The Ancient Library

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On this page: Symmoria – Symplegades – Symposium – Synegori – Synesius – Synoicia – Synhesis



emperor. This is the most valuable part of a collection which is not unimportant as affording much information about the author's life and times.

Symmfirla. A co-partnership, or com­pany. (1) A term used at Athens to denote a company formed to raise the property tax instituted in the year 428 B.C., to defray war expenses. (See eisphora.) Each of the ten phylce appointed 120 of its wealthier citizens, and these were divided into two symmorice of sixty members each, so that the number of members in the twenty symmorice amounted to 1,200 (called symmoritce). Out of each of the twenty symmorice, fifteen of the wealthier citizens were chosen, making 300 in all, whose duty it was to pay the taxes in advance on behalf of the rest. This sum had to be re­funded to them by the rest in conjunction with the poorer taxable citizens, who were likewise apportioned off to various sym-inorim, but without becoming actual mem­bers of them, and were drawn upon by the real symmoritce to an extent proportional to their means. (2) After 358, this method was applied to the duty of equipping the war vessels, known as the trigrarchia. (See leitourgia.) Each of the twenty sym­morice had a certain number of ships assigned to it, the real symmoritce (not including the poorer citizens) divided the expense among themselves, and a varying number (at the most sixteen), of the richest had to raise the money advanced for a ship. To manage its affairs, each sym-moria had its superintendents, curators, and assessors. The magisterial control was in both cases in the hands of the strategi, being connected with the military supplies. Though, by this arrangement, the raising of taxes and fitting out of the ships were accelerated, yet it was open to abuse if the symmoritce unduly burdened the poor by an unjust distribution. In the disputes which thus arose, the decision rested with the strategi. If any one thought that another ought to have been taxed instead of himself, he could avail himself of antidfisis (q.v.) Even the metceci, who (like the citizens) had to pay war taxes, were divided into symmorice. (Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, 61, de­scribes one of the strategi as individually responsible for superintending the sym­morice for building triremes.]

Symplegades. In Greek mythology two cliffs or floating islands near the entrance of the Black Sea, which crushed all vessels

that tried to pass between them. The | Argonauts, with the help of Hera (or Athene), were the first to succeed in sail­ing through; after this the rocks became immovably fixed. (Cp. argonauts.)

Symp6slum. A Greek drinking-party. SympSsiarchus, the master of the revels. (See meals.)

! Sympfialus (Cirttus Firmlanus). A j Roman poet who lived at the end of the 4th and beginning of the 5th century A.D.; author of a collection of 100 riddles in verse, each written in three fairly correct hexameters.

Syneg6ri. The Athenian term for advo­cates chosen by the people. In the plead­ings (see eoclesia, 1, n) which took place, when any alteration was made in the laws, they had to defend the hitherto existing laws. In State trials it was their duty to conduct the cause on behalf of the people or to speak in support of the actual prosecutor.

Syneslns. A Greek philosopher, born 378 A.D. at Gyrene, of distinguished parent­age. He studied the Neo-Platonic philo­sophy in Alexandria under Hypatia, and was her most famous and most devoted pupil. He afterwards became a Christian, and was made bishop of PtSlemals in 410. He died about 430. The zeal and faithful­ness with which he discharged his office and the tenacity with which he held to his philosophical convictions, which he endea­voured to reconcile with his Christian faith, are shown by his writings. These consist of several speeches and dissertations, amongst which that entitled Diem is par­ticularly interesting, as showing how he came to be a philosopher, while his Praise of Baldness is distinguished for its wit and genius. They also comprise a collec­tion of 160 letters, which present us with a faithful picture of his character and work; in later times they were regarded as models of epistolary style. Lastly, they include ten hymns in iambic verse, which, although avowedly Christian, are at the same time inspired throughout by Neo-Platonic ideas.

Synoecla. The Greek name for a lodg­ing house which held several families.

Synoecia (or SyncecSsid, both neuter plural). The eve of the Athenian festival of the Panathenaea (q.v.).

Synthesis. A comfortable, brightly coloured garment usually worn by the Romans at meal-times, and only in public during the Saturnalia.

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