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ARCHON (ἄρχων) was the title of the chief magistrates in many Greek states. The wide diffusion of the name is attested by a multitude of inscriptions. We find it in Boeotia applied both to federal and city magistrates ; at Delphi, where a long list of archons is preserved, and other towns of Phocis; towns in Thessaly, with three archons to each; in Locris, in many islands of the Aegaean, and in outlying cities like Cyzicus and Olbia. At Athens, according to tradition, royalty was abolished on the death of Codrus, B.C. 1068, and his son Medon became the first archon for life. The archonship remained hereditary in the line of Medon and twelve successors, and must have been a slightly modified royalty under another name; but there is no sufficient ground for the conjecture (presently to be noticed) that neither the name nor the attributes of royalty underwent any change at all. The next step, dated Ol. 7.1, B.C. 752, was to limit the continuance of the office to ten years, still confining it to the Medontidae, or house of Codrus, in whose family it was hereditary. Seven decennial archons are reckoned,--Charops, Aesimides, Cleidicus, Hippomenes, Leocrates, Apsandrus, Eryxias; but only the four first of these were of the ancient royal race. In 713 a further revolution threw open the chief magistracy to all the Eupatridae (Heracl. Pont. fr. 1, 4, ed. Müller; Herm. Staatsalterth. § 103, 4; Dict. Biogr. s. v. Hippomenes). With Kreon, who succeeded Eryxias, the archonship was not only made annual, but put into commission and distributed among nine persons. It is from this date, B.C. 683, that trustworthy Athenian chronology begins; and these nine archons annually changed continue throughout the historical period, interrupted only by the few intervals of political disturbance and foreign domination (Grote, ch. x., init.).

The essentially legendary character of these accounts of early times would seem to render any criticism of their details, from the historical point of view, more or less unprofitable. The broad fact remains that at Athens, as elsewhere in Greece, hereditary monarchy passed into a commonwealth which at the dawn of authentic history was still in its oligarchic stage. But when we find, in works of high authority, attempts to reconstruct the Athenian constitution for the four centuries assumed between Codrus and the annual archons, some notice of them seems demanded. It has been maintained, as the result of a critical inquiry, that “the monarchy existed at Athens, without essential modifications, until B.C. 752; the hereditary successors of Codrus had therefore, during three centuries, the same powers as their illustrious ancestor” (Caillemer, ap. D. and S., following Lugebil, Zur Geschichte der Staatsverfassung von Athen, Leipzig, 1871). We must therefore briefly touch upon the questions how far (1) the powers and (2) the name of royalty were really affected by the change traditionally associated with the death of Codrus.

The received view is thus stated in an often-quoted passage of Pausanias (4.5.10): “The people first deprived the successors of Melanthus [the father of Codrus], who were called Medontidae, of the greater part of their authority, and changed the monarchy into a responsible government (ἀρχὴν ὑπεύθυνον); they afterwards further limited their government to ten years.” On this M. Caillemer raises the objection, that we know of no political body to whom the archons can have been responsible. The answer [p. 1.166]is obvious, to the general body of the Eupatridae, who were at this time and long afterwards the δῆμος at Athens, the only fully enfranchised citizens. Even in the Heroic age the royal power had its limits (ἐπὶ ῥητοῖς γέρασι, Thuc. 1.13); and when the halo of divinity which attached to the name of βασιλὺς had disappeared with the change of title, the controlling influence of the nobles was doubtless augmented. Probably, like the barons in feudal monarchies and the Venetian nobles under the early doges, they at least exercised the right of deposition. We can hardly, therefore, accept the assertion that “the powers of royalty were not limited ;” the prestige of royalty had vanished, though Athens, like other ancient republics, granted a large amount of arbitrary authority, even in matters of life and death, to her chief magistrates. And as regards the mere name, too much has been made of Plato's essentially rhetorical and dramatic language (Menex. 238 D; Sympos. 208 D), and of the casual expressions of a writer so late as Pausanias, who couples the phrase τοὺς ἀπὸ Μελάνθου βασιλεύσαντας with the statement that Theseus introduced the democracy! (1.3.3; cf. 7.2.1 ;) or the still later and more uncritical Aelian (Ael. VH 5.13, 8.10). It is enough to say with Westermann (ap. Pauly, s. v.) that the archons are some-times called by the Beiname, familiar or nickname, of βασιλεύοντες. The single archon, whether perpetual or decennial, of course discharged those priestly duties of the old kings which were afterwards assigned to a subordinate member of the Nine, the second or king-archon; and this circumstance is quite sufficient to account for the occasional use of the name.

