previous next


EPI´SCOPI (ἐπίσκοποι), inspectors or commissioners, who were sometimes sent by the Athenians to interfere in the affairs of subject states. Harpocration compares them to the Lacedaemonian harmosts, and says that they were also called φύλακες: but the harmosts were military commandants, and there can be little doubt that this grammarian has confused ἐπίσκοποι with φρούραρχοι, the commanders of Athenian garrisons. Both a φρούραρχος and ἐπίσκοποι are mentioned as sent to Erythrae, with full details of their powers of interference (C. I. A. 1.9, 10). The episcopi exercised civil authority, and perhaps judged on the spot small causes where Athenians were concerned (as, e. g. in places to which cleruchi had been sent), not of sufficient importance to be referred to the Athenian tribunals: the episcopus in Aristophanes carries two ballot-boxes (κάδω, vv. 1032, 1053). From the same source we learn that these episcopi received a salary at the cost of the state to which they were sent, and, what is more strange, that they were appointed by lot. Any Athenian, it seems, was good enough for such a post. (Aristoph. Birds 1022 ft., with Schol.; Harpocrat., Suid., s.v. Bekk. Anecd. 254, 15; Boeckh, P. E. pp. 156, 238 = Sthh.3 1.190, 304; Schömann, Antiq. Jur. Publ. p. 432, 18, and Antiq. 1.436, E. T.; Gilbert, Staatsalterth. 1.400 f., 427.)

[W.S] [W.W]

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: