Deme

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Pinakia, identification tablets (name, father's name, deme) used for tasks like jury selection, Museum at the Ancient Agora of Athens AGMA Pinakia.jpg
Pinakia, identification tablets (name, father's name, deme) used for tasks like jury selection, Museum at the Ancient Agora of Athens

In Ancient Greece, a deme or demos (Ancient Greek : δῆμος) was a suburb or a subdivision of Athens and other city-states. Demes as simple subdivisions of land in the countryside seem to have existed in the 6th century BC and earlier, but did not acquire particular significance until the reforms of Cleisthenes in 508 BC. In those reforms, enrollment in the citizen-lists of a deme became the requirement for citizenship; prior to that time, citizenship had been based on membership in a phratry, or family group. At this same time, demes were established in the main city of Athens itself, where they had not previously existed; in all, at the end of Cleisthenes' reforms, Athens was divided into 139 demes. [1] to which one should add Berenikidai, established in 224/223 BC, Apollonieis (201/200 BC) and Antinoeis (126/127). The establishment of demes as the fundamental units of the state weakened the gene , or aristocratic family groups, that had dominated the phratries. [2]

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A deme functioned to some degree as a polis in miniature, and indeed some demes, such as Eleusis and Acharnae, were in fact significant towns. Each deme had a demarchos who supervised its affairs; various other civil, religious, and military functionaries existed in various demes. Demes held their own religious festivals and collected and spent revenue. [3]

Demes were combined with other demes from the same area to make trittyes , larger population groups, which in turn were combined to form the ten tribes, or phylai of Athens. Each tribe contained one trittys from each of three regions: the city, the coast, and the inland area.

Cleisthenes' reforms and its modifications

First period: 508 – 307/306 BC

The division of the Athenian city-state (polis) into urban (pink), inland (green), and coastal (blue) zones by Cleisthenes CarteAttiqueApresClisthene.jpg
The division of the Athenian city-state (polis) into urban (pink), inland (green), and coastal (blue) zones by Cleisthenes

Cleisthenes divided the landscape in three zones—urban ( asty ), coastal ( paralia ) and inland ( mesogeia )—and the 139 demes were organized into 30 groups called trittyes ("thirds"), ten for each of the zones and into ten tribes, or phylai , each composed of three trittyes, one from the coast, one from the city, and one from the inland area.

Cleisthenes also reorganized the Boule, created with 400 members under Solon, so that it had 500 members, 50 from each tribe, each deme having a fixed quota.

The ten tribes were named after legendary heroes and came to have an official order:

  1. Erechtheis (Ἐρεχθηΐς) named after Erechtheus
  2. Aigeis (Αἰγηΐς) named after Aegeus
  3. Pandionis (Πανδιονίς) named after Pandion
  4. Leontis (Λεοντίς) named after Leos, son of Orpheus
  5. Acamantis (Ἀκαμαντίς) named after Acamas
  6. Oineis (Οἰνηΐς) named after Oeneus
  7. Kekropis (Κεκροπίς) named after Cécrops
  8. Hippothontis (or Hippothoontis) (Ἱπποθοντίς) named after Hippothoon
  9. Aiantis (Αἰαντίς) named after Ajax
  10. Antiochis (Ἀντιοχίς) named after Antiochus, son of Heracles

Second period: 307/306 – 224/223 BC

In 307/306 – 224/223 BC the system was reorganized with the creation of two Macedonian Phylai (XI. Antigonis and XII. Demetrias), named after Demetrius I of Macedon and Antigonus I Monophthalmus, and an increase in the membership of the Boule to 600. Each of the ten tribes, except Aiantis, provided three demes (not necessarily one for trittyes); the missing contribution of Aiantis was covered by two demes of Leontis and one from Aigeis.

Third period: 224/223 – 201/200 BC

The Egyptian Phyle XIII. Ptolemais, named after Ptolemy III Euergetes was created in 224/223 BC and the Boule was again increased to 600 members, the twelve tribes giving each a demos. A new village was creatied and named Berenikidai after Ptolemy's wife Berenice II of Egypt.

Fourth period: 201/200 BC – 126/127 AD

In 201/200 BC the Macedonian Phylae were dissolved and the villages (except the two given to Ptolemais) went back to their original tribes. In the spring of 200 BC Tribe XIV. Attalis, named after Attalus I, was created following the same scheme used for the creation of the Egyptian Phyle: each tribe contributed a deme and a new deme, Apollonieis, wais created in honour of Apollonis, wife of Attalus I of Pergamum. As a consequence there were again 12 tribeas and 600 members of the Boule. From this period onward, quotas were no longer assigned to the demes for the 50 Boule members from each tribe

Fifth period: 126/127 – third century

The last modification was the creation in 126/127 of XV. Hadrianis, named after the Emperor Hadrian, following the same scheme: each tribe contributed a deme and a new deme, Antinoeis, was created in honour of Hadrian's favourite, Antinous. Each tribe contributed 40 members to the Boule.

Representation in the Boule

In the first three periods there it a more detailed system of fixed quotas which essentially remained unchanged. There is no evidence for a single general reapportionment of quotas within each of the first three periods, while there are evident small quota-variations between the first and the second periods. [4]

More precisely in:

307/306 BC, 24 demes increased of 1 bouleutes, 13 of 2, 5 or 3, 6 of 4 and 1 (Lower Paiania) of 11 and there is not a single example of a decreased quota. [5]
224/223 BC 4 demes increased of 1 bouleutes, 1 of 2, 2 or 3 and 2 of 4; of the 56 demes whose quota in the third period are known more than half maintain their same quota through the first three periods. [6]

As regards the last two periods, the material illustrates the complete collapse of the quota-system from 201/200 BC. [7]

Spurious and Late Roman demes

Some deme lists suggest extendsions of the list of 139+3 by adding 43 other names ,some of which have been considered by scholars as Attic demes. [8] The criticism performed by John S. Traill [9] shows that 24 are the result of error, ancient [10] or modern, [11] or of misinterpretation [12] and 19 [13] are well known chiefly from inscriptions of the second and third centuries AD, i.e. in the fifth period, and thus for political purposes they were originally dependent on legitimate Cleisthenic demes.

Homonymous and divided demes

There were [14] six pairs of homonymous demes:

There were six divided demes, one composed of three parts:

List of Athenian demes according to tribes/phylai (φυλαί)

The ten Cleisthenic tribes

I. Erechtheïs (Ἐρεχθηΐς) [15]
Deme# [16] # [17] # [18] Notes
city
Upper Agryle 233One deme to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods and to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
Lower Agryle 2
Euonymon 101212
Themakos 11to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
coast
Anagyrous 688
Kedoi 222
Upper Lamptrai 5to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
Coastal Lamptrai 91010
Pambotadai 1(0)12to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
Kephisia (?)inland
Kephisia 688
Upper Pergase 233One deme to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
Lower Pergase 2
Phegous 111
Sybridai 0(1)11
Deme# [16] # [17] # [18] Notes
II. Aigeis (Αἰγηΐς) [19]
Deme# [16] # [17] Notes
city
Upper Ankyle 1to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
Lower Ankyle 11
Bate 1(2)1
Diomeia 1to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
Erikeia 12
Hestiaia 11
Kollytos 34
Kolonos 22
coast
Araphen 22
Halai Araphenides 59
Otryne 11
Phegaia 3(4)3(4)to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
Philaidai 33
Epakria inland
Erchia 7(6)11
Gargettos 4to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
Ikarion 5(4)to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods and to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
Ionidai 2(1)2
Kydantidai 1(2)1(2)to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
Myrrhinoutta 11
Plotheia 12
Teithras 44
Deme# [16] # [17] Notes
III. Pandionis (Πανδιονίς) [20]
Deme# [16] # [17] # [18] Notes
Kydathenaion city
Kydathenaion 12(11)to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
Myrrhinous coast
Angele 2(3)44
Myrrhinous 688
Prasiai 333
Probalinthos 555to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
Steiria 334
Paiania inland
Konthyle 11to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
Kytheros 2(1)to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
Oa 444to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
Upper Paiania 1to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
Lower Paiania 112222
Deme# [16] # [17] # [18] Notes
IV. Leontis (Λεοντίς) [21] [22]
Deme# [16] # [17] # [18] Notes
Skambonidai city
Halimous 333
Kettos 33(4)3
Leukonoion 355
Oion Kerameikon 1to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
Skambonidai 344to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
Upper Potamos 222
Lower Potamos 1to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
Phrearrhioi coast
Deiradiotai 2to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
Potamioi Deiradiotai 2to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
Phrearrhioi 9910
Sounion 466to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
Hekale (?)inland
Aithalidai 2to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
Cholleidai 255
Eupyridai 222
Hekale 11to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
Hybadai 22(1)2
Kolonai 222
Kropidai 111
Paionidai 333
Pelekes 222
Deme# [16] # [17] # [18] Notes
V. Akamantis (Ἀκαμαντίς) [23]
Deme# [16] # [17] Notes
Cholargos city
Cholargos 46
Eiresidai 12
Hermos 22
Iphistiadae 11
Kerameis 66
Thorikoscoast
Kephale 912
Poros 3to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
Thorikos 5(6)6
Sphettosinland
Eitea 2to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods and to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
Hagnous 5to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods and to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
Kikynna 23
Prospalta 55to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
Sphettos 57
Deme# [16] # [17] Notes
VI. Oeneïs (Οἰνηΐς) [24]
Deme# [16] # [17] Notes
Lakiadai city
Boutadai 11to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
Epikephisia 1(2)1
Hippotomadai 1to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
Lakiadai 23
Lousia 11
Perithoidai 33
Ptelea 11
Tyrmeidai 1(0)1to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
Thria coast
Kothokidai 2(1)to XII.Demetrias in the second and third period
Oe 6(7)6
Phyle 2to XII.Demetrias in the second and third period
Thria 78to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
Pedion inland
Acharnae 2225
Deme# [16] # [17] Notes
VII. Kekropis (Κεκροπίς) [25]
Deme# [16] # [17] Notes
Melite (?)city
Daidalidai 1to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods and to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
Melite 7to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
Xypete 7to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
Aixone(?)coast
Aixone 812
Halai Aixonides 610
inland
Athmonon 610to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
Epieikidai 11(0)
Phlya 79to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
Pithos 2(3)4
Sypalettos 22 [26]
Trinemeia 22
Deme# [16] # [17] Notes
VIII. Hippothontis (Ἱπποθοντίς) [23]
Deme# [16] # [17] Notes
Peiraieus city
Hamaxanteia 22
Keiriadai 22
Koile 3to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
Korydallos 11to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
Peiraieus 910
Thymaitadai 22
Eleusis coast
Acherdous 11
Auridai 1to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
Azenia 22
Elaious 11to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
Eleusis 1112
Kopros 22
Oinoe 2to XII.Demetrias in the second and to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
Dekeleia (?)inland
Anakaia 33
Eroiadai 12
Dekeleia 46
Oion Dekeleikon 33to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period and to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
Deme# [16] # [17] Notes
IX. Aiantis (Αἰαντίς)
Deme# [16] # [17] # [18] Notes
Phaleron (?)city
Phaleron 9913
Thorikoscoast
Marathon 101013
Oinoe 446to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period and to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
Rhamnous 8812
Trikorynthos 336to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
Aphidna (?)inland
Aphidna 1616to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period and to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
Deme# [16] # [17] # [18] Notes
X. Antiochis (Ἀντιοχίς) [27]
Deme# [16] # [17] Notes
Alopekecity
Alopeke 1012
Anaphlistoscoast
Aigilia 67to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
Amphitrope 23
Anaphlystos 1011
Atene 3to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods and to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
Besa 22to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
Thorai 4to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
Pallene inland
Eitea 2(1)2
Eroiadai 11
Kolonai 2to XI.Antigonis in the second period and to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
Krioa 12
Pallene 6(7)9
Semachidai 11
Deme# [16] # [17] Notes