The nine annual archons during nearly the first century of their existence were still chosen from the Eupatridae exclusively, and by show of hands (ἀρχὴ αἱρετὴ or χειροτονητή). They still in reality stood at the head of the state as the supreme magistracy, combining the chief administrative and judicial functions. It is probable that a law of Draco (621) transferred the jurisdiction in cases of homicide from the archons and court of Areiopagus to the Ephetae; but, with this exception, the entire judicial system seems to have been in their hands. At the time of Cylon's revolt (about 612) they still managed the greater part of the public affairs (Thuc. 1.126). This arrangement continued till the timocracy established by Solon, who made the qualification for office depend not on birth, but property, still retaining the election by suffrage. Two important changes remained to be made, before we arrive at the developed democracy as it stood from the age of Pericles to that of Demosthenes: the abolition of the property qualification, and the election by lot. The date and authorship of the former of these changes are matters of little doubt. Aristides, who had himself been archon in 489, the year after Marathon, under the old rule as a πεντακοσιομέδιμνος (Plut. Asrist. 1), ten years later, when all classes of citizens had been drawn together in enthusiastic resistance to the Persian invader, proposed and carried a law that the archonship and other offices should be open to all Athenians without distinction (ib. 22). The effect of this chance was less sweeping than at first sight appears. We must remember that the Solonian constitution had reckoned only income from land, not personal property, in classifying the citizens; and the actual effect of Aristides' law was solely to get rid of the monopoly of these offices by the larger landed proprietors, in favour of the trading classes and of capitalists in general. Besides, the devastation of Attica by the Persian invader had compelled many who had hitherto been rich to part with their lands, and had created a dangerous class of discontented Eupatrids who were not only impoverished but saw their political rights diminished, and were ready to conspire against the constitution (Plut. Arist. 13; Schömann, Antiq. p. 339, E. T.).

The question at what time the election by lot was introduced is both difficult and obscure, owing to the conflict of ancient authorities; and recent scholars have arrived at very different conclusions. The notion that this change was due to Solon may be at once dismissed; it rests only on the loose statements of orators, who flattered their hearers by ascribing all democratic legislation to the great lawgiver (Demosth. c. Lept. p. 484.90; c. Androt. p. 602.30; Grote, ch. xi., where examples are collected in an excellent note, 2.324, ed. 1862 ; Dict. Biogr. s. v. Solon). And Aristotle expressly states that Solon made no change in the ἁλρεσις or mode of election, but only in the qualification for office (Pol. 2.12.3). The introduction of the lot is ascribed to Cleisthenes by Westermann, Curtius (1.478, E. T.), H. Sauppe, and with special reference to the arguments of Grote by SchUmann in his latest writings (Const. Hist. of Athens, p. 73, E. T.; Antiq. p. 337, E.T.). Among those who have upheld a later date are Niebuhr (Lect. on Anc. Hist. 2.24, E. T.) and Grote (ch. 31.3.122, n.); some regarding it as anterior to the battle of Marathon, others as connected with Aristides' admission of all classes to the office, and therefore later than the battle of Plataea. In favour of the earlier date are the statements of Herodotus that Callimachus, the polemarch at Marathon, was τῷ κυάμὡ λαχών (6.109); and of Plutarch, who uses the same words of Aristides' archonship in 489 (Plut. Arist. 1). But the dates of political changes were, as has been seen, so speedily forgotten by the Athenians themselves that we cannot be surprised if Herodotus, a foreigner, made a mistake on this point though writing in the next generation; while Plutarch mentions that the historian Idomeneus (circ. 310-270) had stated that Aristides was elected by suffrage. We may grant to Schömann that “Plutarch had no doubt that the lot was the rule,” and yet argue that Idomeneus may have preserved a genuine tradition which Plutarch, who records it, did not know how to explain. There is, we think, a strong case to be made out in favour of the view of Lugebil and Caillemer (ubi supra), that this was one of the reforms of Ephialtes, the friend of Pericles, about 461-458. We may be allowed to see, though Herodotus did not, the absurdity of supposing that Callimachus, as an archon appointed by lot, could have had equal authority with the ten generals; and the fact that, in the early part of the century, the ablest Athenian statesmen--Themistocles, Aristides, Xanthippus the father of Pericles--were all eponymous archons, while afterwards neither Pericles himself nor any Athenian known to history enjoyed that [p. 1.167]honour, may fairly be balanced against the testimony of uncritical writers, however numerous. On the whole, this late date for the change may be accepted, not as certain, but as by far the most probable.

