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On this page: Agrionia – Agronomi – Agroteras Thusia


The Agrimensor of the later period was merely employed in disputes as to the boundaries of pro­perties. The foundation (»f colonies and the as­signation of lands were now less common, though we read of colonies being established to a late period of the empire, and the boundaries of the lands must have been set out in due form. (Hy-ginus, p. 177, ed. Goes.) Those who marked out the ground in camps for the soldiers1 tents are also called Mensores, but they were military men. (Ve-getius, De Re Miiitari, ii. 7.) The functions of the Agrimensor are shown by a passage of Hyginus (De Controvers. p,! 70) -. in all questions as to deter­mining boundaries by means of the marks (signa), the area of surfaces, and explaining maps and plans, the services of the Agrimensor were required: in all questions that concerned property, right of road, enjoyment of water, and other easements (servitutes) they were not required, for these were purely legal questions. Generally, therefore, they were either employed by the parties themselves to settle boundaries, or they received their instructions for that purpose from a judex. In this capacity they were advocati. But they also acted as judices, and could give a final decision in that class of smaller questions which concerned the quinque pedes of the Mamilia Lex [lex mamilia], as ap­pears from Frontinus (pp. 63, 75, ed. Goes.). Under the Christian emperors the name Mensores was changed into Agrimensores to distinguish them from, another class of Mensores, who are mentioned in the codes of Theodosius and Justinian (vi. 34, xii. 28). By a rescript of Constantine and Con-stans (a. d. 344) the teachers and learners of geometry received immunity from civil burdens. According to a constitution of Theodosius and Va-lentinian (a. d, 440) as given in the collection of Goesius (p. 344), they received jurisdiction in ques­tions of Alluvio ; but Rudorff observes, •" that the decisive words ' ut judicio agrimensoris finiatur,' and ' haec agrimensorum semper esse judicia' are a spurious addition, which is not found'either in Nov. Theod. Tit 20, nor in L. 3. C. De Alluv. (Cod. Just. vii. tit. 41)." According to another constitu­tion of the same emperors, the Agrimensor was to receive an aureus from each of any three border­ing proprietors whose boundaries he settled, and i'f he set a limes right -between proprietors, he re­ceived an aureus for each twelfth part of the pro­perty through which fee restored the limes. Fur­ther, by another constitution of the same emperors ^Goesius, p. 343), the young Agrimensores were to be called " clarissimi " while they were students, and when they began to practise their profession, spectabiles. All this, which is repeated by modern writers, is utterly incredible. (Rudorff, p. 420, &c., and the notes.)

(Rudorff, Ueber die Fcldmesser^ Zeitsehrift fiir Geschicht. Rechtsw. vol. x. p. 412, a clear and exact exposition ; Niebuhr, vol. ii. appendix *2 •; Dureau de la Malle, Economie Politique des Romains, <vol. i. p. 170 ; the few remarks of the last writer are of no value.) {G. L.]

AGRIONIA (aypu&vict), n festival which was celebrated at Orchomenus, in Boeotia, in honour of Dionysus, surnamed '-Vyptcoznos. It appears from Plutarch (Quaest. Rom. 102), that this festival' was solemnised during the night only by women and the priests of Dionysus. It consisted of a kind of game, in which the women for a long time acted as if seeking Dionysus, -and at last called out to one


another that he had escaped to the Muses, and had concealed himself with them. After this they pre­pared a repast; and having enjoyed it, amused themselves with solving riddles. This festival was remarkable for a feature which proves its great antiquity. Some virgins, who were descended from the Minyans, and who probably used to assemble around the temple on the occasion, fled and were followed by the priest armed with a sword, who was allowed to kill the one whom he first caught, This sacrifice of a human being, though originally it must have formed a regular part of the festival, seems to have been avoided in later times. One instance, however, occurred in the days of Plutarch. (Quaest. Graec. 38.) But as the priest who had killed the woman was afterwards attacked by dis­ease, and. several extraordinary accidents occurred to the Minyans, the priest and his family were deprived of their official functions. The festival, as well as its name, is said to have been derived from the daughters of Minyas, who, after having for a long time resisted the Bacchanalian fury, were at length seized by an invincible desire of eating human flesh. They therefore cast lots on their own children, and as Hippasus, son of Leucippe, became the destined victim, they killed and ate him, whence the women belonging to that race were at the time of Plutarch still called the destroyers (o\eiai or aloXcuai) and the men mourners (4/oAoets). (Miiller, Die Minyer, p. 166. &c.; K. F. Hermann, Lelirbucli d. gottesdienstlichen Alterthumer d. Griechen, § 63. n. 13.) [L. S.]

AGRONOMI (aypovoftoi), are described by Aristotle as the country police, whose duties cor­responded in most respects to those of the astynomi in the city [astynomi], and who performed nearly the same duties as the hylori (uAcopoi). (Polit. vi. 5.) Aristotle does not inform us in what state they existed ; but from the frequent mention of them by Plato, it appears probable that they be­longed to Attica. (Plat. Legg. vi. pp. .61.7, 618 ; Timaeus, Lex. s. v. and Ruhnken's note, in which several passages are quoted from Plato.)

AGROTERAS THUSIA (aypor^pasSvo-ia\ a festival celebrated every year at Athens in honour of Artemis, surnamed Agrotera (from 'dypa, chase). It was solemnized, according to Plutarch (De Ma­lign. Herod. 26), on the sixth of the month of Boedromion, -and consisted in a sacrifice of 500 goats, which continued to be offered in the time of Xenophon. (Xenoph. Anab. iii. 2. § 12.) Aelian ( V. H. ii. 2;5) places the festival on the sixth day of Thargelion, and says that 800 goats were sacri­ficed ; but as the battle of Marathon which gave rise to this solemn sacrifice, occurred on the sixth of Boedromion, Aelian's statement appears to be wrong. (Pint. De Glor. Athen. 7.)

This festival is said to have originated in the following manner:—When the Persians invaded Atitica, Callimachus, the polemarch, or, according to others, Miltiades, made a vow to sacrifice to Artemis Agrotera as many goats as there should be enemies slain at Marathon. But when the number of enemies slain was so great, that -an equal number of goats could not be found at once, the Athenians decreed that 500 should be sacrificed every year. This is the statement made by Xenophon ; but other an­cient authors give different accounts. The Scholiast on Aristoph. (Equit. 666) relates that the Athe­nians, before the battle, promised to sacrifice to' Artemis one ox for every enemy slain ; but when

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