previous next


METRO´NOMI (μετρονόμοι) were officers in the Athenian police appointed by lot, whose special duty was to see that proper weights and measures were used in the market and to proceed against those who used false measure (cf. Aristoph. Thes. 348, εἴ τις τοῦ χοὸς τῶν κοτυλῶν τὸ νόμισμα διαλυμαίνεται). It is probable that they also had charge of the standard weights and measures, which were kept in the shrine (ἡρῷον) of the hero Stephanephoros (whom some take to be Theseus), just as those at Rome were kept in the temple of Juno Moneta (Boeckh, Staatshaush. ii.3 p. 324 f.), and hence we may conjecture that the metronomi also supervised the coinage. They had as subordinates in the market Prometretae (Boeckh, i. p. 62). As to their number, there is a conflict between Harpocr., Suid., Phot. and Lex. Seg. s. v., as the texts now stand, but Fränkel in his note on Boeckh (vol. ii. p. 14*) gives plausible reasons for taking as the true reading a total number of ten; five for the city and five for Peiraeus. According to this view, one was chosen by lot from each tribe. (Schöimann, [p. 2.171]Antiq. of Greece, pp. 416, 420; Boeckh, op. cit.) [L.S] [G.E.M]

(Appendix). Fränkel's view as to their number (see p. 170 b) is confirmed by Ἀθ. πολ. 100.51.

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