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The Demes of Attica, 508/7 -ca. 250 B.C.

The Demes of Attica, 508/7 -ca. 250 B.C.: A Political and Social Study

David Whitehead
Copyright Date: 1986
Pages: 514
https://www.jstor.org/stable/j.ctt7zthw5
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  • Book Info
    The Demes of Attica, 508/7 -ca. 250 B.C.
    Book Description:

    This work is a richly detailed study of the nature and development of the 139 Attic demes, the local units that made up the city-state of Athens during the classical and early Hellenistic periods.

    Originally published in 1986.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5768-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
    (pp. ix-ix)
  4. CONVENTIONS AND ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. x-xii)
  5. PREFACE
    (pp. xiii-xvi)
    David Whitehead
  6. INTRODUCTION
    (pp. xvii-xxviii)

    “If the [Athenian] citizen, individually in office, and, more important, collectively in deliberation, played such a large part, how was his practical wisdom developed and brought out by experience, so that he was not at a loss in state affairs, and only occasionally not perpetually deluded? How was that travesty of good judgment, opinion without information, avoided as far as possible? Above all, how did the citizens get to know each other: an essential for those who take it in turns to rule and be ruled? […] Here comes in something which I think has been too much neglected by...

  7. I. Prolegomena

    • CHAPTER 1 BEFORE AND AFTER KLEISTHENES
      (pp. 3-38)

      “So first he distributed everyone into ten tribes instead of the (previous) four, with the object of mixing them up so that more might share in the rights of a citizen. From this arose the saying ‘No prying into tribes’ as a retort to those wishing to enquire into ancestry … (4) And he divided the country, by demes, into thirty parts—ten in the city area, ten around the coast, ten inland. These he called trittyes, and he assigned three by lot into each tribe, so that each (tribe) should share in all the three regions. And he made...

    • CHAPTER 2 SOURCES AND METHODOLOGY
      (pp. 39-64)

      For more than half a millennium, following its creation in the late sixth century, the Kleisthenic deme system generated directly or indirectly a rich diversity of epigraphic and literary material; and this, insofar as it has been preserved, offers the historian his data for studying the phenomenon itself. We must now classify and evaluate this miscellany of sources, and make an attempt—which is long overdue—at formulating some methodological principles for its use.

      What we know of the demes comes from three categories of source material:¹ inscriptions, literary sources, and lexicographers and scholiasts. During the century since Haussoullier wrote...

  8. II. Inside the Deme

    • CHAPTER 3 THE DEME AND ITS RESIDENTS
      (pp. 67-85)

      The Kleisthenic deme system, as we saw in Chapter 1B, was in all probability founded upon a concerted act of self-identification by the residents of local communities. Even if links of residence between members of the samekinshipgroups—phratries and the like—were (and remained) more normal than we can now reconstruct,¹ it does not seem appropriate to describe such organizations as either “local” or, in a genuine sense, “communities.” The demes, on the other hand, were clearly both. Their wholeraison d’êtrewas the establishment of community, of bonds between neighbors naturally united by residence within a definable...

    • CHAPTER 4 THE DEME ASSEMBLY
      (pp. 86-120)

      “Toute association a ses réunions, tout dème a son assemblée. Ceux-là seulement sont membres du dème qui ont le droit de venir à l’assemblée, d’y parler, d’y prendre part aux délibérations et aux votes. L’assemblée, c’est le dème même.”¹ Although no source tells us so directly, it may legitimately be assumed that a provision for every deme, great and small, to meet in assembly and administer its own affairs had been part of Kleisthenes’ inaugural measures, and was never revoked thereafter (at least during the period covered in this study). “A deme” stands first, as we have seen, in the...

    • CHAPTER 5 THE DEMARCH AND OTHER OFFICIALS
      (pp. 121-148)

      The deme assemblies, as we have seen in Chapter 4, transacted business and passed resolutions like the cityekklēsia. Yet no deme assembly, however small, was small enough to act as its own executive—and no deme, as far as we know, possessed an equivalent of the city’sboulē.¹ To implement what the demesmen had resolved, and also to apply such regulations of central government as affected local administration—in short, to administer the deme’s affairs from day to day—it was therefore necessary for individualdēmotaito take on the labor and the responsibility of being deme officials. We...

    • CHAPTER 6 INCOME AND EXPENDITURE
      (pp. 149-175)

      The communal life of the demes, as of the state itself, was ultimately fuelled by money. Through its assembly and its officials every deme derived an income, from a variety of sources, and spent it (or part of it) in a variety of ways; and a concern with finance—especially the maintenance and, if possible, increase of revenue(s) (prosodos, prosodoi)—naturally figures prominently in many of the demes’ enactments.¹ Broadly speaking, it may be assumed that each deme had to formulate its own budget (dioikēsis),² that is, a balance between income and expenditure,³ at a level determined by its own...

