The trittyes // (Ancient Greek : τριττύεςtrittúes), singular trittys // (τριττύς trittús) were part of the organizational structure the divided the population in ancient Attica, and is commonly thought to have been established by the reforms of Cleisthenes in 508 BC. The name trittys means "third", and is named such because there were three types of regions in each trittys. There were thirty trittyes and ten tribes (before Cleisthenes, there were only four tribes organized by royal families) named after local heroes in Attica . Trittyes were composed of one or more demes; demes were the basic unit of division in Attica, which were the smaller units of population that made up the trittyes. (see here - - for a very descriptive map of the demes and tribes).
Cleisthenes is credited with this change in the way the Athenians and their surrounding city-states (the area that is referred to as Ancient Attica) were organized. He changed the original four tribes (that were based on family relations) into ten tribes, and formed them in order to represent the male general population as much as possible . This resulted in the formation of each of the 139 demes (subdivisions of smaller city-states) into groups of trittyes . The goal of this new organization was to spread out the areas, make the representation more equal and help them ne distributed more evenly. The way that this distribution allowed a more equal spread of representation was that each tribe was composed of their respective trittyes, and each trittyes included areas from the coast ( paralia ), from the city ( asty ), and from the inland area ( mesogeia ) . With this organization, one trittys/tribe was not composed of only city, costal or inland areas.
The trittys were formed as a way to have fair representation of all the peoples, whereas before the areas were not spread out as evenly or with as much emphasis on equal representation as with these reforms of Cleisthenes.
The trittyes were the larger denomination of tribes (Phyle) in Ancient Attica, and were formed by the demes that were near each other. The trittyes were often unequal in size and, with that, representation in the judicial aspects of Ancient Attica. The amount of representation for each trittys ranged from some areas having twenty-seven representatives (such as Coastal Antiochis (tribe)), to some areas having only nine representatives/councilors (such as the city section of Aiantis), with others not having much more . The amount of representation for each group does not appear to change drastically over time . Consistently, the city areas tended to have the least amount of representation, and the coastal areas had slightly more than the inland sections .
The smaller trittyes had less citizens in them and the larger ones had more, though there are exceptions. Individuals in the trittys consisted of resident alien, slaves and citizens (men aged 18 introduced to their respective deme by their father, thus making them a citizen of the trittys) . Therefore, there was the possibility for there to be less citizens than a separate area but more residents in general compared to other areas.
There were two main functions for the trittyes. The first function is that of military organization - grouping areas in order to pull troops from - so that one type of area is not out of all their able bodied men in times of war (more spread out among groups).
The second reason is for more of a political organization necessity. The trittys was made up of people from all the three designated areas - the city, the coast and the inland areas . With this method of spreading out the population, the representation of a group is not limited to just those who live in the same area . So, when there are meetings in the city and it is easier for city citizens to attend than coastal citizens, all of the areas have some degree of representation (it is important to note that only male citizens were counted for representative purposes) . This method of representation also prevented the nobles of the area to control any election results via bribes and other forms of influence , and led to a representation by population of the citizens in their respective areas .
This chart represents the original ten Phylai. This is included to show the distribution of city and coastal trittys in the original ten phylai.
|Trittys||Deme||Location||Evidence for Location|
|City||Epikephisia||Kephisos valley, near Lakiadai||General location, determined from patent ety- mology of the name and the findspot (Dipylon) of the deme-decree I.G., II2, 1205; cf. R.E., s.v. Epikephisia|
|City ?||Hippotomadai||Unknown||Little evidence for location; trittys assignment very tentative; cf. R.E., Suppl. X, s.v. Hippoto- madai|
|City||Lakiadai||Sacred Way, E of Kephisos||Location known with certainty from Pausanias (I, 37, 2); cf. Karten von Attika, Text, II, p. 16; R.E., s.v. Lakiad|
|City||Lousia||Kephisos valley, W of Athens||General location, suggested from slight literary evidence and the findspot of the grave marker I.G., II2, 6756 and the reference in I.G., II2, 1672, line 195; cf. R.E., s.v. Lusia; Judeich, Topographie2, p. 174|
|City||Perithoidai||Kephisos valley, W of Athens||General location, suggested from slight literary evidence and the findspot of the grave marker I.G., II2, 7219; cf. R.E., s.v. Perithoidai; Karten von Attika, Text, II, p. 1|
|City||Ptelea||Kephisos valley, W of Athens||General location, tentatively suggested from the findspot of a grave marker (cf. Hesperia, XXXV, 1966, p. 280, no. 7); cf. R.E., s.v. Ptelea|
|City ?||Tyrmeidai||Unknown||Little evidence for location; trittys assignment tentative; cf. R.E., Suppl. X, s.v. Tyrmeid|
|Coast||Kothokidai||Ag. Ioannes, N of Aspropyrgos||Deme-site (cf. Karten von Attika, Text, VII- VIII, p. 23), possible location for Kothokidai, the general location of which is suggested by the findspot (Goritsa) of the gravestone I.G., II2, 6481.|
|Coast||Oe||Site NE of Aspropyrgos, at foot of Kalistiri||Deme-site (cf. Philippson, Griech. Landschaften, I, part 3, p. 861, note 123), suitable for Oe, the general location of which is suggested by Sophocles (Oedipus at Kolonos, 1059ff.).|
Attica, or the Attic peninsula, is a historical region that encompasses the city of Athens, the capital of Greece and its countryside. It is a peninsula projecting into the Aegean Sea, bordering on Boeotia to the north and Megaris to the west. The southern tip of the peninsula, known as Laurion, was an important mining region.
Cleisthenes or Clisthenes was an ancient Athenian lawgiver credited with reforming the constitution of ancient Athens and setting it on a democratic footing in 508 BC. For these accomplishments, historians refer to him as "the father of Athenian democracy." He was a member of the aristocratic Alcmaeonid clan. He was the younger son of Megacles and Agariste making him the maternal grandson of the tyrant Cleisthenes of Sicyon. He was also credited with increasing the power of the Athenian citizens' assembly and for reducing the power of the nobility over Athenian politics.
In cities of ancient Greece, the boule was a council of over 500 citizens appointed to run daily affairs of the city. Originally a council of nobles advising a king, boulai evolved according to the constitution of the city: In oligarchies boule positions might have been hereditary, while in democracies members were typically chosen by lot and served for one year. Little is known about the workings of many boulai, except in the case of Athens, for which extensive material has survived.
The Alcmaeonidae or Alcmaeonids (Ἀλκμαιωνίδαι) were a wealthy and powerful noble family of ancient Athens, a branch of the Neleides who claimed descent from the mythological Alcmaeon, the great-grandson of Nestor.
In ancient Greece, a phratry was a group containing citizens in some city-states. Their existence is known in most Ionian cities and in Athens and it is thought that they existed elsewhere as well. Almost nothing is known about the functions and responsibilities of phratries outside Attica. Within Athens, they played a prominent role in social and religious life, particularly in the major festival called the Apatouria. They played an important role in determining eligibility for Athenian citizenship and all citizens and only citizens were enrolled in phratries. Particularly in anthropology, the term is also applied to similar descent groups of multiple clans in other societies.
In Ancient Greece, a deme or demos 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. to which one should add Berenikidai, established in 224/223 BC, Apollonieis 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.
Phyle is an ancient Greek term for tribe or clan. Members of the same phyle were known as symphyletai, literally: fellow tribesmen. They were usually ruled by a basileus. Some of them can be classified by their geographic location: the Geleontes, the Argadeis, the Hopletes, and the Agikoreis, in Ionia ; the Hylleans, the Pamphyles, the Dymanes, in the Dorian region.
