Deme


Deme
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 (Greek: δῆμος) was a subdivision of Attica, the region of Greece surrounding Athens. 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 city of Athens itself, where they had not previously existed; in all, at the end of Cleisthenes' reforms, Attica was divided into 139 demes. The establishment of demes as the fundamental units of the state weakened the gene, or aristocratic family groups, that had dominated the phratries.[1]

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.[2]

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 phyles of Athens. Each tribe contained one trittys from each of three regions: the city, the coast, and the inland area.

Contents

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

Erechtheïs (Ἐρεχθηΐς)

Upper Agryle
Lower Agryle
Anagyrous
Euonymon
Themakos
Kedoi
Kephisia
Upper Lamptrai
Lower Lamptrai
Pambotadai
Upper Pergase
Lower Pergase
Phegous
Sybridai

Aegeïs (Αἰγηΐς)

Upper Ankyle
Lower Ankyle
Araphen
Halai Araphenides
Bate
Gargettos
Diomeia
Hestiaia
Erikeia
Erchia
Ikarion
Ionidai
Kollytos
Kolonos
Kydantidai
Myrrhinoutta
Otryne
Plotheia
Teithras
Phegaia
Philaidai

Pandionis (Πανδιονίς)

Angele
Konthyle
Kydathenaion
Kytheros
Myrrhinous
Oa
Prasiai
Probalinthos
Upper Paiania
Lower Paiania
Steiria

Leontis (Λεοντίς)

Aithalidai
Halimous
Deiradiotai
Hecale
Eupyridai
Kettos
Kolonai
Kropidai
Leukonion
Oion Kerameikon
Paionidai
Pelekes
Upper Potamos
Lower Potamos
Potamioi-Deiradiotai
Skambonidai
Sounion
Hybadai
Phrearrhioi
Cholleidai

Akamantis (Ἀκαμαντίς)

Hagnous
Eiresidai
Eitea
Hermos
Iphistiadai
Thorikos
Kerameis
Kephale
Kikynna
Kyrteidai
Poros
Prospalta
Sphettos
Cholargos

Oeneïs (Οἰνηΐς)

Acharnae
Boutadai
Epikephisia
Thria
Hippotomadai
Kothokidai
Lakiadai
Lousia
Oe
Perithoidai
Ptelea
Tyrmeidai
Phyle

Kekropis (Κεκροπίς)

Athmonon
Aixone
Halai Aixonides
Daidalidai
Epieikidai
Melite
Xypete
Pithos
Sypalettos
Trinemeia
Phlya

Hippothontis (Ἱπποθοντίς)

Azenia
Hamaxanteia
Anakaia
Auridai
Acherdous
Dekeleia
Elaious
Eleusis
Eroiadai
Thymaitadai
Keiriadai
Koile
Kopros
Korydallos
Oinoe (of the west)
Oion Dekeleikon
Peiraieus

Aiantis (Αἰαντίς)

Aphidna
Marathon
Oinoe (of the east)
Rhamnous
Trikorynthos
Phaleron

Antiochis (Ἀντιοχίς)

Aigilia
Alopeke
Amphitrope
Anaphlystos
Atene
Besa
Eitea
Eroidai
Ergadeis
Thorai
Kolonai
Krioa
Leukopyra
Pallene
Semachidai
Phyrrhinesioi

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 the municipalities.

Footnotes

  1. ^ J.V. Fine, The Ancient Greeks: A Critical History
  2. ^ David Whitehead, "Deme" from the Oxford Classical Dictionary, Simon Hornblower and Antony Spawforth ed.

References

  • Fine, John V.A. The Ancient Greeks: A critical history (Harvard University Press, 1983). ISBN 0-674-03314-0.
  • Hornblower, Simon, and Anthony Spawforth ed., The Oxford Classical Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 2003). ISBN 0-19-866172-X.
  • Suzanne, Bernard (1998). plato-dialogues.org, "Attic Tribes and Demes". Accessed August 1, 2006.
  • Whitehead, David. The Demes of Attica 508/7–ca. 250 BC: A Political and Social Study (Princeton University Press, 1986).

Further reading


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