The frequent occurrence at Athens of boards of ten men, one from each tribe, and the tribal constitution of the senate of 500 and its prytanies, have led to the suggestion that the nine archons also belonged each to a different tribe. This conjecture of H. Sauppe's is approved by Schömann (Antiq. p. 410, E. T.). The tenth tribe may have been represented by the γραμματεὺς or secretary, as suggested by Télfy (Corp. Juris Attici, p. 471), rather than by the hieromnemon, as Sauppe thought. There is evidence that the γραμματεὺς was on some occasions associated with the archons as a tenth man, e. g. in drawing lots for the dicasts among the tribes (Schol. Aristoph. Pl. 277 ; Vesp. 772).

Still,, after the removal of the old restrictions, some security was left to insure respectability; for, previously to an archon entering on office, he underwent a double dokimasia (not, like other magistrates, a single one [DOKIMASIA]) before the senate and before a dicastery. Pollux calls this inquiry ἀνάκρισις: but that word has another technical sense, and in the Orators we only find the verb ἀνακρίνειν (Dem. c. Eubul. p. 1319.66, p. 1320.70; Deinarch. in Aristog. § 17; Pollux, 8.85). The archon was examined as to his being a legitimate and a good citizen, a good son, and his having served in the army, and, it is added, being qualified in point of property (εἰ τὸ τίμημά ἐστιν αὐτῷ, Poll.); but this latter condition, if it existed at all after the time of Aristides, soon became obsolete. We read in Lysias (Or. 24, pro Inval. § 13) that a needy old man, so poor as to receive a state allowance, was not disqualified from being archon by his indigence, but only by bodily infirmity ; freedom from all such defects being required for the office, as it was in some respects of a sacred character. Yet, even after passing a satisfactory δοκιμασία, each of the archons, in common with other magistrates, was liable to be deposed, on complaint of misconduct made before the people, at the first regular assembly in each prytany. On such an occasion, the ἐπιχειροτονία, as it was called, took place; and we read (Dem. c. Theocrin. p. 1330.28; Pollux, 8.95; Harpocrat. s. v. κυρία ἐκκλησία that in one case the whole body of θεσμοθέται was deprived of office for the misbehaviour of one of their body: they were, however, reinstated, on promise of better conduct for the future.

We are enabled, by means of inscriptions, to trace the archonship through the greater part of the Roman period. Athens as a libera civitas (ἐλευθέρα καὶ αὐτόνομος) was freed from the duty of receiving a Roman garrison, and had the administration of justice (jurisdictio) according to its own laws. But, as with the consulate at Rome, the archonship now became merely honorary, and the dignity of ἐπώνυμος was given by way of compliment to distinguished foreigners, like king Rhoemetalkes of Thrace and the emperor Hadrian. In these instances, at least, it would seem that election by lot was no longer the rule.

With the growth of democracy, the archons gradually lost the great political power which they had possessed as late as the time of Solon, perhaps even of Cleisthenes. They became, in fact, not as of old, directors of the government, but merely municipal magistrates, exercising functions and bearing titles which we will proceed to describe.

