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DEMO´SII (δημόσιοι), public slaves at Athens, bought by the state. The most numerous class were the τοξόται or Σκύθαι, a force of police (under officers called τόξαρχοι) also called Σπευσίνιοι, from the first organiser of the service. (Poll. 8.131-2, δημοσίου ὑπηρέται, ib.; Schol. Arist. Ach. 54, δημόσιοι ὑπ., φύλακες τ. ἄστεος; Phot. s. v. τοξόται.) Their duty was to preserve order in the assembly, courts, public places, and public works. They were at first encamped in tents in the agora, and afterwards removed to the Areopagus. Certain of them were in personal attendance on officials, e. g. the Prytaneis (Arist. Ach. 54; Thesm. 940, 1002 ff.), Probuli (Arist. Lysistr. 441 ff.)--especially police-officers: Astynomi, Agoranomi (v. Plat. Prot. p. 319 C; Xen. Mem. 3.6, § 1). The corps dated from the year of Salamis, when 300 were bought; they were later increased to 1200. (Andoc. de Pac. 5, 7; Aesch. de fals. Leg. § 173 f.; Boeckh, P. E. 206 ff. = Sthh3 1.262 ff.)

Executioners, torturers, &c., whether police or not, were also slaves (Poll. 8.71 ; Harp., Etym. M., δημόκοινος; Bekk. Anecd. 236, 8; Thalheim, Rechtsalterth., p. 124; Büchsen-schütz, Bes. u. Erw. p. 104 ff.). Demosii were also employed in the treasury, in subordinate places in the assembly and courts, as checking-clerks ( ἀντιγραφεῖς); their amenability to torture making them especially serviceable for such duties. The state undertook their training. (Schol. ad Dem. 2, 19; as φυλακὴ τὼν χρημάτων, Dem. de Chers. p. 101.47; ἀντιγραφεῖς, Bekk. Anecd. 197, 24 ff.; C. I. A. 2.403.)

In the mint were slave workmen (Andoc. in Schol. to Arist. Vesp. 1007, fr. 6, Blass), as also in the mines. Exceptionally, as at Arginusae, demosii rowed in the galleys. As to legal position of public slaves, see Att. Process, p. 559=751, Lips.; Becker-Göll, Charikles, 3.36. (Boeckh, op. cit.; Gilbert, Staatsalterth. 1.166-7, 219, &c.; id. Beitr. z. inn. Gesch. Ath. p. 367.)


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