the name given to clubs or societies established for convivial purposes, the
members dining together at stated periods, probably once a month. Every
in Inscr.; πληρωτὴς ἐράνου,
Dem. c. Mid.
p. 547.101, p. 574.184 f.; [Dem.] c. Aristog.
i. p. 776.21;
s. v. ἐρανιστής;
Harpocr. s. v. ἐρανίζοντες
) was bound to pay his monthly subscription (also
or φορά, εἰσφορά, σύνοδος,
Mittheil. d. d. Arch. Inst.
1884, p. 293, n.), which in
the society of the Ἡροισταὶ
three drachmas (C. I. A.
ii. No. 630). Such societies usually
united in the common worship of some deity, such as Sarapis (C. I.
ii. No. 617=Brit. Mus. Inscr. 1.21), for whom they appointed
special sacrificial officers (ἱεροποιοί,
C. I. A.
ii. Nos. 615, 616, 617). From this point of view
they were called θίασοι
e), and Aristotle
8.9, 5, p. 1160 a) groups θιασωταὶ
together as κοινωνίαι
formed δι᾽ ἡδονὴν, θυσίας
ἕνεκα καὶ συνουσίας,
as opposed to κοινωνίαι ἃι τοῦ συμφέροντος ἐφίενται
: cf. also
Photius, p. 82, θιάσου, ὅσπερ ἐστὶν ἡ ἀπὸ τοῦ
and Pollux, 6.8, τοὺς δὲ συνιόντας συμπότας, ὁμοσίτους συσσίτους, συνουσιαστάς,
θιασώτας ἢ θιασίτας, εἰλαπινας τάς, ἐρανιστάς.
can therefore be scarcely right in distinguishing between éranes civils
(Des Assoc. Relig. chez les Grecs,
Such clubs had their own common funds (ὅρος χωρίου
πεπραμένου ἐρανισταῖς τοῖς μετὰ Καλλιτέλους,
C. I. A.
ii. No. 1110; cf. Nos. 1119, 1111, and
Rangabé, Antiq. hellén.
No. 885) and
their own laws: e. g. the νόμος ἐρανιστῶν
(C. I. A.
iii. No. 23), prescribing the dokimasia of new
members and the expulsion of disturbing elements; cf. also the Solonian law
) ordaining that any agreement between members should
be binding, provided it did not contravene the laws of the state. The
of such a club might vote and
bestow the honour of a crown, and an ἔπαινος
on deserving members, etc.2
The dokimasia was conducted by the προστάτης,
the secretary, the treasurers, and the σύνδικοι.
These officials, probably with the exception of the
were annually chosen by lot
(κληρωτοι κατὰ ἔτος,
C. I. A.
iii. No. 23); yet from Harpocr . s. v. πληρωτής,
it would appear that the ἀρχιερανισταὶ
were at one time elected (Salmasius reads,
τοῖς ἤτοι λαχοῦσιν ἢ ᾑρημένοις
in an inscr. publ. in the Revue archéol.
is called αίρεθείς
). Other functionaries were ἐπιμεληταί
(C. I. A.
616), a προερανίστρια.
ii. No. 617), etc.; it is probably a mere chance that only in
connexion with the treasurer is there mention of an oath on entering office
11.1865, p. 500). Hesychius'
explanation of πληρωτής,
viz. ἐράνου συναγωγός,
has led some scholars to
suppose that the ἐρανάρχης
had to advance
the necessary sums, if members made default (ἐκλείπειν τὴν φοράν
). Such clubs numbered among their
members women (an ἔρανος
entirely of women, Keil, Zur Syll. Inscr. Boeot.
foreigners, even slaves.
is also used in the sense of a
contribution made by friends (ἑταῖροι καὶ φίλοι
σοὶ καὶ συνήθεις,
in Kock, Comic. Att. Fragm.
2.1) to assist a person in
difficulties, e. g. when that person had to pay a heavy fine, or to ransom
himself from captivity, etc. As a rule, the person in distress applied to
his friends in person for assistance (συλλέγειν
§ 9; [Dem.] c. Neaer.
p. 1355.31; c. Nicostr.
p. 1249.11--συλλέγεσθαι ἔρανον,
Lys. c. Aeschin.
Dem. c. Mid.
iii. p. 1484.38);
occasionally, however, a friend might undertake the collecting (Aeschin.
de Fals. Leg.
