). In ancient times the tribal system
prevailed everywhere in Greece; the Dorians having a threefold, the Ionians
a fourfold, division of this kind. [TRIBUS
] This institution remained till the latest period, with
certain modifications. The phylarchs seem originally to have been the chiefs
of the various tribes (φυλαί
), whether in
peace or war. We have direct proofs that they discharged civil functions,
from the case of Epidamnus, a colony of Corcyra. The latter as a Dorian city
had the three Dorian tribes, and we may infer that its colony retained them
likewise. In earlier times Epidamnus was oligarchic in constitution. The
strength of the oligarchy lay in the phylarchs of the three Dorian tribes,
and accordingly, when the revolution came, the oligarchic phylarchs were
supplanted by a democratic boule (Aristot.
b, 22). They probably were the same as the πρόβουλοι,
whom Aristotle (Aristot. Pol. 1299
b, 31) describes
performing under an oligarchy the functions discharged by the boule under a
democracy. How many of these phylarchs there were, we have no means of
deciding. There were probably several from each tribe, possibly the
representatives of the γένη
tribe. We know that at Ilion each tribe had several phylarchs (C. I.
3599). When the phylarchs in the change from oligarchy to
democracy lost their important civil functions, they not unnaturally
retained a remnant of their military importance. As they were oligarchs they
naturally represented that branch of the military organisation which was
especially oligarchic, and thus it is that we find them still appearing as
the commanders of the cavalry of the tribes. At Athens we do not know how
many there were in early times, but probably each of the four old tribes had
originally several phylarchs, but subsequently had only one each under the
constitution of Solon. When Cleisthenes made his ten new tribes, he
increased the number of the phylarchs from four to ten, according to
). It has been thought that the
historian should have said ten phylarchs instead of the old phylobasileis,
who were four in number, one for each of the old tribes (Tittmann,
274-5). But as Herodotus probably identified
phylobasileis with phylarchi, there is no difficulty in the passage. Under
the constitution of Cleisthenes there were ten phylarchi: one tribe (Pollux,
8.94) commanded the cavalry contingent (100 men) of each tribe. (Cf.
αἱ φυλαὶ τῶν ἱππέων,
Xen. Hipp. 3
, 11.) They were
under the control of the two hipparchi. According to Pollux (8.94), they
were chosen from each tribe by the archons collectively. This can hardly be
regarded as conclusive even on his great authority. It is more probable that
they were elected by Cheirotonia, like the strategi, hipparchi, and
taxiarchi. As the cavalry were citizens of the two highest classes
(pentacosiomedimni and hippeis), we may infer that the phylarchs always
belonged to either of these classes. The office also existed at Cyzicus (cf.
Inscription in Rev. Arch.
30.93), and is mentioned as next in
order after the strategi.
At Methymna likewise each tribe has its φυλάρχης
(inscript. in Bull.
. The surmise that
the ten phylarchi were elected by cheirotonia is confirmed by Ath. Pol. 61
[see p. 388 b,
where a misprint, “one tribe
commanded the cavalry contingent,”
should be altered to “one phylarch” ]. Their examination of the
cavalry roll in presence of the βουλή,
in conjunction with the hipparchs, and their register of the vote passed as
to the fitness or unfitness of those who pleaded incapacity capacity for
service, are mentioned in 100.49.