The Ancient Library

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On this page: Officials – Official System – Magistrates – Ogyges – Oicles – Oil



He had already slain thirteen (or, according to another account, eighteen) suitors in this way, when PSlops arrived. Pelops bribed Myrtllus, the charioteer of tEnomaus. Myrtilus accordingly either neglected to insert the linch-pins in the chariot-wheels or substituted waxen ones for them, and Pelops, by the help of the horses which Poseidon presented to him, succeeded in defeating (Enomaus. (Enomaus died of the fall from his chariot; according to another story, he committed suicide (cp. pelops).

CEnone. A nymph of mount Ida, bride of Paris before he carried off Helen. In resent­ment at her lover's faithlessness, she refused to help him when he was mortally wounded; and, in her remorse at her refusal, ended by hanging herself.

Officials, Official System, Magistrates. Of all the official systems established among the Greeks, that in vogue among the Athenians is the best known to us. The qualifications for public office at Athens were genuine Athenian descent, blameless life, and the full possession of civic rights. If religious duties were attached to the office, physical weakness was a disquali­fication. No one was allowed to hold two offices at a time, or the same office twice, or for a longer period than a year. The nomination was made in some cases by election, in others by the drawing of lots. Election took place by show of hands in the ecclCsla, or, on the mandate of the ecflesia, in the assemblies of the several tribes. (Sen cheirotonia, ecclesia.) In election by lot [on the introduction of which sec Note on p. 706] the proceeding was as follows. The Thesmfithfta: presided in the temple of Theseus. (See thesmothet^e.) Two boxes or vessels were placed there, one containing white and coloured beans, and the other the names of the candidates, written on tablets. A tablet and a bean were taken out at the same time, and the candidate whose name came out with a \ white beau was elected. Before entering : on his office (whether he had been chosen j by lot or election), every official had to ! undergo an examination of his qualifica- i tions (ddkimasla). If the result was ; unfavourable, a substitute was appointed, either by a simultaneous casting of lots in the manner described, or (if the office was elective) by a new election. During their term of office the officials were subject to constant supervision, and were liable to suspension or deposition by the Ecclesia, through the proceeding called

• tonia (a new show of hands). On the expi­ration of bis term, every official was bound i to give an account of himself (euthyna). The regular officials1 had each a place of office (archeidn). If the officials formed a society, as in the majority of cases, the business was (so far as joint administration was possible) distributed among the mem­bers. If the society appeared in public as a whole, one of the members presided as prytante. (See peytanis.) In the cases at law which came under their jurisdiction, it was incumbent on the officials to make the necessary arrangements for the trial, and to preside in court. They received no salary, but their meals were provided at the public expense, either at their resi­dences or in the Prytcinfum. The emblem of office was a garland of myrtle. The offence of insulting an official in the per­formance of his duty was punishable with dtlmla. (See, for details, apodect.e, archontes, astynomi, epimelet^e, cola-cret/e, polet/e, strategi, tamias.)

There were numerous attendants on the officials (hyperitai), who received a salary, and their meals at the public expense. Such were the clerks (grammateis) and heralds (kerykls), For Sparta, see ephoes; for Rome, magistrates, accensi, lictors, apparitor.

Ogyges (Ogygiis). One of the Bosotian autochthones, or aborigines, son of Boeotus or (according to another account) of Posei­don. He was king of the Hectene's, the oldest inhabitants of Bceotia, which was visited during his reign by an inundation of Lake Copals, named after him the Ogygian flood.

Oicles. Son of Antlphates, grandson of Melampus. father of Amphlaraus. He fell as a companion of Heracles in the battle against LadmSdon of Troy.

Oil was very extensively used in ancient times. Apart from its use as an article of food and for burning in lamps, it served to anoint the body after the bath and in the pdlceitra. The oil most used was that obtained by means of olive presses from the olive tree, which seems to have been trans­planted from Syria to Greece and thence to Italy. The best olive oil produced among the Greek states was that of Attica; here the olive tree was considered a gift of the national goddess Athene, who by means of it had obtained the victory in her contest

1 Some were only appointed to carry out special duties on special occasions ; these were called Ep'tmeletai.


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