The Macedonian tribes

XI. Antigonis [28]
DemeFormer phyleTrittys# [16] # [17]
Lower Agryle Erachtheiscity33
Upper Lamptrai Erachtheiscoast55
Lower Pergase Erachtheisinland22
Upper Ankyle Aigeiscity11
Ikarion Aigeisinland56
Kydathenaion Pandioniscity1212
Kytheros Pandionisinland22
Upper Paiania Pandionisinland11
Aithalidai Leontisinland22
Deiradiotai Leontiscoast22
Potamos Deiradiotes Leontiscoast22
Eitea Akamantisinland22
Auridai Hippothontiscoast11
Kolonai Antiochisinland22
XII. Demetrias [29]
DemeFormer phyleTrittys# [16] # [17]
Diomeia Aigeiscity11
Oion Kerameikon Leontiscity11
Lower Potamos Leontiscoast12
Hagnous Akamantisinland55
Poros Akamantiscoast33
Hippotomadai Oineiscity11
Kothokidai Oineiscoast22
Phyle Oineiscoast26
Daidalidai Kekropiscity11
Melite Kekropiscity77
Xypete Kekropiscity77
Koile Hippothontiscity33
Oinoe Hippothontiscoast22
Atene Antiochiscoast34
Thorai Antiochiscoast45

