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On this page: Astynomi – Asylum



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According to the Calendar of Julius Caesar,

Commencement t)f spring -Vernal equinox Commencement of summer Summer solstice (solstitiuni) Commencement of autumn Autumnal equinox -Commencement of winter Winter solstice (bruma) -

The breezes of Favonius begin to blow Heliacal rising of the Pleiades (Vergiliae) Morning setting of Fidicula Morning setting of the Pleiades

VII. Id. Feb. (7 February).

VIII. Kal. Apr. (25 March).

VII. Kal. Mai. (9 May).

VIII. Kal. Jim. (24 June). III. Id. Aug. (11 August). VIII. Kal. Oct. (24 September). III. Id. Nov. (11 November). VIII. Kal. Jan. (25 December).

Thus assigning to spring, ninety-one daj^s ; to summer, ninety-four days ; to autumn, ninety-one days ;

to winter, eighty-four days. [W. R.J

ASTYNOMI (acTTVj/<fy«>£), public officers in most of the Greek states, who had to preserve order in the streets, to keep them clean, and to see that all bu Idings, both public and private, were in a safe state, and not likely to cause injury by falling down. (Aristot. Polit. vi. 5, ed. Schneider ; Plat. Leg. vi. pp. 759, 763 ; Dig. 43. tit. 10. s. 1.) At Athens there were ten astynomi, five for the city and five for the Peiraeeus, and not twenty, fifteen for the city and five for the Peiraeeus, as is stated in some editions of Harpocration. (Harpocrat. Said. s. v. ; Bekker, Anecd. p. 455 ; Bockh, Corp. Inscrip. vol. i. p. 337.) A person was obliged to discharge this burdensome office only once in his life. (Dem. Proem, p. 1461.) The ex­tent of the duties of the Athenian astynomi is uncertain. Aristotle states (ap. Harpocr. I. c.) that they had the superintendence of the scavengers (/co7rpoA<$70i), which would naturally belong to them on account of their attending to the cleansing of the streets, and he likewise informs us that they had the superintendence of the female musi­cians. It is probable, however, that they had only to do with the latter in virtue of their duty of preserving order in the streets, since the regu­lation of all the public prostitutes belonged to the agoranomi. [agoranomi.] It would likewise appear from a circumstance related by Diogenes Laertius (vi. 90) that they could prevent a person from appearing in the streets in luxurious or in­decent apparel. It is mentioned on one occasion that a will was deposited with the astynomi (Isaeus, de Cleonym. Hered. p. 36, ed. Steph.), a circumstance which does not seem in accordance with the duties of their office. (Meier, Att. Pro­cess^ p. 93, &c.)

ASYLUM (&ffv\ov). In the Greek states the temples, altars, sacred groves, and statues of the gods generally possessed the privileges of pro­tecting slaves, debtors, and criminals, who fled to them for refuge. The laws, however, do not ap­pear to have recognised the right of all such sacred places to afford the protection which was claimed ; but to have confined it to a certain number of temples, or altars, which were considered in a more especial manner to have the aav\ia, or jus asyli. (Servius ad Virg. Aen. ii. 761.) There were several places in Athens which possessed this pri­vilege ; of which the best known was the The-seium, or temple of Theseus, in the city, which was chiefly intended for the protection of the ill-treated slaves, who could take refuge in this place, and compel their masters to sell them to some other person. (Plut. Theseus, 36 ; Schol. ad Aristoph. Equit. 1309 ; Hesych. and Suidas, s. v. The other places in Athens which pos-

sessed the jus asyli were : the altar of pity, in the agora, the altar of Zeus 'Ayopcuos, the altars of the twelve gods, the altar of the Eumenides on the Areiopagus, the Theseum in the Peiraeeus, and the altar of Artemis, at Munychia (Meier, Alt. Proc. p. 404). Among the most celebrated places of asylum in other parts of Greece, we may mention the temple of Poseidon, in Laconia, on Mount Taenarus (Time. i. 128, 133 ; Corn. Nep. Pans. c. 4) ; the temple of Poseidon, in Calauria (Pint. Demosth. 29) ; and the temple of Athena Alea, in Tegea (Paus. iii. 5. § 6). It would ap­pear, however, that all sacred places were sup­posed to protect an individual to a certain extent, even if their right to do so was not recognised by the laws of the state, in which they were situated. In such cases, however, as the law gave no pro­tection, it seems to have been considered lawful to use any means in order to compel the individuals who had taken refuge to leave the sanctuary, ex­cept dragging them out by personal violence.. Thus it was not uncommon to force a person from an altar or a statue of a god, l>y the application of fire. (Eurip. Androm. 256, with Schol.; Plant. Mostett. v. 1. 65.)

In the time of Tiberius, the number of placets possessing the jus asyli in the Greek cities in Greece and Asia Minor became so numerous, as seriously to impede the administration of justice. In consequence of this, the senate, by the com­mand of the emperor, limited the jus asyli to a few cities, but did not entirely abolish it, as Suetonius (Tib. 37) has'erroneously stated. (See Tacit. Ann. iii. 60—63, iv. 14 ; and Ernesti's Ex­cursus to Suet. Tib. 37.)

The asylum which Romulus is said to have opened at Rome on the Capitoline hill, between its two summits, in order to increase the popula­tion of the city (Liv. i. 8 ; Veil. Pat. i. 8 ; Dionys. ii. 15), was, according to the legend, a place of refuge for the inhabitants of other states, rather than a sanctuary for those who had violated the laws of the city. In the republican and early im­perial times, a right of asylum, such as existed in tUe Greek states, does not appear to have been recognised by the Roman law. Livy seems to speak of the right (xxxv. 51) as peculiar to the Greeks:—Temphim esi Apollinis Delium— eo jure sancto quo sunt templa quae asyla Graeci ap­pellant. By a constitutio of Antoninus Pius, it was decreed that, if a slave in a province fled to the temples of the gods or the statues of the emperors, to avoid the ill-usage of his master, the praeses could compel the master to sell the slave (Gains, i. 53) ; and the slave was not regarded by the law as a runaway—frnjitivus (Dig. 21. tit. 1. s. 17.

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