It has been already stated that the duties of the single archon were shared by a college of nine. The first or president of this body was called ἄρχων, by way of pre-eminence; and in later times ἐπώνυμος, from the year being distinguished by and registered in his name. But this phrase, contrary to the general opinion, did not come into use until after the Roman conquest. The second was styled βασιλεύς, or the king-archon; the third, πολέμαρχος, or commander-in-chief; the remaining six, θεσμοθέται, or legislators. As regards the duties of the archons, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish what belonged to them individually and what collectively. It seems, however, that a considerable portion of the judicial functions of the ancient kings devolved upon the Archon Eponymus, who was also constituted a sort of state protector of those who were unable to defend themselves. (Lex ap. Dem. c. Macart. p. 1076.75; Pollux, 8.89.) Thus he had to superintend orphans and their estates, heiresses, families losing their representatives (οἶκοι οἱ ἐξερημούμεν̓οι), widows left pregnant, and to see that they were not wronged in any way. Should any one do so, he was empowered to inflict a fine of a certain amount, or to bring the parties to trial. Heiresses, indeed, seem to have been under his peculiar care ; for we read (Lex ibid. p. 1069.54) that he could compel the next of kin either to marry a poor heiress himself, even though she were of a lower class, or to portion her in marriage to another. Again we find (Lex ibid. p. 1055.16; Pollux, 8.62) that, when a person claimed an inheritance or heiress adjudged to others, he summoned the party in possession before the archon-eponymus (ἐπιδικασία: cf. HERES), who brought the case into court, and made arrangements for trying the suit. We must, however, bear in mind that this authority was only exercised in cases where the parties were citizens, the polemarch having corresponding duties when the heiress was an alien. It must also be understood that, except in very few cases, the archons did not decide themselves, but merely brought the causes into court, and cast lots for the dicasts who were to try the issue. (Dem. c. Steph. ii. p. 1136, § § 22, 23.) Another duty of the archons was to receive informations against individuals who had wronged heiresses, children who had maltreated their parents, and guardians who had neglected or defrauded their wards. [KAKOSIS] The various modes of prosecution, by ἀπαγωγή, ἐφήγησις, ἔνδειξις, εἰσαγγελία, or φάσις, came as a rule before all the archons indiscriminately; but we find the ἔνδειξις especially connected with the office of the thesmothetae (Dem. c. Timocr. p. 707.23). The last office of the archon which we shall mention was of a sacred character; we allude to his superintendence of the greater Dionysia and the Thargelia, the latter celebrated in honour of Apollo and Artemis. (Pollux, 8.89; cf. Meier, Att. Process, p. 41 ff.; Hermann, Staatsalterth. § 138, 6.) [p. 1.168]

The functions of the βασιλεύς, or King Archon, were almost all connected with religion: his distinguishing title shows that he was considered a representative of the old kings in their capacity of high priest, as the Rex Sacrificulus was at Rome. Thus he presided at the Lenaean or older Dionysia ; superintended the mysteries and the games called λαμπαδηφορίαι, and had to offer up sacrifices and prayers in the Eleusinium, both at Athens and Eleusis. Moreover, indictments for impiety, and controversies about the priesthood, were laid before him; and, in cases of murder, he brought the trial into the court of the Areiopagus, and voted with its members. His wife, also, who was called βασίλισσα βασίλιννα, had to offer certain sacrifices, and therefore it was required that she should be a citizen of pure blood, and not previously married. His court was held in what was called τοῦ βασιλέως στοά. (Dem. c. Neaer. p. 1370, § § 74, 75; c. Androt. p. 601.27: Lysias, c. Andoc. § 4, where the duties are enumerated; Elmsley, Ad Aristoph. Acharn. 1143, et Scholia; Harpocr. s. v. Ἐπιμελητὴς τῶν μυστηρίων: Plato, Euthyphr. ad init. et Theaet. ad fin.; Pollux, 8.90.)

