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GYNAECO´NOMI γυναικονόμοι: the form γυναικοκόσμοι only in Pollux, 8.112) were magistrates in many Greek states, who exercised a certain censorship over the conduct of women and to some extent of men also, especially the young. At Sparta there were παιδονόμοι, but not γυναικονόμοι [PAEDONOMI]; the far-reaching Spartan discipline brought both sexes alike under the control of the authorities, and such special officers may not have been required. Aristotle mentions them as a well--known institution in two passages of the Politics (4.12 (15) § 9=p. 1300, 4 ff.; 6.5 (8) § 13=p. 1323, 3 ff.), and each time observes that they were characteristic of aristocracies rather than of oligarchies or democracies; a remark which alone is almost sufficient to prove that they did not exist at Athens in his time (see below). We find them at Chaeronea (Plut. Sol. 21 extr.; cf. Att. Process, ed. Lipsius, p. 30, n. 51); it is to his native town, and not to Athens, that the words of Plutarch refer, that besides women they had also to restrain those men who showed their effeminate character by frantic or immoderate wailing at their own or other people's misfortunes. They occur also at Syracuse (Phylarch. ap. Ath. xii. p. 521 b; Gilbert, Staatsalterth. ii. p. 255); and are traced through inscriptions at Samos (Gilbert, 2.152, cf. Bull. 7.79); Andania, where their control of women's dress is mentioned (Gilbert, 2.337, cf. Dittenberger, Syll. Inscr. p. 388, 25 ff.); and Gambreion near Pergamum (ib.; cf. C. I. G. 3562). The legislation of Solon included many regulations for the government of the Athenian women. They were forbidden to go abroad with more than three changes of apparel and a stated quantity of provisions, to pass though the streets by night otherwise than in a carriage and with a light carried before them, to disfigure their faces, to wail extravagantly at funerals (Plut. Sol. 21; Thirlwall, H. G. 2.51). These rules were no doubt enforced by the Areiopagus, then at the height of its power. It was formerly assumed that the γυναικονόμοι were here indicated as dating from the time of Solon; but the language of Plutarch, rightly understood, leads to the opposite conclusion. After enumerating the above particulars, he adds: τὰ πλεῖστα καὶ τ ο ς ἡμετέροις νόμοις ἀπηγόρευται: πρόσκειται δὲ τ ο ς ἡμετέροις ζημιοῦσθαι τοὺς τὰ τοιαῦτα ποιοῦντας π τῶν γυναικονόμων. These words, it will be seen, really refer to Chaeronea in Plutarch's time, not to Solonian Athens. The theory of Boeckh (Ueber den Plan der Atthis des Philochoros, p. 24 f., also in his Kleine Schriften, 5.422 ff.) that the Athenian γυναικονόμοι were first instituted by Demetrius Phalereus (B.C. 317--307), is now universally accepted (Schömann, Antiq. 1.535, E. T.; Gilbert, Staatsalterth, 1.154; Lipsius, n. 204 on Att. Process, p. 109). Besides the indirect evidence of Aristotle and Plutarch just noticed, and the argument from the total silence of the orators on the subject, we have the direct testimony of three writers all contemporary with Demetrius; the comic poets Timocles (fr. 32 M.) and Menander (fr. 265 M.) [p. 1.932]and the historian Philochorus, all cited by Athenaeus (vi. p. 245 b, c). All three describe the γυναικονόμοι as acting under a recent law (καινὸς νόμος): they were now associated with the Areiopagus in the maintenance of public decency and the enforcement of sumptuary laws. They superintended even the meetings of friends in their private houses, e. g. at weddings, and on other festive occasions (Philoch. l.c.). Meetings of this kind were not allowed to consist of more than thirty persons, and the γυναικονόμοι had the right of entering any house and sending away all the guests above that number; that they also took down the names of the cooks in order to estimate the number of guests, is perhaps only a joke of Menander's. They also controlled the eccentricities of female attire; women who went unsuitably dressed in public were liable to a fine of 1000 drachmas, and these fines were recorded on a tablet suspended to a plane-tree in the Ceramicus (Harpocrat. s. v. ὅτι χιλίας: Hesychius, s. v. πλάτανος: Pollux, l.c.). The number of these officers and the mode of their appointment are alike unknown. The authors of the Attische Process, arguing from analogy, regard them as an ἀρχὴ κληρωτή: Hermann (Staatsalterth. § 150, n. 5) contends that they were elected by χειροτονία, referring to a passage in the rhetorician Menander (περὶ ἐπιδεικτ. 3.2, p. 204 Walz), who however, as Lipsius points out, is not speaking of Athens. (Schömann, Antiq. 1.149, 498, 535, E. T.; Gilbert, ubi supra; Att. Process, pp. 108-110, Lipsius.)

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