apographē; see law and procedure, athenian), or to gain money by blackmailing a man who was willing to pay to avoid prosecution, or to earn payment from someone who had reasons for wanting a man to be prosecuted, or to make a political or oratorical reputation. Such persons came to be called sycophants (lit. ‘fig-revealers’; the origin of the usage is obscure). The word is often used as a term of disparagement or abuse in the Attic orators and in *Aristophanes (1), who shows sycophants in action in Acharnians.The Athenians wished to check sycophants, who prosecuted without good reason, but not to discourage public-spirited prosecutors. Therefore the rewards for successful prosecution were not abolished, but penalties were introduced in most public actions for a prosecutor who dropped a case after starting it, or whose case was so weak that he failed to obtain one-fifth of the jury's votes. In addition sycophancy was an offence for which a man could be prosecuted. Graphē, probolē, *eisangelia, apagogē, and endeixis are all said to have been possible methods of accusing sycophants (see law and procedure, athenian), but it is not known how the offence was defined; perhaps there was no legal definition.

Article

sylē  

John Davies

Sylē and its cognate verb (συλᾶν) denoted the act of stripping an outsider or an enemy of his possessions by force, nominally in reprisal for previous hurt or outstanding *debt (cf. Hom.Il. 11. 670–761). In archaic, classical, and Hellenistic Greek contexts where redress by legal process could not be enforced outside the citizen body or its territory, sylē was at once a means of direct or indirect redress and a pretext for predatory violence, especially against merchant ships and their cargoes. Bilateral treaties allowing direct access by one state's nationals to the courts of the other (symbola, see symbolon), or formal recognition by one community of the inviolability (*asylia) of an individual, a sanctuary, or a territory, gradually reduced the scope of sylē, but Aetolians and Cretans (see aetolia; crete) exploited the custom through the 3rd cent. bce and beyond.

Article

Robert J. Hopper and Paul C. Millett

Symbolon, originally a physical object, intended as a material indication of identification or agreement. What may have begun as a private practice as a reminder of xenia or ritualized friendship (see friendship, ritualized; matching ‘tallies’ between individuals: Pl.Symp. 191d) came to have wider ramifications. A gold cup served as a symbolon between the Persian king and a 5th-cent. Athenian (Lys. 19. 25); in this case, the symbolon was transferable, giving its possessor command over goods and money all over *Asia Minor (or so it was claimed). At an inter-state level, symbola are mentioned in a mid-4th-cent. treaty between Athens and Strato, king of *Sidon (IG 22. 141 (Tod 139), line 19). Whereas the cognate term symbolaion came to mean an agreement or contract (e.g. over a loan), symbola typically referred to inter-state agreements, dealing with legal relations between individuals of different states, or between a state and an individual. To those travelling abroad, symbola offered protection from sylē (summary seizure of property) and other forms of harassment (as exemplified by the terms of the treaty between Oeanthea and Chaleion from c.

Article

Friedrich M. Heichelheim and P. J. Rhodes

Symmoria (‘partnership’), in Athens a group of men liable for payment of the tax called *eisphora or for the *liturgy of the *trierarchy. In 378/7 bce all payers of eisphora were organized in 100symmoriai, for administrative convenience: each member continued to be taxed on his own property, but from a later date the three richest members of each symmoria could be made to advance the sum due from the whole symmoria as a proeisphora. In 357/6 a law of Periander extended this system to the trierarchy: the 1,200 richest citizens were grouped in 20symmoriai (probably independent of the symmoriai for eisphora, but this has been doubted), and through the symmoriai the total cost of the trierarchy each year was divided equally among all of the 1,200 except those who could claim exemption. Reforms in the trierarchic symmories were proposed by *Demosthenes (2) in 354 and made by him in 340; further changes were made later.

Article

Jakob Aall Ottesen Larsen and P. J. Rhodes

The verb sympoliteuein is used from the late 5th cent. bce onwards to denote the merging of separate communities in a single state, similar to *synoecism (Thuc. 6. 4. 1, Xen.Hell. 5. 2. 12). In inscriptions the verb and the noun are used of the merging of two or more communities in one, especially when a greater state politically absorbs but does not physically obliterate a lesser state (e.g. IG 9. 1. 32 = Syll.3 647); modern scholars use sympoliteia as a technical term in this sense; but inscriptions sometimes use other terms (e.g. synoikia, IG 5. 2. 343; homopoliteia, Staatsverträge 545), and sympoliteia is used also of the right of citizenship conferred on an individual (IG 42. 1. 59), and of the admission of a particular city to the sympoliteia of the Lycian nation (SEG 18. 570, 58–61; see lycia); in one remarkable text *Pharsalus gives politeia to a community which already has sympoliteia with it (IG 9.