§ 41, συνιστάναι τὸν ἔρανον
), who probably fixed the amount to
be paid by each (Corn. Nep. Epam.
). From D. L. 6.63
, it would seem that
sometimes the ἐρανάρχης
undertook the task
of collection for a member of his club; cf. also the inscription from
Amorgus, τοῦ ἐράνου ὃν συνέλεχεν
N. S. No. 77. An
i. e. one
to which each had to contribute 500 drachmas, is mentioned in Dittenberger,
S. I. G.
No. 433, 1. 4; whilst the ἔρανος εἰκοσίμνως
in Lys. c. Autocr.
49 (= Pollux, 9.57) and the ἔ.
in Dittenberger, No. 462, 1. 12, represent the
total amount collected. The [p. 1.759]
friends who paid their
share are said ἐρανίζειν τινί
i. p. 999.18), εἰσφέρειν ἔρανον,
etc. The relief was looked upon as a
friendly loan, repayable by the borrower, probably by instalments (Lys.
fr. 1), when in better circumstances
17): it was neither a present (yet see Dem.
p. 329.312; [Dem.] c.
p. 1249.9; Theophr. Char.
15), nor a
), but something between the two
(ἐξ ἐράνου ὔφλημα,
§ 43: cf. Dem. c. Aphob.
p. 821.25; Lyc. c. Leocr.
§ 22). Security for an
is mentioned in the inscription
from Amorgus (quoted above), and in Wescher et Foucart, Inscr. de
No. 139. Some scholars are of opinion that there were
actual associations for the purpose of mutual relief, resembling in some
degree our friendly or benefit societies; yet this view is shown to be wrong
by Van Holst, de Eran. vet. Graec.
p. 73 ff. (Cf. Caillemer,
Le Contrat de Société à
p. 24 ff.; Thalheim,
p. 65, n. 2.)
For the recovery of such loans when the person assisted was in a position to
pay them back, but unwilling to do so, for the decision of disputes amongst
about the payment of each member's share, or the use made of the
contributions by the president, etc.--there were special ἐρανικαὶ δίκαι
]. Plato (Legg.
915 E) disapproved of lawsuits in such matters, and would not allow them in
The various purposes for which clubs were formed we learn from the law which
Gaius ascribes to Solon, ἐὰν δὲ δῆμος ἢ
φράτορες ἢ ἱερῶν ὀργίων θύται
(Mommsen; ἢ ναῦται,
σύσσιτοι ἢ ὁμόταφοι ἢ θιασῶται ἢ ἐπὶ λείαν οἰχόμενοι ἢ
εἰς ἐμπορίαν, ὅτι ἂν τούτων διαθῶνται πρὸς ἀλλήλους, κύριον
εἶναι ἐὰν μὴ ἀπαγορεύσῃ δημόσια γράμματα
). By σύσσιτοι
Pollux, 6.7) probably
members of a dinner club are meant; men who either possessed no
establishment of their own, bachelors and widowers, or those who preferred
taking their meals in male society rather than at home with their wives,
combined to form such clubs. According to Plat. Lach.
B, Lysimachus, the son of Aristides, and Milesias, the son of Thucydides,
were members of a club of the kind (Schömann, Griech.
i. p. 363).--The ὁμόταφοι
can scarcely be the γεννῆται,
who as such had a claim to the πατρῷα μνήματα
εἰσι τοῦ γένους κοινωνοῦσιν,
Dem. c. Eubul.
p. 1307.28; cf. [Dem.] c. Macart.
p. 1077.79; Plut. Cim. 4
; Ps. Plut. Vitt. X. Oratt. p. 838
B), for the γεννῆται
are distinguished from οἷς ἠρία
(Harpocr. s. v.= τάφοι
in Dem. c. Eubul.
p. 1319.67. Sometimes the ἔρανος
looked after the burial of its members,
e. g. Koumanoudes, Ἐπιγραφαὶ
No. 2362, Ἀρτεμίδωρος
: cf. also C. I. A.
No. 621. According to a Rhodian inscription (Bull. de Corresp.
1880, p. 139 ff) a piece of land was given to
as a present εἰς ταφία,
which J. Martha explains to mean
that the revenue from this piece of land was to be used in defraying the
burial expenses of members, whilst in E. L. Hicks' opinion (Brit.
