The Ancient Library

Scanned text contains errors.


6 eTrcoyujuos &pxw from the year "being distinguished by and registered in his name. The second was styled 6 /3a(, or the king archon ; the third, 6 7roAeyuap%os, or commander-in-chief ; the remain­ing six, oi fr€<rju,o0eTcu, or legislators. As regards the duties of the archons, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish what belonged to them individually and what collectively. It seems, however, that a considerable portion of the judicial functions of the ancient kings devolved upon the Archon Epo­nymus, who was also constituted a sort of state protector of those who were unable to defend them­selves. (Dem. c. Macar.N6fj.os, p. 1076 ; Pollux, viii. 89.) Thus he had to superintend orphans and their estates, heiresses, families losing their representatives (olkoi ot e^epyfj.ovfj.ei'oi), widows left pregnant, and to see that they were not wronged in any way. Should any one do so, he was empowered to inflict a fine of a certain amount, or to bring the parties to trial. Heiresses, indeed, seem to have been under his peculiar care; for we read (Dem. c. Macar. p. 1069), that he could compel the next of kin either to marry a poor heiress himself, even though she were of a lower class, or to portion her in marriage to another. Again we find (Id. p. 1055 ; Pollux, viii. 62) that, when a person claimed an inhe­ritance or heiress adjudged to others, he sum­moned the party in possession before the archon eponymus ('ETnSi/cao^a) who brought the case into court, and made arrangements for trying the suit. We must, however, bear -in mind that this autho­rity was only exercised in cases where the parties were citizens, tlje polemarch having corresponding duties when the heiress was an alien. It must also be understood that, except in very few cases, the archons did not decide themselves, but merely brought the causes into court, and cast lots for the dicasts who were to try the issue. (Dem. c. Stepk. ii. p. 1136.) Another duty of the archons was to receive eltfayyeXiai (Harpocr. s. v.), or in­formations against individuals who had wronged heiresses, children who had maltreated their parents, guardians who had neglected or defrauded their wards. (Kd.KCi)(ns eTn/cAT/pou, yovewv, op§a.v&v. Dem. c. Macar. p. 1069 ; Schomann, p. 181.) In­formations of another kind, the ew5et£js and fyaffis, were also laid before the eponymus., though De­mosthenes (c. Timocr. p. 707) assigned the former to the thesmothetae. (endeixis.) The last office of the archon which we shall mention was of a sacred character ; we allude to his superintendence of the greater Dionysia and the Thargelia, the latter celebrated in honour of Apollo and Artemis. (Pollux, viii. 89.)

The functions of the /3a<nAeus, or King Archon, were almost all connected with religion: his dis­tinguishing title shows that he was considered a representative of the old kings in their capacity of high priest, as the Rex Sacrificulus was at Rome. Thus he presided at the Lenaean, or older Dionysia; superintended the mysteries and the games called XafMirafiytyopicLi, and had to offer up sacrifices and prayers in the Eleusmium, both at Athens and Eleusis. Moreover, indictments for impiety, and controversies about the priesthood, were laid before him ; and, in cases of murder, he brought the trial into the court of the Areiopagus, and voted with its members. His wife, also, who was called fiacri-Kiffcra. or ^a<ri\ivva, had to offer certain sacrifices, and therefore it was required that she should be a



citizen of pure blood, without stain or llemish. His court was held in what was called rj rot jScunAe'cos ffrod. (Dem. c. Lacr. p. 940 ; c. An-drot. p. 601 ; c. Neaer. p. 1370 ; Lysias, c. Andoc. p. 103, where the duties are enumerated ; Elmsley, Ad Aristoph.Achar. 1143, et Scholia ; Harpocr. s.v. 'E-Tn^eA.??-^? t&v ju.vo'Typitoi' ; Plato, Euthyphr. ad init. et Tlieaet. ad fin. ; Pollux, viii. 90.)

The Polemarch was originally, as his name de­notes, the commander-in-chief (Herod, vi. 109, 111 ; Pollux, viii. 91) ; and we find him dis­charging military duties as late as the battle of Marathon, in conjunction with the ten ffrpar'rjyol: he there took, like the kings of old, the command of the right wing of the army. This, however, seems to be the last occasion on record of this magistrate ap­pointed by lot, being invested with such important functions ; and in after ages we find . that his duties ceased to be military, having been in a great measure transferred to the protection and superin­tendence of the resident aliens, so that he resembled in many respects the praetor peregrinus at Rome. In fact, we learn from Aristotle, in his " Constitution of Athens,1' that the polemarch stood in the same relation to foreigners as the archon to citizens. (Demosth. c. Lacr. p. 940 ; Arist. apud Harpocr. s. v. ; Pollux, viii. 91, 92.) Thus, all actions affect­ing aliens, the isoteles and proxeni, were brought before him previously to trial; as, for instance, the blkt} aTrpoo'Taffiov against a foreigner, for living in Athens without a patron ; so was also the SiJO] cmocrraffiov against a slave who failed in his duty to the master who had freed him. More­over, it was the polemarch3s duty to offer the yearly sacrifice to Artemis, in commemoration of the vow made by Callimachus, at Marathon, and to arrange the funeral games in honour of those who fell in war. These three archons, the eir<avvp.os, flaffiXevs, and 7roAeyuap%os, were each allowed two assessors to assist them in the dis­charge of their duties.

The Thesmothetae were extensively connected with the administration of justice, and appear to have been called legislators (Thirlwall, Hist, of Greece, vol. ii. p. 17), because in the absence of a written code, they might be said to make laws, or &eo~iJ.oi, in the ancient language of Athens, though in reality they only declared and ex­plained them. They were required to revieiv, every year, the whole body of laws, that they might detect any inconsistencies or superfluities, and discover whether any laws which were abro­gated were in the public records amongst the rest. (Aeschin. c. Ctesiph. p. 59.) Their report was sub­mitted to the people, who referred the necessary alterations to a legislative committee chosen for the purpose, and called yo^oderai.

The chief part of the duties of the thesmothetae consisted in receiving informations, and bringing cases to trial in the courts of law, of the days of sitting in which they gave public notice. (Pollux, viii. 87, 88.) They did not try them themselves ; but seem to have constituted a sort of grand jury, or inquest. Thus they received evSei^is against parties who had not paid their fines, or owed any money to the state ; and in default of bringing the former parties to trial, they lost their right of going up to the Areiopagus at the end of their year of office. (Dem. c. Meid. p. 529 ; c. Macar. p. 1075 ; c. Timocr. 707; Bockh, vol. i. p.59, vol. ii. p. 72.) Again, indictments for personal injuries

About | First | English Index | Classified Index | Latin Index | Greek Index



page #  
Search this site
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of