Article

Victor Ehrenberg and P. J. Rhodes

Synoecism (synoikismos), in the Greek world, the combination of several smaller communities to form a single larger community. Sometimes the union was purely political and did not affect the pattern of settlement or the physical existence of the separate communities: this is what the Athenians supposed to have happened when they attributed a synoecism to *Theseus (Thuc. 2. 15), commemorated by a festival in Classical times (the Synoecia) On other occasions it involved the migration of citizens to the new city, as in the case of *Megalopolis in *Arcadiac.370 bce. Sometimes a union might be undone (dioikismos) by an enemy which resented the power of the united state: *Mantinea was formed out of five villages, perhaps c.470, in what appears from the archaeological evidence to have been a purely political union; in 385*Sparta used the Peace of Antalcidas (see king's peace) as a pretext for splitting it into separate villages once more; in 370, when Sparta was no longer strong enough to interfere, the single polis was recreated.

Article

Stephen Hodkinson

The generic name for mess-companies of citizens in various Greek cities, especially in *Sparta and *Crete. Some scholars view them as successors of the common messes of archaic warrior clubs or ‘men's houses’; others as resulting from the transformation of voluntary *symposia into compulsory public associations.In Classical Sparta the messes (called andreia or phiditia), each some 15 strong, were located in separate structures by the Hyacinthian Way. Mess membership, obtainable only by unanimous vote of its members, was a requirement of citizenship. Each member supplied a fixed monthly amount of produce on pain of disfranchisement; from the later 5th cent. many poor citizens defaulted, thus becoming Inferiors (Hypomeiones). Prestigious additional donations came from hunting or from wealthier messmates; but the prohibition of excessive drinking and eating, and the range of ages within each mess, inhibited the violent behaviour attendant upon symposia elsewhere. Different messes probably combined into the basic army unit, the enōmotia.

Article

tagos  

Bruno Helly

Tagos (ταγός), considered the official title of the supreme civil and military magistrate of the Thessalians (see thessaly) since E. Meyer, who tried to establish a list of these alleged leaders in the 6th and 5th cents. bce. But this sense is attested once only, in *Xenophon(1), for *Jason(2) of Pherae when he mobilized the Thessalians in order to extend his domination of the region and prop up his foreign policy. All other texts present these chiefs as ἀρχός, ἄρχων, or τέτραρχος (archos, archōn, or tetrarchos); as distinct from the title basileus, used by the aristocratic families, e.g. the *Aleuadae. Contrary to the traditional view, two inscriptions from the late 6th and the 5th cents. bce set the tagoi among other civic magistrates: here they are not eponymous, and their duties concern mobilization and the military function of the citizens; their activities belong to wartime. Etymology suggests that the tagoi were responsible for the taxeis, ‘companies’, the smaller units within the *phalanx.

Article

Henry Dickinson Westlake and Antony Spawforth

Tetrarchy was first used to denote one of the four political divisions of *Thessaly (‘tetrad’ being a purely geographical term). The term found its way to the Hellenistic east and was applied to the four divisions into which each of the three Celtic tribes of *Galatia was subdivided (Strabo 12. 5. 1, 567 C). In Roman times many Hellenized *client kings in Syria and Palestine were styled ‘tetrarch’, but the number of tetrarchies in any political organization ceased to be necessarily four, denoting merely the realm of a subordinate dynast. Modern scholars conventionally describe as a ‘tetrarchy’ the system of collegiate government (two senior Augusti, two junior Caesars) instituted by *Diocletian (ce 293); the usage has no ancient authority.

Article

D. M. MacDowell

Thesmothetai in Athens were the six junior of the nine *archontes, appointed annually. They were instituted in the 7th cent. bce. Thesmos is an early word for ‘law’ or ‘rule’, but it is unlikely that the thesmothetai ever made laws; their original function must have been ‘laying down the law’ in the sense of pronouncing verdicts on accusations and disputes.After the establishment of juries, the main function of the thesmothetai was to receive charges in various legal actions and arrange for a trial by jury, at which one thesmothetēs was the chairman. Their trials were held in the building known as the *eliaia. The public actions for which they were responsible included *eisangelia for treason, probolē (see law and procedure, athenian), and *graphē for many offences, including *graphē paranomōn. They took trials arising from *dokimasia, and they also took some private actions, including mercantile cases held under the monthly procedure after the middle of the 4th cent. They could authorize the execution without trial of persons exiled for homicide who were afterwards found in Attica. In the 4th cent., after magistrates ceased to sit regularly in the same courts, it was the thesmothetai who arranged the dates for trials and allotted courts to magistrates each day.

