), the name
of one of the four old-Ionic tribes in Attica. We shall here discuss only
the form and etymological meaning of the word, treating the political
organisation under GENOS
The four names of the tribes are not peculiar to Attica; they occur in other
Ionic states, as at Cyzicus and Teos (Schömann,
1.129, E. T.; Gilbert, Staatsalterth.
1.109, n.). The other three names--Ὅπλητες,
--point not obscurely to
some system of castes or hereditary occupations; and the fourth tribe must
no doubt be explained in a similar manner (ὁ δὲ
[Ἴων] πρῶτον μὲν εἰς τέτταρας φυλὰς διεῖλε τὸ πλῆθος, εἶτα
εὶς τέτταρας βίους,
Strabo viii. p.383
; see also Plut. Sol. 23
; Plat. Tim.
We are not to suppose that the limitations of caste existed in Attica in
historic times, though Plato's ideal republic is essentially a caste system,
based on what he believed to have once been the rule in Greece. The name
comes down to us under different forms: Herodotus (5.66
) is a witness for γελέοντες,
Euripides (Τελέων μὲν ἔσται πρῶτος,
1579, where however Dindorf after Canter
), and Pollux (8.111) for
: while in Plutarch (l.c.
) the MSS. vary between τελέοντες
]Sintenis corrects γελέοντες
], and in
Stephanus Byzantinus s. v. Αἰγικορεῖς
The letters Γ
and Τ, Λ
are so easily confused that these variations prove nothing,
and many scholars have preferred τελέοντες
as capable of the readiest explanation; either “priests” or,
following Plutarch, “cultivators” (γεωργοί
), from different senses of the verb τελεῖν.
The fact that our two oldest and best
authorities, Herodotus and Euripides, agree in ranking this tribe first
among the four, makes the latter view impossible; a priestly caste, taking
precedence of the Ὅπλητες
men, is at least conceivable. But the unerring evidence of inscriptions is
decisive in favour of the less intelligible form γελέοντες
: in the Cyzicene marble and at Teos (C. I.
2.928, 3078-9, 3664-5), as well as in Athens itself (Διὸς Γελέοντος ἱεροκήρυξ,
in Ross, Demen
p. vii. = C. I. A.
remains to assign a meaning to the word; and the bearing on this question of
a gloss in Hesychius (γελεῖν λάμπειν,
) was seen long ago by Hemsterhuis. He explained it as the
“noble” or “illustrious,” and was followed by
Wesseling (on Herod. l.c.
3.62), and Schömann
1819, as well as Staatsalterth.
1871). The word has been thoroughly discussed of late years by Bergk
(Neue Jahrb. für Philol.
65.401), and especially
by Hugo Weber (Etym. Untersuch.
40 ff.; cf. Curtius,
173); it belongs to a widely diffused root
expressive of “shining,” seen in glacies,
Eng. glass, glance, glint,
perhaps also in γάλα
Geleontes, the (self-styled) brilliant or shining ones, were situated in the
best part of the country, the neighbourhood of Athens itself [DEMUS
p. 615 b.
This difficulty was left unsolved not only by Thirlwall and Grote, but by
such recent writers as Stein (on Herod. l.c.
Liddell and, Scott (ed. 7; s. v. τελέοντες
); it has therefore been. thought worth while to give
full proofs. (Schömann, Assemblies,
p. 356 = 336 tr.
1.318, 319, E. T.; Gilbert,