The period of the 5th century BC in classical Greece is generally considered as beginning in 500 BC and ending in 404 BC, though this is debated. This century is essentially studied from the Athenian viewpoint, since Athens has left more narratives, plays and other written works than the other Greek states. If one looks at Athens, our principal source, one might consider that this century begins in 510 BC, with the fall of the Athenian tyrant and Cleisthenes's reforms. If one looks at the whole Greek world, however, we might place its beginning at the Ionian Revolt in 500 BC, that provoked the first Persian invasion of 492 BC. The Persians were finally defeated in 490 BC. A second Persian attempt failed in 480–479 BC. The Delian League then formed, under Athenian hegemony and as Athens' instrument. Athens' excesses caused several revolts among the allied cities, which were all put down by force, but Athenian dynamism finally awoke Sparta and brought about the Peloponnesian War in 431 BC. After both sides were exhausted, a brief peace occurred, and then the war resumed to Sparta's advantage. Athens was definitively defeated in 404 BC, and some internal Athenian agitations ended the 5th century in Greece.
The Synoikia was an ancient Greek festival held in Athens commemorating the political unification of Attica. It was also called the Thesean Synoikismos and the Feast of Union, and celebrated Theseus as founder of Athens and the goddess Athena as the city's patron goddess. The festival was celebrated in the month of Hekatombeion on the 16th. A two-day festival, on the 15th and the 16th was held every second year.
The city of Athens during the classical period of ancient Greece was the major urban centre of the notable polis (city-state) of the same name, located in Attica, Greece, leading the Delian League in the Peloponnesian War against Sparta and the Peloponnesian League. Athenian democracy was established in 508 BC under Cleisthenes following the tyranny of Isagoras. This system remained remarkably stable, and with a few brief interruptions remained in place for 180 years, until 322 BC. The peak of Athenian hegemony was achieved in the 440s to 430s BC, known as the Age of Pericles.
Acamantis was one of the phylai (tribes) of classical Athens, created during the reforms of Cleisthenes. It was named after the legendary hero Acamas, and included the demes of Cholargos, Eiresidai, Hermos, Iphistiadai, Kerameis, Kephale, Poros, Thorikos, Eitea, Hagnous, Kikynna, Prospalta and Sphettos.
Antiochis was one of the ten tribes (phylai) into which the Ancient Athenians were divided.
Alopece was an asty-deme of the city of Athens, but located exterior to the city wall of Athens. Alopece was situated only eleven or twelve stadia from the city, and not far from Cynosarges. It possessed a temple of Aphrodite, and also apparently one of Hermaphroditus.
Aiantis was a phyle of ancient Attica with six demes, the deme with the greatest area was Aphidna.
Erechtheis was a phyle (tribe) of ancient Athens with fourteen demes.
Aigeis is the tribe name of a phyle of Ancient Greece who as a tribal group inhabited a number of demes of the area of Greece known as Attica.
Pandionis is a phyle of ancient Attica, which had eleven demes at the time of its creation, which is when the phyle was created as part of a group of ten phylai.
Leontis is a phyle which had twenty demes at the time of the creation of the phyle, which is at the time of the creation of a group of ten phylai.
Ptelea was a deme of ancient Attica of the phyle Oineis, sending one delegate to the Athenian Boule. It is the setting for Menander's Heros.
The Athenian Revolution was a revolt by the people of Athens that overthrew the ruling aristocratic oligarchy, establishing the almost century-long self-governance of Athens in the form of a participatory democracy – open to all free male citizens. It was a reaction to a broader trend of tyranny that had swept through Athens and the rest of Greece.
Aristotle (1892). The Constitution of the Athenians. Translated by Poste, Edward. Macmillan
Martin, Thomas R (1996). Ancient Greece From Prehistoric to Hellenistic Times. Yale University
Paga, Jessica. “DEME THEATERS IN ATTICA AND THE TRITTYS SYSTEM.” Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, vol. 79, no. 3, The American School of Classical Studies at Athens, 2010, pp. 351–84, http://www.jstor.org/stable/40981054.
Strassler, Robert B (2009). The Landmark Herodotus. Anchor Books. p. 395
Traill, John S (19755). The Political Organization of Attics; a study of the Demes, Trittyes and Phylai, and their representation in the Athenian Council. Princeton, N.J., American School of Classical Studies at Athens. pp. 49, 70-76