differs from οἰκία
in this: that the
latter is a dwelling-house for a single family; the former is adapted to
hold several families, a lodging-house, insula,
as the Romans would say. The distinction is thus expressed by Aeschines
§ 124): ὅπου
μὲν γὰρ πολλοὶ μισθωσάμενοι μίαν οἴκησιν διελόμενοι ἔχουσι,
συνοικίαν καλοῦμεν, ὅπου δ᾽ εἷς ἐνοικεῖ, οἰκίαν.
lodging-houses were let mostly to foreigners who came to Athens on business,
and especially to the μέτοικοι,
law did not allow to acquire real property, and who therefore could not
purchase houses of their own (Dem. pro Phorm.
p. 946.6). As
they, with their families, formed a population. of about 45,000, the number
must have been considerable.
Pasion, the banker, had a lodging-house valued at 100 minas ([Dem.]
i. p. 1110.28). Xenophon recommended that the
should be encouraged to invest
their money in houses, and that leave should be granted to the most
respectable to build and become house-proprietors (οἰκοδομησαμένοις ἐγκεκτῆσθαι,
2, 6). The ἰσοτελεῖς
laboured under no such liability; for Lysias and his
brother Polemarchus, who belonged to that class, were the owners of three
houses (c. Eratosth.
§ 18). The value of houses must
have varied according to the size, the build, the situation, and other
circumstances. Those in the city were more valuable than those in the
Peiraeus or the country, caeteris paribus.
country-houses are mentioned by Isaeus (Hagn.
as yielding a return of a little less than 8 1/2 per cent. interest on the
purchase-money. But this probably was much below the average. The summer
season was the most profitable for the letting of houses, when merchants and
other visitors flocked to Athens. The rent was commonly paid by the month.
Lodging-houses were frequently taken on speculation by persons called
who made a profit by underletting them, and
sometimes for not very reputable purposes (Isae. Philoct.
§ 19). Hesychius explains the word ναύκληρος
: ὁ συνοικίας προεστὼς σταθμοῦχος;
and Harpocration (s.
v.), and Lex. Rhet. Cantabr.
p. 673, 20, remark that
Hyperides used the word in a peculiar sense for ὁ
μεμισθωμένος ἐπὶ τῷ τὰ ἐνοίκια ἐκλέγειν ἢ οἰκίας ἢ
i.3 pp. 49, 84, 176 ff.)