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date: 30 November 2022



  • Simon Hornblower


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.


  • Ancient Geography
  • Greek Law

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