public slaves at Athens, bought by the state. The most numerous class were
a force of police (under officers called τόξαρχοι
) also called Σπευσίνιοι,
from the first organiser of the service. (Poll.
8.131-2, δημοσίου ὑπηρέται,
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.
940, 1002 ff.), Probuli
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.
§ 173 f.; Boeckh, P. E.
206 ff. =
3 1.262 ff.)
Executioners, torturers, &c., whether police or not, were also slaves
(Poll. 8.71 ; Harp., Etym. M.,
236, 8; Thalheim, Rechtsalterth.,
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.
Dem. 2, 19; as φυλακὴ τὼν χρημάτων,
Dem. de Chers.
197, 24 ff.; C. I. A.
In the mint were slave workmen (Andoc. in Schol. to Arist.
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,
559=751, Lips.; Becker-Göll, Charikles,
(Boeckh, op. cit.;
1.166-7, 219, &c.; id. Beitr.
z. inn. Gesch. Ath.