The Polemarch was originally, as his name denotes, the commander-in-chief (Hdt. 6.109, 111; Pollux, 8.91); and we find him discharging military duties as late as the battle of Marathon, in conjunction with the ten στρατηγολ́: he there took, like the kings of old, the command of the right wing of the army. This, however, seems to be the last occasion on record of this magistrate being invested with such important functions; and in after ages we find that his duties ceased to be military, having been in a great measure transferred to the protection and superintendence of the resident aliens, so that he resembled in many respects the praetor peregrinus at Rome. In fact, we learn from Aristotle, in his “Constitution of Athens,” that the polemarch stood in the same relation to foreigners as the archon to citizens. (Arist. ap. Harpocr. s.v. Pollux, 8.91, 92.) Thus, all actions affecting aliens, the isoteles and proxeni, were brought before him previously to trial; as, for instance, the δίκη ἀπροστασίου against a μέτοικος, for living in Athens without a patron; so was also the δίκη ἀποστασίου against a slave who failed in his duty to the master who had freed him. Moreover, it was the polemarch's duty to offer the yearly sacrifice to Artemis, in commemoration of the vow made by Callimachus at Marathon, and to arrange the funeral games in honour of those who fell in war. The functions of the three first archons are very clearly distinguished in a passage of Demosthenes, c. Lacr. p. 940.48. These three archons--the ἐπώνυμος, βασιλεὺς, and πολέμαρχος--were each allowed two assessors (πάρεδροι) to assist them in the discharge of their duties.

The Thesmothetae did not act singly, but formed a collegium (συνέδριον, Hyperid. pro Eux. col. 22). They appear to have been called “legislators” (Thirlwall, 2.17), because in the absence of a written code they might be said to make laws (θεσμοί, an older word for νόμοι), though in reality they only declared and explained them. They were required to review, every year, the whole body of laws, that they might detect any inconsistencies or superfluities, and discover whether any laws which had been repealed were wrongly retained in the public records (Aeschin. c. Ctes. § § 38, 39). Their report was submitted to the people, who referred the necessary alterations to a jury of sworn dicasts impanelled for the purpose, and called νομοθέται. [NOMOTHETAE.]

In the Athenian legal system the thesmothetae had a more extensive jurisdiction than the three archons who, in point of dignity, enjoyed precedence over them. It may be said, indeed, that all cases not specially reserved to other magistrates came naturally before them. Their duties included the receiving of informations, getting up cases as juges d'instruction, and presiding at the trial before a jury (ἡγεμονία δικαστηρίου). The following are instanced as being under their jurisdiction: ἔνδειξις, εἰσάγγελία other than κακώσεως (see above), προβολαὶ, the Dokimasia of magistrates generally and the Euthynae of the Strategi; among public causes, γραφαὶ ἀγραφίου, ἀγράφου μετάλλου, ἀδικίου, ἀπατήσεως τοῦ δήμου, βουλεύσεως, δεκασμοῦ, δωροξενίας, δώρων, ἐξαγωγῆς, ἑταιρήσεως, καταλύσεως τοῦ δήμου, μοιχείας, νομίσματος διαφθορᾶς, ξενίας, προαγωγείας, προδοσίας, συκοφαντίας, τυραννίδος, ὕβρεως, ψευδεγγραφῆς, ψευδοκλητείας: among private ones, δίκαι ἀγεωργίου, ἀμελίου (an obscure case hardly to be distinguished from ἀγεωργίουἀναγωγῆς, ἀργυρίου, βεβαιώσεως, βλάβης, ἐγγύης, ἐνοικίου, ἐξούλης, κακηγορίας, κλοπῆς, παρακαταθήκης, συμβολαίων παραβάσεως, χρέους: and finally, all δίκαι ἐμπορικαί, μεταλλικαί, ἐρανικαί, and δίκαι ἀπὸ συμβόλων (Westerm. op. Pauly; Meier, Att. Process, p. 59 ff.; Pollux, 8.88). We also find, in the Orators, informations laid before the thesmothetae in the following cases:--For breach of the law against cutting down olive-tress (Dem. c. Macart. p. 1075.71); conspiracy to defeat the ends of justice (Dem. c. Steph. ii. p. 1136.35 f.); if a foreigner married a citizen, or a man gave in marriage as his own daughter the child of another, or confined as an adulterer one who was not so (Dem. c. Neaer. p. 1350.17; p. 1362.52; p. 1367.66). If a man banished for homicide returned without a legal pardon, the thesmothetae might order him to summary execution (Dem. c. Aristocr. p. 630.31). The name thesmothetae is sometimes applied to all the nine, and not merely to the six minor archons: mostly, no doubt, in late inscriptions (C. L. G. 380) and grammarians (Arg. to Dem. c. Androt. p. 589, 1), but occasionally even in classical writers. For instance, in Dem. c. Eubul. p. 1319 § 66, the phrase τοὺς θεσμοθέτας ἀνακρίνετε must be equivalent to τοὺς ἐννέα ἄρχοντας ἀνακρίνετε in the concluding section of the speech. On the other hand, the words ἀρχαὶ and ἄρχοντες are used in reference to magistrates in general, not to the nine exclusively. Thus in Isaeus, Or. 1 (Cleonymus), § 14, certain ἄρχοντες are spoken of who in § 15 are shown to be the ἀστυνόμοι.