The later tribes

XIII. Ptolemais [30]
DemeFormer phyleTrittys# [16] # [17] # [18]
Kolonai Antigonisinland222
Oinoe Demetriascoast222
Themakos Erechteiscity111
Kydantidai Aigeisinland1 (2)1 (2)1
Konthyle Pandionisinland111
Hekale Leontisinland111
Prospalta Akamantisinland555
Boutadai Oineiscity111
Phlya Kekropisinland699
Oion Dekeleikon Hippothontisinland333
Aphidna Aiantisinland161616
Aigilia Antiochiscoast677
Berenikidai new1
XIV. Attalis [31]
DemeFormer phyleTrittys# [16] # [17] # [18]
Lower Agrile Erechteiscity333
Ikarion Aigeisinland5 (4)66
Probalinthos Pandioniscoast555
Sounion Leontiscoast466
Oion Dekailekon Ptolemaisinlamd333
Hagnous Akamantisinland555
Tyrmeidai Oineiscity1(0)11
Athmonon Kekropisinland61010
Korydallos Hippothontiscity333
Oinoe Aiantiscoast446
Atene Antiochiscoast344
Apollonieis new
XV. Hadrianis [32]
DemeFormer phyleTrittys# [16] # [17] # [18]
Pambotadai Erechteiscoast1 (0)1 (0)2
Phegaia Aigeiscoast3 (4)3 (4)4
Oa Pandionisinland444
Skambonidai Leontiscity344
Aphidna Ptolemaisinlamd161616
Eitea Akamantisinland222
Thria Oineiscoast788
Daidalidai Kekropiscity111
Elaious Hippothontiscoast111
Trikorynthos Aiantiscoast336
Besa Antiochiscoast222
Oinoe Attaliscoast446
Antinoeis new

The ten tribes of Thurii

When the city was settled under the support of Pericles and the command of Lampon and Xenocritus the population was organized in ten tribes, following the Athenian organization: there were tribes for the population of 1. Arcadia, 2. Achaea, 3. Elis, 4. Boeotia, 5. Delphi, 6. Dorians, 7. Ionians, 8. population of Euboea, 9. the islands and 10. Athenians. [33]

Later usage

The term "deme" (dēmos) survived into the Hellenistic and Roman eras. By the time of the Byzantine Empire, the term was used to refer to one of the four chariot racing factions, the Reds, the Blues, the Greens and the Whites.

In modern Greece, the term dēmos is used to denote one of the municipalities.

Footnotes

  1. Traill 1975 , p. 76
  2. J.V. Fine, The Ancient Greeks: A Critical History
  3. David Whitehead, "Deme" from the Oxford Classical Dictionary , Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth, ed.
  4. Traill 1975 , p. 56
  5. Traill 1975 , p. 59
  6. Traill 1975 , p. 62
  7. Traill 1975 , p. 61
  8. Graes, Phegaia, Kaletea (III); Rhakidai, Kyrteidai (V); Phyle B, Perrihidai (VI); Kikynna B, Trinemeia B, Sypalettos B (VII); Agriadai, Pol(--), Anakaia B, Amymone, Sphendale (VIII); Kykala, Perrhidai, Thyrgonidai, Titakidai, Petalidai, Psaphis (IX); Atene B, De(--), Lekkon, Leukopyra, Ergadeis, Phyrrhinesioi, Malainai, Pentele (X).
  9. Traill 1975 , pp. 81–96
  10. Anakaia B, Phegaieis B, Graes, Pol(--)
  11. Agriadai
  12. De(--), Salamis, Kaletea, Kikynna B, Atene B, Ikaroin, Amphitrope B, Phyle B, Sypalettos B, Trinemeia B, Coastal Lamptrai, Chastieis, Chelidonia, Echelidai, Gephyreis, Lekkon, Oisia, Rhakidai, Sporgilos.
  13. Hyporeia,Thirgonidai, Titakidai, Perrhidai, Petalidai, Eunostidai, Klopidai, Melainai, Sphendale, Pentale, Psaphis, Akyaia, Amymone, Ergadeis, Kykala, Kyrteidai, Leukopyra, Phy(r)rhinesioi, Semachidai B,
  14. Traill 1975 , pp. 123–8
  15. Traill 1975 , Table I
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Quota in the first period
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 Quota in the second period
  18. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Quota in the third period
  19. Traill 1975 , Table II
  20. Traill 1975 , Table III
  21. Traill 1975 , Table IV
  22. Traill 1975 , p. 133
  23. 1 2 Traill 1975 , Table V
  24. Traill 1975 , Table VI
  25. Traill 1975 , Table VII
  26. Meritt, 1961, pp.227-230 suggests that Sypalettos could be temporarily belonged to XIV.Attalis in 145; the argument would justify the conflicting facts that the current archon, Epikrates, was from Sypalettos and that archonship, in the secretary-cycle, should be assigned to Attalis; in connection he pointed that the son of the eponym, Attalos II, was of the deme Sypalettos and that a similar reletionship between phylai and members of the family of the eponym is proved by Ptolemy V Epiphanes, grandson of Ptolemy III and member of XIII.Ptolemais and by Hadrian which was accepted into the deme of Besa.
  27. Traill 1975 , Table X
  28. Traill 1975 , Table XI
  29. Traill 1975 , Table XII
  30. Traill 1975 , Table XIII
  31. Traill 1975 , Table XIV
  32. Traill 1975 , Table XV
  33. Fritz Schachermeyr, Perikles, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart–Berlin–Köln–Mainz 1969

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References