This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Such, then, are the regulations about the registration of the citizens and about the cadets. All the officials concerned with the regular administration are appointed by lot, except a Treasurer of Military Funds, the Controllers of the Spectacle Fund, and the Superintendent of Wells; these officers are elected by show of hands, and their term of office runs from one Panathenaic Festival to the next.1 All military officers also are elected by show of hands.  The Council is elected lot, and has five hundred members, fifty from each tribe. The Presidency is filled by each tribe in turn, in an order settled by lot, each of the first four selected holding the office for thirty-six days and each of the latter six for thirty-five days; for their year is divided into lunar months.2  Those of them serving as Presidents first dine together in the Round-house,3 receiving a sum of money from the state, and then convene meetings of the Council and the People, the Council indeed meeting on every day excepting holidays, but the People four times in each presidency. And the Presidents put up written notice of the business to be dealt with by the Council, and of each day's agenda, and of the place of meeting.  They also put up written notice of the meetings of the Assembly: one4 sovereign meeting, at which the business is to vote the confirmation of the magistrates in office if they are thought to govern well, and to deal with matters of food supply and the defence of the country; and on this day informations have to be laid by those who wish, and the inventories of estates being confiscated read, and the lists of suits about inheritance and heiresses, so that all may have cognizance of any vacancy in an estate that occurs.  In the sixth presidency in addition to the business specified they take a vote on the desirability of holding an ostracism, and on preliminary informations against persons charged as malicious informers, citizens and resident aliens, up to the number of not more than three cases of either class, and charges of failure to perform a service promised to the People.  Another meeting is given to petitions, at which anyone who wishes, after placing a suppliant-branch,5 may speak to the People about any matter he may wish whether public or private. The two other meetings deal with all other business, at which the laws enact that three cases of sacred matters are to be dealt with, three audiences for heralds and embassies, and three cases of secular matters. And sometimes they do business without a preliminary vote being taken. Also the Presidents give a first audience to heralds and to ambassadors, and to the Presidents dispatches are delivered by their bearers.
1 i.e. in every four years; the Great Panathenaic Festival, as also the Pythian, was held in the third Olympic year.
2 Alternate months of 29 and 30 days make a year of 354 days, as does 36 x 4 + 35 x 6.
3 At the N.E. of the Areopagus, near the Council-chamber.
4 One in each presidential term of office.
5 An olive-branch wreathed with wool was carried by the 'suppliant' and placed on the altar in the assembly.