In their collective capacity the archons also superintended to ἐπιχειροτονία of the magistrates, held every prytany (ἐπερωτῶσιν εἰ δοκεῖ καλῶς ἄρχειν), and brought to trial those whom the people deposed, if an action or indictment were the consequence of it. Moreover, they attended jointly to the annual ballot for the [p. 1.169]dicasts or jurymen, and presided in the assemblies for the election of strategi, taxiarchs, hipparchs, and phylarchs (Pollux, 8.87, 88; Harpocrat. s. v. καταχειροτονία: Schömann, Assemblies, p. 231).

The places in which the archons exercised their judicial power were, with the exception of that assigned to the Polemarch, without doubt all situated in the market. That of the first archon was by the statues of the ten Eponymi; that of the archon Basileus beside the so-called Bucolium, a building not otherwise known, in the neighbourhood of the Prytaneum, or else in the so-called Hall of the King; that of the Thesmothetae in the building called after them Thesmothesium, in which they, and perhaps the whole nine, are said to have dined at the public expense. The Polemarch had his office outside the walls, but quite close to the city, adjoining the Lyceum (Schömann, Antiq. p. 411 f., E. T.). In their oath of office the archons promised faithfully to observe the laws and to be incorruptible, and in the case of transgression to consecrate at Delphi a golden statue of the same size as themselves (ἰσομέτρητον, Plat. Phaedr. 235 D). Suidas improves upon this, making them three statues instead of one, at Athens, Delphi, and Olympia (s. v. χρυσῆ εἰκών). The simplest explanation of this absurdity is Schömann's, that it is an ancient formula used to denote an impossible penalty, the non-payment of which of necessity entailed Atimia (Antiq. p. 414, E. T. For another explanation, see Bergk in N. Rhein. Museum, 13.447; or Dr. Thompson on Plato, l.c.).

A few words will suffice for the privileges and honours of the archons. The greatest of the former was the exemption from the trierarchies--a boon not allowed even to the successors of Harmodius and Aristogeiton. As a mark of their office, they wore a chaplet or crown of myrtle; and if any one struck or abused one of the thesmothetae or the archon, when wearing this badge of office, he became ἄτιμος, or infamous in the fullest extent, thereby losing his civic rights (Dem. c. Lept. p. 465.28, c. Meid. p. 524.33; Pollux, 8.86). The archons, at the close of their year of service, when they had delivered their account and proved them-selves free from blame, were admitted among the members of the Areiopagus. [AREIOPAGUS]

The Archon Eponymus being an annual magistrate at Athens, like the consul at Rome, it is manifest that a correct list of the archons is an important element in the determination of Athenian chronology. Now from Creon (B.C. 683), the first annual archon, to Myrus (B.C. 499), we have the names of about thirty-four. From B.C. 495 to 292, Diodorus and Dionysius of Halicarnassus furnish an almost unbroken succession for a period of nearly 200 years. After B.C. 292, about 166 names have been recovered, mostly from inscriptions, and many of them undated, down to the latest Roman period; the latest with a date being A.D. 485 (Meier, Index Archontum eponymorum qui post Ol. 121.2 eum magistratum obtinuerunt; Marin. Vit. Proc. 36). [R.W] [W.W]

(Appendix). Against the received tradition that the Medontidae, the early successors of Codrus, held office for life, but without the title of king, the contention of Lugebil and Caillemer (see ARCHON p. 165 b) that both the name and the attributes of royalty survived almost unchanged, has now received important confirmation. In Ἀθ. πολ. 100.3 it is stated that “in the times before Draco” the head of the state was styled βασιλεύς, and ruled for life; next to him was a πολέμαρχος, or commander-in-chief, who indeed dates back to the period of the real kings; thirdly, an ἄρχων, or chief civil magistrate. These two officers were probably elected for a term of years by the Eupatrids, and formed an important check on the autocracy of the titular king. Mr. Kenyon remarks: “The abolition of the title of king as that of the chief magistrate of the state probably took place when the decennial system was established. The name was then retained only for sacrificial and similar reasons, and, to mark the fact that the kingly rule was actually at an end, the magistrate bearing the title was degraded to the second position, while the Archon, whose name naturally suggested itself as the best substitute for that of king, was promoted to the titular headship of the state.”

