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HECTEMO´RII

HECTEMO´RII (ἑκτημόριοι), a name given to a class of cultivators in Attica before the time of Solon.

We have examples, among the unenfranchised classes in Greece, of agriculturists who had to pay a fixed quantity of produce and take all the risks of bad seasons: such were the Perioeci and Helots in Laconia [DECUMAE init. HELOTES]. We also find what is now known as the métayer system, under which landlord and tenant divide the produce in a certain proportion. The landlord's share was called μορτή, and land held under métairie was ἐπίμορτος γῆ (Pollux, 7.151, quoting Solon). The ἑκτημόριοι were métayers who, according to some ancient authorities, paid a sixth portion to their masters and retained five-sixths for themselves (Plut. Sol. 13; hesych. sub voce ἐπίμορτος): according to others, they received only a sixth part (hesych. sub voce ἑκτήμοροι: Phot. s. v. πελάται: Eustath. ad Hom. Od. 19.28, p. 1854). The correctness of the latter view, first insisted upon by Schömann (Assemblies, p. 362), is now generally admitted; had the tenants paid only a sixth, they would have been much better off than the landowners, whereas all the accounts testify to a state of oppression to which Solon applied a remedy. Boeckh, who in his first edition (P. E. p. 494) held that the cultivators paid the sixth part, afterwards came round to the opinion of Schömann (Sthh.3 1.578). The ἑκτημόριοι belonged to the class of θῆτες, though probably not all θῆτες were ἑκτημόριοι (Schömann, Antiq. 1.323 n.). They were also sometimes called πελάται, i. e. clients or dependents (Plat. Euthyphr. 4 C, with Schol.). (Schömann, Assemblies, p. 362; Antiq. Jur. Publ. p. 169; Antiq. 1.323, E. T.; Hermann, Staatsalterth. § 100 n. 16, 101 n. 10; Büchsenschütz, Besitz und Erwerb, p. 49 f.; Gilbert, Staatsalterth. 1.125. f.)

For the Roman mëtayers, called partiarii, see AGRICULTURA p. 60 a; and cf. Gaius, Inst. 2.254, and ap. Dig. 19, 2, 25; pecora partiaria, i.e. the same system applied to the increase of cattle, Cod. Just. 2, 3, 8. [W.S] [W.W]

(Appendix). The following passage confirms the view taken in the text: καὶ δὴ καὶ ἐδούλευον οἱ πένητε[ς τοῖς] πλουσίοις καὶ αὐτοὶ [καὶ τ]ὰ τέκνα καὶ αἱ γυναῖκες, καὶ ἐκαλοῦντο πελάται καὶ ἑκτημόροι: [ἐπὶ] ταύτης γὰρ τῆς μισθώσεως [εἰ]ργάζοντο τῶν πλουσίων τοὺς ἀγρούς (Ἀθ. πολ. 100.2). Thus the ἑκτημόριοι or ἑκτημόροι (the latter form, given also by Hesychius, seems the correct one) received only a sixth part of the produce: ἀντί, however, rather than ἐπί, seems the preposition to be supplied.

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  • Cross-references from this page (2):
    • Homer, Odyssey, 19.28
    • Plutarch, Solon, 13
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