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GEO´MORI (γεωμόροι; Doric, γάμοροι) is [p. 1.912]the name of the second of the three classes into which the inhabitants of Attica were anciently divided (Plut. Thes. 25; Pollux, 8.111). Aristotle (ap. Schol. Plat. Axioch. and in C. Müller, Fragm. Hist. 2.106) calls them γεωργοί. This class, together with the third, the δημιουργοί, was excluded from the great civil and priestly offices which belonged exclusively to the Eupatrids, so that there was a great distinction between the first and the two inferior classes; it is not too much to say, indeed, that the Eupatrids were the only fully enfranchised citizens (Gilbert, p. 115). The relation of these three classes to the four old-Ionic tribes and the phratries is touched upon under EUPATRIDAE On this, and on the kindred question of the precise status of the γεωμόροι, only conjectural results can be arrived at. The name may either signify independent land--owners, or peasants who cultivated the lands of others as tenants. The γεωμόροι have, accordingly, by some writers been thought to be free land-owners, while others have conceived them to have been a class of tenants. It seems, however, inconsistent with the state of affairs in Attica, as well as with the manner in which the name γεωμόροι was used in other Greek states, to suppose that the whole class consisted of the latter only; there were undoubtedly among them a considerable number of freemen who cultivated their own lands, but had by their birth no claims to the rights and privileges of the nobles (Ruhnken on Timaeus, s. v. γεωμόροι: Valckenaer on Hdt. 5.77, 6.22; Arnold on Thuc. 8.21). The distinction between the γεωμόροι and the δημιονργοὶ was perhaps social rather than political; for in the strictly political point of view both were unimportant, and may at best have been summoned now and then to popular assemblies, like the commonalty in the states described by Homer. This would account for the fact that Dionysius (2.8) only mentions two classes of Attic citizens; one corresponding to the Roman patricians, the other to the plebeians. But there was a social stigma attached to those who worked for wages (βάναυσοι καὶ θῆτες, Aristot. Pol. iii. p. 1278, 12; καὶ τὸν μὲν γεωργικὸν δῆμον ὁρῶμεν ὄντα, τὸν δὲ ἀγοραῖον, τὸν δὲ βάναϝσον, ib. iv. p. 1289 b, 32) which placed them below the poorest cultivator or small farmer. Some inferiority is expressed by the term ἐπιγεωμόροι, also applied to the δημιουργοί (Etym. M. p. 395, 54; Lex. Seguer. p. 257). (Thirlwall, 2.14; Grote, pt. ii. ch. 10, 2.280; Schömann, Antiq. 1.321, E. T.; Gilbert, Staatsalterth. 1.111 ff.)

In Samos the name γεωμόροι was applied to the oligarchical party, consisting of the wealthy and powerful. (Thuc. 8.21; Plut. Quaest. Gr. 57; Müller, Dor. 3.1.4.) In Syracuse the aristocratical party was likewise called γεωμόροι or γαμόροι, in opposition to the δῆμος. (Hdt. 7.155; Hesych. sub voce Γάμοροι; Müller, Dor. 3.4.4; Göller, de Situ et Orig. Syrac. p. 9: cf. Grote, 2.244; Schömann, Antiq. 1.126, 171, E. T.) [L.S] [W.W]

(Appendix). For these, the second of the Theseian classes in early Attica,. the name ἄ[γρ]οικοι occurs ᾿αθ. πολ. 100.13. The restoration of the illegible letters is undoubted. In a passage already cited (Dionys. A. R. 2.8) the plebs at Rome are called ἄγροικοι in distinction from the εὐπατρίδαι or patricians. Cf. Hesych. sub voce ἀγροιῶται: ἄγροικοι, καὶ γένος Ἀθήνησιν, οἳ ἀντιδιεστέλλοντο πρὸς τοὺς εὐπατρίδας: ἦν δὲ τὸ τῶν γεωργῶν, καὶ τρίτον τὸ τῶν δημιουργῶν.

hide References (5 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (5):
    • Herodotus, Histories, 5.77
    • Herodotus, Histories, 6.22
    • Herodotus, Histories, 7.155
    • Thucydides, Histories, 8.21
    • Plutarch, Theseus, 25
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