2.360) the land was granted as a burial-ground to
certain eranists.--Οἱ ἐπὶ λείαν
are men banded together for the purpose of
privateering, to exercise in time of war the right of reprisal, which
corresponds somewhat to the modern letters of marque (Schömann,
Antiq. jur. publ. Gr.
p. 368 n.).--Trading companies are
frequently mentioned in inscriptions, e.g. C. I. G.
C. I. A.
ii. No. 475, ναύκληροι
καὶ ἔμποροι οἱ φέροντες τὴν σύνοδον τοῦ Διὸς τοῦ
in the Piraeus; C. I. G.
No. 2271, 1. 35,
τὸ κοινὸν τῶν Τυρίων Ἡρακλεϊστῶν
ἐμπόρων καὶ ναυκλήρων;
Journ. of Hell. Stud.
viii. p. 415aguild of Thasian merchants
had taken Hermes κερδέμπορος
patron-god; they styled them-selves accordingly κερδέμποροι,
and their president was called ἀρχικερδέμπορος,
etc. Cf. Harpocr. s. v.
κοινωνικῶν καὶ περὶ τῶν ἑκούσιον κοινωνίαν
συνθεμένεν ἐμπορίας ἤ τινος ἄλλου,
such as trading
companies (Lys. c. Frument.
§ § 9, 17, 21;
Dem. c. Dionys.
p. 1285.7 ff.), mining companies (οἱ κοινωνοῦντες μετάλλου,
p. 977.38; Hyperid. pro Eux.
Xen. de Redit.
4, 30 f.), farmers of taxes
(Andoc. de Myst.
§ 133; Lyc. c.
§ § 19, 58; Plut.
), or lessees of the theatre in Piraeus (C. I.
ii. No. 573), etc.--For the constitution, etc., of the various
σύνοδοι τῶν περὶ τὸν Διόνυσον
in Athens (C. I. A.
ii. No. 551), Thebes
(C. I. G.
No. 1600), Argos (C. I. G.
3068 C; C. I. A.
ii. No. 552 b), Teos (C. I.
No. 3067), and Cyprus (C. I. G
. Nos. 2619, 2620),
etc., see A. Müller, Bühnenalterth.
ff. The general name for all such associations was ἑταιρεῖαι
( “sodales sunt qui ejusdem collegii sunt
quam Graeci ἐταιρείαν
Gaius, l.c.), but in its special sense ἑταιρεῖαι
meant political clubs. These were not like the
preceding societies, recognised and authorised by the state, but were at
best only tolerated. Such clubs played an important part in Athenian
politics. Themistocles owed much of his power to such a club (Plut. Alc. 2
); Thucydides, the son of Milesias,
united the aristocrats into an association in opposition to Pericles. until
he was ostracised and the ἑταιρεία
consequence broken up (Plut. Per. 11
). Yet it was only after the death of
Pericles that these clubs became established “conspiracies for the
management of trials and elections” (ξυνωμοσίαι ἐπὶ δίκαις καὶ ἀρχαῖς,
; cf. 3.82-85; Plat.
p. 173 D, σπουδαὶ ἑταιριῶν
and [Andoc.] c. Alcib.
4), which were not very scrupulous in their choice of means, and did not
disdain the employment of such measures as false testimony and corruption
(Dem. c. Mid.
p. 560.139; c. Zenoth.
885.10; c. Pantaen.
p. 978.39). They were secretly conducted
ii. p. 365 D), and used to put down the democracy
(ξυνωμότας δὲ ἔλεγον τοὺς ἐπὶ καταλύσει
τοῦ δήμου συνερχομένους,
Schol. Aristoph. Wasps 342
), and on that account
for-bidden. (Cf. the first section of the νόμος
in Hyperid. pro Eux.
and the Lex
in [Dem.] c. Steph.
p. 1137.26.) The mutilation of the Hermae was proposed at a convivial
meeting of the club to which Andocides belonged (Andoc. de
§ 61 ff.); the Athenians ascribed the offence to
conspirators who wanted to effect a revolution and to over-throw the
democracy (Thuc. 6.27
; Andoc. de
§ 36). The charge against Alcibiades ran: συνάγει τὴν ἑταιρίαν ἐπὶ νεωτέροις πράγ
etc. (Isocr. de Big.
§ 6; cf. Thuc. 6.61
; Diod. Sicul. 13.5). In the days of the
Roman [p. 1.760]
empire friendly societies, under the name of
were frequent among the Greek
cities, but were looked upon with suspicion by the emperors as leading to
political combinations (Plin. Ep. 10.93