Article

thētes  

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

Thētes, hired labourers, the lowest class of free men in a Greek state. At Athens, after *Solon, the lowest of the four property classes, said (perhaps by false analogy with *pentakosiomedimnoi) to comprise men who did not own land yielding as much as 200 medimnoi of corn or the equivalent in other produce. (The others classes were *zeugitai, *hippeis). Solon admitted them to the assembly (*ekklēsia) and *ēliaia (indeed, probably they had never been formally excluded from the assembly), but not to magistracies (see magistracy, greek) or, presumably, the council (*boulē) (Arist. Ath. pol. 7. 3–8. 1). This limitation was never formally abolished, but by the second half of the 4th cent. it was being ignored in practice. Because they could not afford the armour, thētes did not fight as *hoplites, but when Athens became mainly a naval power they acquired an important role as oarsmen in the fleet; they may also have served in such bodies as the archers. Whether they were included among the *ephēboi (‘cadets’) as reorganized in the 330s is disputed.

Article

tyranny  

Victor Ehrenberg and P. J. Rhodes

Tyranny is the name given to the form of monarchy set up by usurpers in many Greek states in the 7th and 6th cents. bce. The earliest occurrence of the term is in *Archilochus (tyrannis, fr. 19. 3 West). Tyranny was not a special form of constitution, or necessarily a reign of terror; the tyrant might either rule directly or retain the existing political institutions but exercise a preponderant influence over their working, and his rule might be benevolent or malevolent. Tyranny was given a bad sense especially by *Plato(1) and *Aristotle, for whom it was the worst possible form of constitution.Among the best known of the early tyrants were *Pheidon of Argos, *Cypselus and *Periander of Corinth, *Cleisthenes(1) of Sicyon, *Pisistratus and his sons *Hippias(1) and *Hipparchus(1) in Athens, and *Polycrates(1) of Samos.

Article

Jakob Aall Ottesen Larsen and Simon Hornblower

These, like much other international law (see law, international), depended on custom and showed a constant conflict between the higher standards of optimistic theory and the harsher measures permitted by actual usage, while passion and expediency frequently caused the most fundamental rules to be violated. Thus, the temptation to profit from a surprise at times led to the opening of hostilities without a declaration of war. Probably the law most generally observed was that of the sanctity of *heralds, for heralds were essential to communications between belligerents. Nor did Greeks frequently refuse a defeated army a truce for burying its dead, for the request of such a truce meant an admission of defeat and was usually followed by retreat. Beyond this there were few restraints except humanitarian considerations and the universal condemnation of excessive harshness: Thucydides’ indignation at the massacre at Boeotian Mycalessus seems partly prompted by the victims’ status as (Greek) non-combatants: 7. 29–30. Plundering and the destruction of crops and property were legitimate, and were carried on both by regular armies and fleets, and by informal raiding-parties and privateers, and even the sanctity of temples was not always respected. Prisoners, if not protected by special terms of surrender, were at the mercy of their captors, who could execute them or sell them into *slavery (see booty).

Article

Rosalind Thomas

Zaleucus, lawgiver of Italian *Locri Epizephyrii, and probably the earliest lawgiver in Greece, perhaps c.650 bce. The traditions about him are poor, later accounts (e.g. Diod. Sic. 12. 19–21) largely legendary and influenced by Pythagoreanism (see pythagoras (1); cf. FGrH566, F 130 with Jacoby's comments), and he is best seen in conjunction with other early lawgivers. He prescribed exact penalties for crimes (in the earlier, more reliable tradition), and is attributed with the use of the lex talionis (‘eye for eye’: Dem. 24. 139). His legislation was notorious for its severity, and was intended to remain unchanged (Dem. 24. 140, Polyb. 12. 16). Like other lawgivers, he was probably a conciliator of social unrest, though a conservative one (Locri remained aristocratic). There are signs of at least later (5th cent.) influence of his laws in Italian and Sicilian cities.

Article

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

Zeugitai (from zeugos, ‘yoke’), at Athens, Solon's third property class, said (perhaps by false analogy with *pentakosiomedimnoi) to comprise men whose land yielded between 200 and 300 medimnoi of corn or the equivalent in other produce (the other three classes were *pentakosiomedimnoi, *hippeis, *thētes). The name identifies them as those who served in the army in close ranks (cf. Plut.Pel.23), i.e. as *hoplites, or, less probably, as those rich enough to own a yoke of oxen. Despite recent doubts, this class probably included many of the farmers and craftsmen of *Attica, and provided the bulk of the hoplite army. Under Solon's constitution the zeugitai enjoyed full citizen rights except that they were not admitted to the highest magistracies (see magistracy, greek). The archon-ships (see archontes) were opened to them from 457/6.