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DEMARCHI

DEMARCHI (δήμαρχοι), the presidents of the demes (δῆμοι) in Attica, are said to have been first appointed by Cleisthenes when he abolished the ναύκραροι. [NAUCRARIA] They were probably elected by vote and not by lot (Schömann, Antiq. 1.368, E. T.; cf. C. I. A. 2.578). Their duties were various and important. Thus they convened meetings of the demotae. and took the votes upon all questions under consideration; they had the custody of the ληξιαρχικὸν γραμματεῖον, or book in which the members of the deme were enrolled (Dem. c. Eubul. p. 1317.60; Schol. Aristoph. Cl. 37); and they made and kept a register of the landed estates (χωρία) in their districts, whether belonging to individuals or the corporate property of the deme (Schol. l.c.; Boeckh, P. E. p. 512 = Sthh.3 1.596 f.). The existence of this register has been recently doubted by Lipsius (on Att. Process, p. 305, n. 308; p. 319, n. 317) and Fränkel (on Boeckh l.c., notes 818, 819); see, however, in support of Boeckh's view, Gilbert (Staatsalterth. 1.195), and especially Thalheim's rejoinder to Lipsius (Rechtsalterth. p. 49 n.). Whether we are to [p. 1.612]read χωρίων or χρεῶν in the Scholiast matters less than Boeckh thought, as there is sufficient evidence that both “lands” and “debts” came within the purview of the demarchs. They undoubtedly collected rents and other monies, both sacred and profane, on behalf of the deme (Boeckh, P. E. p. 305 = Sthh.3 1.374 f.); rents of temple lands (μισθώδεις τεμενῶν, Dem. c. Eubul. p. 1318.63); the ἐγκτητικὸν or tax paid by the holders of land in a deme other than their own (C. I. A. 2.589; ENCTESIS); and in their financial capacity were assisted by two ταμίαι (C. I. A. 2.570, 579, 585), or sometimes by one ταμίας only, as at Eleusis (C. I. A. 2.574). In this capacity they had the power of distraint [ENECHYRA], to which allusion is made by Aristophanes (Aristoph. Cl. 37) and in several passages of the grammarians (Harpocrat., Etym. M., s. v. ; Lex. Rhet. p. 242; Lex. Seguer. p. 199, 4). That the sphere of their activity extended beyond their own deme, and that they were employed for various debts and dues claimed by the state, as Boeckh, though with some hesitation, is inclined to think (P. E. p. 157 = Stth.3 1.192), is at least not proved. The one inscription, “a perhaps obscure example,” as Boeckh admits (ἐκπραττόντων δὲ οἱ δήμαρ[χοι], C. I. G. 80 =C. I. A. 1.79), more probably refers, like those already cited, to their power of exaction within their own deme; and the words of the decree against Antiphon (τῷ δὲ δημάρχῳ ἀποφῆναί τε οἰκίαν, κ.τ.λ. [Plut.] Vitt. X. Oratt. p. 834 A, a mutilated passage) point rather to a single locality.

In the duties which have been enumerated they supplanted the naucrari (ναύκραροι) of the old constitution; and they added others to them. As local police magistrates they could impose a fine (ἐπιβολὴν ἐπιβάλλειν) for disobedience to a decree of the demotae, e. g. for entering the Thesmophorion without leave of the priestess (C. I. A. 2.573 b); they were required to bury, or cause to be buried, any dead bodies found in their district, indemnifying themselves by levying double the expense on the relations of the deceased, if their order to bury were disobeyed: for neglect of this duty they were liable to a fine of 1000 drachmas (Lex ap. Dem. c. Macart. p. 1069.58). They distributed the theoric fund [THEORICA] among their demotae (Dem. c. Leochar. p. 1091.37; C. I. A. 2.163; Plaut. Aulul. 1.2, 29; Fränkel, n. 410); and conducted those honoured with προεδρία to their places in the theatre (C. I. A. 2.589). The case of their assisting to prepare the κατάλογος or list for military service seems to have been exceptional: on an emergency the βουλευταὶ and δήμαρχοι were ordered by a psephisma to furnish lists of those able to serve (Dem. c. Polycl. p. 1208.6). (Pollux, 8.118; Hermaun, Staatsalterth. § 111; Schömann, Assemblies, p. 376 ff.; Thalheim, Rechtsalterth. pp. 49, 115; and especially Gilbert, Staatsalterth. p. 194 f., who gives the fullest references to inscriptions.)

Δήμαρχοι was also the name given by Greek writers to the Roman tribunes of the plebs (Dionys. A. R. 6.89; Plut. Cor. 7, &c.).

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