The Ancient Library
 

Scanned text contains errors.

DEMUS.

off from the waste," just as our word town-comes, according to Home Tooke, from the Saxon verb " tynan," to enclose. (Arnold, ad Time. vol. i. Appendix, iiL) It seems, however, more simple to connect it with the Doric Sa for ya. In this meaning of a country district, inhabited and under cultivation, stj^os is contrasted with ir6\isi thus we have avo'pGbv Scurfy re Tr6\iv re (Hes. Op. et Dies, 527); but the transition from a locality to its occupiers is easy and natural, and hence in the earlier Greek poets we find 877^0$ applied to the outlying country population, who tilled the lands of the chieftains or inhabitants of the city ; so that §?ifjLos and 7roA?rc« came to be opposed to each other, the former denoting the subject peasantry, the latter, the nobles in the chief towns.

The Demi (ol stj/xoi) in Attica were subdivisions of the tribes, corresponding to our townships or hundreds. Their institution is ascribed to Theseus; but we know nothing about them before the age of Cleisthenes, who broke up tke four tribes of the old constitution, and substituted in their place ten local tribes ((£>vAeu tottjkcu), each named after some Attic hero. (Herod, v. 66, 69.) These were sub­divided each into ten demi or country parishes, possessing each its principal town; and in some one of these demi were enrolled all the Athenian citizens resident in Attica, with the exception, perhaps, of those who were natives of Athens itself>. (ThirlwaU, Hist, of Greece, vol. ii. p. 74.) These subdivisions corresponded in some degree to the vavKpapiat of the old tribes, and were, according to Herodotus, one hundred in number ; but as the Attic demi amounted in the time of Strabo (ix. p. 396, c.) to 174, doubts have been raised about this statement. Niebuhr has inferred from it that the tribes of Cleisthenes did not originally include the whole population of Attica, and " that some of the additional 74 must have been cantons, which had previously been left in a state of dependence; by far the chief part, however, were houses (yeVr;) of the old aristocracy," which were included in the four Ionian tribes, but, according to Niebuhr, were not incorporated in the ten tribes of the "rural commonalty," till after the time of Cleisthenes. This inference, however, seems very questionable ; for the number of the demi might increase from a variety of causes, such as the growth of the popu­lation, the creation of new tribes, and the division of the larger into smaller demi ; to say nothing of the improbability of the co-existence of two different orders of tribes. " Another fact, more difficult to account for, is the transposition by which denies of the same tribe were found at op­posite extremities of the country." (ThirlwaU, I.e., and app. i. vol. ii.) The names of the different denies were taken, some from the chief towns in them, as Marathon, Eleusis, and Acharnae ; some from the names of houses or clans, such as the Daedalidae, Boutadae, &c. The largest of all was the demus of Acharnae, which in the time of the Peloponnesian war, was so extensive as to supply a force of no less than three thousand heavy-armed men. (Comp, Thuc. ii. 191.)

In explanation of their constitution and relation to the state in general, we may observe, that they formed independent corporations, and had each their several magistrates, landed and other pro­perty, with a common treasury. They had like­wise their respective convocations convened by the J)emarchi (8^ua/>xoi), in which was transacted

DEMUS.

the public business of the demus, such as the leas­ing of its, estates, the elections of officers, the re­vision of the registers or lists of Demotae (ch^orai), and the admission of new members. [demarche] Moreover, each demus appears to have kept what was called a irLvaJ^ e/£KAi}(naffTiK<fc, or list of those Demotae wh'o were entitled to vote at the general assemblies of the whole people. In a financial point of view, they supplanted the old " naucra-ries " of the four tribes, each demus being required to furnish to the state a .certain quota of money, and contingent of troops, whenever neccssaiy. Independent of these bonds of union, each demus seems to have had its peculiar temples, and reli­gious worship (S^jUori/ca lepa, Paus. i. 31 ; Pollux, viii. 108), the officiating priests in which were chosen by the Demotae (Dem. c.. Eulul. p. 1313); so that both in a .civil and religious point of view, the demi appear as minor communities, whose ma­gistrates, moreover, were obliged to submit to a SoKifmffia, in the same way as the public officers of the whole state. But besides the magistrates, such as demarchs and treasurers (rqt/xicu), elected by each parish, we also read of judges., who were called Sifcacrral /caret Sy/jLovs : the number of these officers., originally thirty, was afterwards increased to forty, and it appears that they made circuits through the different districts, to administer justice in all cases where the matter in dispute w.as not more than ten drachmae in value, more important questions being reserved for the Siamjrc^. (Hudt-walcker, p. 37.)

On the first institution of the demi, Cleisthenes increased the strength of the §tj/xos, or commonalty, by making many new citizens, amongst whom are said to have been included not only strangers and resident foreigners, but also slaves. (Arist. Pol. iii. 1.)* Now admission into a demus was neces­sary, before any individual could enter upon his full rights and privileges as an Attic citizen; and though in the first instance, every one was enrolled in the register of the demus in which his property and residence lay, this relation did not continue to hold with all the Demotae ; for since a son was registered in the demus of his real or adoptive father, and the former might change his residence, it would often happen that the members of a demus did not all reside in it. Still this would not cause any inconvenience, since the meetings of each demus were not held within its limits, but at Athens. (Dem. c. Eulml. p. 1302.) No one, however, could purchase property situate within a demus to which he did not himself belong, without paying to the demarchs a fee for the privilege of doing so (ey/jCTTjTiKoj/), which would, of course, go to the treasury of the demus. (Btickh, Pull, Econ. of Athens, p. 297, 2nd ed.)

Two of the most important functions of the general assemblies of the derni, were, the admis­sion of new members and the revision of the names of members already admitted. The register of enrolment wa,s called XyfyapxiKov ypa^curelov, because any person whose name was inscribed in it could enter upon an inheritance and enjoy a

koi

This passage has given rise to much dispute, and has been considered by many critics to afford no sense ; but no emendation which has been proposed is better than the received text. See Grote, History of Greece, vol. iv. p. 170,

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

391

392

393
letter/word  
page #  
Search this site
Google


ancientlibrary.com
WWW
All non-public domain material, including introductions, markup, and OCR © 2005 Tim Spalding.
Ancient Library was developed and hosted by Tim Spalding of Isidore-of-Seville.com.