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SITOPHY´LACES (σιτοφύλακες), a board of officers, chosen by lot, at Athens. Their business was partly to watch the arrival of the corn ships, take account of the quantity imported, and see that the import laws were duly observed; partly to control the sales of corn in the market, and take care that the prices were fair and reasonable, and none but legal weights and measures used by the factors; in which respect their duties were much the same as those of the AGORANOMI and METRONOMI with regard to other saleable articles. Their number, according to the most probable correction of the words of Aristotle (ap. Harpocrat. s. v.), was the same as that of the other bodies with analogous, functions; namely ten, five for the city and five for the Peiraeus (Vömel, Zeitschr. f. Alterthumsw. 1852, p. 32; Gilbert, Staatsalterth. 1.247; Fränkel, n. 145 on Boeckh). Another reading, followed by Boeckh and the authors of the Att. Process (p. 105 Lips.), gives ten for the city and five for the Peiraeus, or fifteen in all. The notion that there were originally only three rests on a false reading in Lysias (Or. 22, κατὰ τῶν Σιτοπωλῶν, § 8, where Scheibe rightly corrects τέσσαρες (δ᾽) for δύο: see his note, and Fränkel l.c.). According to Lysias (ib. § 16), the σιτοφύλακες has often been punished with death for mere inability to check the proceedings of the σιτοπῶλαι, but the passionate unfairness of this speech indisposes us to accept so extraordinary a statement on its sole authority.

Demosthenes refers to the entry in the books of the Sitophylaces (τὴν παρὰ τοῖς σιτοφύλαξιν ἀπολραφὴν) to prove the quantity of corn imported from Pontus, which (he says) was equal to all that came from elsewhere, owing to, the liberality of Leucon, king of the Bosporus, who allowed corn to be exported from Theudosia to Athens free of duty (Dem. c. Lept. p. 467.32). These books were probably kept by the five who acted for the Peiraeus, whose especial business it would be to inspect the cargoes that were unladen. (Harpocr. s. v. Σιτοφύλακες: Boeckh, P. E. p. 83 = Sthh.3 1.105.) [C.R.K] [W.W]

(Appendix). Fränkel's view as to their number, five for the city and five for the Peiraeus, is shown to be correct (Ἀθ. πολ. 100.51).

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