Fresh light is also thrown on the question discussed at p. 166 b, as to the time when the election by lot was introduced. We find “the following stages in the history of the method of election to this office: (1) prior to Draco, the archons were nominated by the Areopagus; (2) under the Draconian constitution they were elected by the ecclesia; (3) under the Solonian constitution, so far as it was not disturbed by internal troubles and revolutions, they were chosen by lot from forty candidates selected by the four tribes; (4) under the constitution of Cleisthenes they were directly elected by the people in the ecclesia; (5) after 487 B.C. they were appointed by lot from 100 (or 500, see below) candidates selected by the ten tribes; (6) at some later period the process of the lot was adopted also in the preliminary selection by the tribes” (Mr. K., pp. 59-60; Ἀθ. πολ. 100.22). As regards the number of candidates selected under the arrangement of 487 B.C. the MS. here gives 500, but the writer had previously stated (100.8) that each tribe chose ten candidates, making a total of 100. It is probable that for πεντακοσίων (φ᾽) we should read ἐκατόν (ρ᾽).

After the expulsion of Damasias, who in a two years' archonship (B.C. 582-1) tried to establish a tyranny, we have for one year the unprecedented [p. 1.1064]number of ten archons, of whom five were Eupatrids, three ἄγροικοι = Geomori, and two Demiurgi (100.13). The conjecture mentioned at p. 167 a, that the tenth tribe, which did not elect an archon, was compensated by having the appointment of the secretary (γραμματεύς), is stated as a fact (Ἀθ. πολ. 100.55).

The received account of the abolition of the property qualification (ARCHON p. 167 a) must also be modified. If, according to Plutarch's account, Aristides in 479 B.C. widened the area of eligibility, he may at most have extended it from the πεντακοσιομέδιμνοι to the ἱππεῖς. It is now definitely stated (Ἀθ. πολ. 100.26) that the ζευγῖται first became eligible in 457 B.C., “five years after the death of Ephialtes” : which shows incidentally that the murder of Ephialtes must have taken place immediately after the triumph of his democratic legislation in 462. It is a further curious fact, that the property qualification was never entirely abolished by law. The θητικὸν τέλος or lowest class, was still in theory ineligible for any office, but in the time of Aristotle a member of that class was allowed to represent himself as a ζευγιτης by a legal fiction (100.7).

In the archons' oath we get a rational explanation of the χρυσῆ εἰκὼν without the absurd addition ἰσομέτρητος (see ARCHON p. 169 a). The archons and, it would seem, the diaetetae also, swore that if they accepted bribes they would dedicate a golden image--presumably of equal value to the amount received, though this is not explicitly stated. A somewhat similar explanation is given by Thompson on Plat. Phaedr. 235 D (Ἀθ. πολ. cc. 7, 54).

It has generally been held, as by Schömann (Antiq. 1.401-2, E. T.), that all magistracies (ἀρχαὶ in the technical sense) were unpaid at Athens (cf. HYPERETES p. 986 a). The treatise before us mentions, on the contrary, the pay of many public officers; and there is reason to think that that of the archons was four obols a day, though the passage (Ἀθ. πολ. 100.62) is mutilated and the words ἐνν[έα ἄρχον]τες partly conjectural.

hide References (10 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (10):
    • Aristophanes, Plutus, 277
    • Herodotus, Histories, 6.111
    • Herodotus, Histories, 6.109
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 4.5.10
    • Plutarch, Aristeides, 1
    • Plutarch, Aristeides, 13
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.126
    • Thucydides, Histories, 1.13
    • Aelian, Varia Historia, 5.13
    • Aelian, Varia Historia, 8.10
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