The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.

On this page: Bouleuterion – Bows



prytaneis to act as chairman in the Council and the public assembly, to keep the keys of the fortress and the archives, and the seal of state. From 378 B.C. the presidency of the public assembly was committed to a special chairman, elected from among the nine proedroi (" presidents"), who were chosen by lot by the epistates of the pry­taneis from the remaining nine tribes at each sitting of the Council.

The first duty of the Council was to pre­pare all the measures which were to come before the public assembly, and to draw up a preliminary decree (prdbouleuma). Ac­cordingly it was its business to receive the reports of the generals and of foreign am­bassadors. Foreign affairs always stoo:1 first in the order of daily business. Besides this, the Council exercised a general superin­tendence over all public business, and especially over the financial administration. It gave the authority for the farming of the taxes, contracts for public works, sales of confiscated property, for adopting new lines of expenditure or modes of raising income, for arresting tax-gatherers and tax-farmers if they fell into arrear. The treasurers of the temples were also re­sponsible to it. The cavalry and the navy were placed under its special supervision, and it had, in particular, to see that a certain number of new ships of war was built every year. It examined the quali­fications of the newly elected archons. In many cases it acted as a court of justice, and had the power of inflicting fines up to the amount of 500 drachma; (£16 13s. 4d.). But more serious cases it had to pass on to the Hgliastai, or to the public assembly (see heliastai). The assembly would sometimes entrust the Council with absolute power to deal with cases which, strictly speaking, lay outside its jurisdiction. The decrees passed by the Council on matters affecting the public administration ceased to be bind­ing on the expiration of its year of office, in case they were not adopted by its successors [Aristotle, Const, of Athens, 43-49].

The voting took place by show of hands (cheirotdnla); voting pebbles and other de­vices being only used for judicial decisions. Private citizens could transact business with the Council only after previous application for an audience, generally made in writing. The official correspondence was transacted by three secretaries (called grammdteis or " writers ") appointed from among the mem­bers, and assisted by a number of subordi­nate functionaries.

Bouleuterl&n. See boule.

(2) (2) From Museum Hunter., p!. 23 L.

Bows. (Gr. toxOn, Lat. arcus). Two kinds of bow were known to antiquity. One consisted of the two horns of a kind of ante­lope, or an arm of wood shaped like them, joined together by a bridge which served both as a hold for the hand and as a rest for the arrow. The string, made of plaited horse-hair or twisted ox-gut, was fastened to each end (fig. 1). The other, called the Scythian or Parthian bow, was made of a piece of elastic wood, the ends of which were tipped with metal, and bent slightly upwards to hold the string (fig. 2). The arrow (Gk. o'istOs, or toxeuma, Lat. sagitta) was made of a stem of reed or

(4) Sfliseo Pio Clementina, IV lav. j



light wood, one end furnished with a three-cornered point, sometimes simple and some­times barbed; the other end with feathers. A notch in the shaft served to place it on the string. The arrows (and sometimes the bow) were kept in a quiver (pharetra) made of leather, wood, or metal, fitted with a suspender, and sometimes open, sometimes having a lid. The quiver was worn either on the back, according to the Greek manner, or in Oriental fashion, on the left hip. The Cretans had the reputation of being the best archers among the Greeks. They generally served among the light-armed auxiliaries as a special corps. Mounted

About | First | Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.