    • CHAPTER 7 RELIGION
      (pp. 176-222)

      InLa Vie MunicipaleHaussoullier divided his subject into two parts, dealing first with the “constitution civile” of the deme and then with its “constitution religieuse.” The neatness of this bipartition was more apparent than real, however, for under the first heading he had, inevitably, to investigate such matters as the control of cult expenditure by the deme assemblies and the role of the demarche in the religious sphere. Likewise, in the different format adopted in this present book, several important aspects of deme religion have already arisen for discussion, whether summarily or in detail. In particular we have seen...

    • CHAPTER 8 DEME SOCIETY
      (pp. 223-252)

      It is as true today as it was when Haussoullier wroteLa Vie Municipalethat the inner life of the demes is largely impenetrable. We cannot—and we surely never shall—know Melite or Myrrhinous as we know Montaillou or Myddle.¹ The concentrated dossier of evidence which has made possible the detailed study of such villages in mediaeval and early modern times is lacking for any ancient Attic deme, even in the fourth century. Accordingly the only practicable means of approaching the topic of deme society is, once again,² to assemble a composite picture within which the data from one...

  9. III. Deme and Polis

    • CHAPTER 9 LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND CENTRAL GOVERNMENT
      (pp. 255-290)

      In a sovereign (nonfederal) nation-state, a model of the relationship between local government and central government can often be a fairly simple one. Irrespective of whether, historically speaking, administrative powers have been concentrated centripetally or devolved centrifugally, some of the functions of government (notionally the major ones) are exercised by all-embracing organs and agencies of the state as a whole, while others (notionally the minor ones) fall to subdivisions of the state—usually though not necessarily territorial subdivisions—with their own deliberative bodies and executive officials. Every citizen of the state is also a member of a local subdivision and...

    • CHAPTER 10 LOCAL POLITICS AND CITY POLITICS
      (pp. 291-326)

      In his dual capacity as demesman and citizen¹ an Athenian of the classical period was expected to take an active part in public life in both the microcosm of his own deme and the macrocosm of the polis as a whole. Employing the term “politics” in this simplest of its many senses—the business of government and the participation of individuals therein—this chapter will attempt to determine what can usefully be said about the politics of the deme and their relationship with the politics of the city.

      As we saw in Chapter 9, the Athenians felt it necessary to...

    • CHAPTER 11 THE DEME IN COMEDY
      (pp. 327-346)

      In Part III so far we have pursued the theme of “deme and polis” by investigating on a factual level some aspects of the relationships between local and central government and local and city politics. This final chapter takes a different but, in its way, equally valid and instructive approach to that same theme. The Athenian polis in the classical and early Hellenistic periods existed and functioned as the consummation of its individual demes in both a real and also a psychological sense; and one can best appreciate the latter by examining the image of the demes, collectively and individually,...

  10. IV CONSPECTUS: THE DEMES AND HISTORY
    (pp. 347-363)

    At this point in a book it would not be unreasonable for readers to expect a convenient summary of the conclusions which have emerged, readily or laboriously, from the author’s investigation of the various parts of his subject. I must therefore make it plain at the outset of these final pages that such a précis has been eschewed here, at least as a primary aim. In so far as the chapters of this book or their constituent sections have given rise to anything as recognizable as “conclusions,” those which are to be reckoned either certain or at least highly probable...

  11. APPENDIX 1. DĒMOS AND DĒMOI BEFORE KLEISTHENES
    (pp. 364-368)
  12. APPENDIX 2. THE KLEISTHENIC DEMES (with their tribal affiliation and bouleutic representation)
    (pp. 369-373)
  13. APPENDIX 3. DEME DOCUMENTS
    (pp. 374-393)
  14. APPENDIX 4. PEIRAIEUS
    (pp. 394-396)
  15. APPENDIX 5. ACHARNAI
    (pp. 397-400)
  16. APPENDIX 6. THE GARRISON DEMES
    (pp. 401-407)
  17. PROSOPOGRAPHY
    (pp. 408-454)
  18. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY
    (pp. 455-459)
  19. INDEX OF PASSAGES CITED
    (pp. 460-473)
  20. INDEX OF DEMES
    (pp. 474-477)
  21. GENERAL INDEX
    (pp. 478-485)
  22. Back Matter
    (pp. 486-486)