Aesymnetes (Gr. polytonic|αισυμνήτης, from polytonic|αισα, a "just portion", hence "a person who gives every­one his just portion") was the name of an ancient Greek elected office similar to, and sometimes indistinguishable from, tyrant. [Citation
last = Smith
first = William
author-link = William Smith (lexicographer)
contribution = Aesymnetes
editor-last = Smith
editor-first = William
title = Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities
volume = 1
pages = 27
publisher =
place =
year = 1870
contribution-url =
] The plural is "aesymnetai".

The title originally signified merely a judge in the heroic games, but afterwards indicated an individual who was occasionally invested volun­tarily by his fellow citizens with essentially unlimited power in a Greek state. Aristotle called the office an "elective tyranny", and said that the power of the "aesymnetai" partook in some degree of the nature "both of kingly and tyrannical authority; since he was appointed legally and ruled over willing subjects, but at the same time was not bound by any laws in his pub­lic administration." [Aristotle, "Politics iii. 9. § 5, iv. 8. § 2] [Hesych. "s. v."]

Hence Theophrastus calls the office polytonic|τυραννίς αιρετή, and Dionysius compares it with the dictatorship at Rome.Dionysius of Halicarnassus, v. 73] It was not hereditary; but it was sometimes held for life, and at other times only until some object was accomplished, such as the reconciling of the various factions in the state. We have only one express instance in which a person received the title of "Aesymnetes", namely, that of Pittacus, in Mytilene, [cite book
last = Ehrenberg
first =Victor
authorlink =
coauthors =
title = From Solon to Socrates: Greek History and Civilization During the Sixth and Fifth Centuries B.C.
publisher =Routledge
date =1973
location =
pages =24–25
url =
doi =
id =
isbn = 0-415-04024-8
] who was appointed to this dignity because the state had been long torn asunder by the various factions, and who succeeded in restoring peace and order by his wise regulations and laws. [Strabo, xiii. p. 617] [Plutarch, "Solon" 4] [Diogenes Laërtius, i. 75] [Plehn, "Lesbiaca", pp. 4 6,48]

There were, however, no doubt many other persons who ruled under this title for a while in the various states of Greece, and those law-givers bore a strong resemblance to the "aesymnetai", whom their fellow citizens appointed with supreme power to enact laws, as Dracon, Solon, Zaleucus and Charondas. In some states, such as Cyme and Chalcedon, it was the title borne by the regular magistrates.

Eventually, largely owing to the risk of those who would not willingly relinquish the office, it fell into disuse, and the Greek States allowed it to disappear altogether. [Aristotle, "Politics" 1285a, 31] [cite book
last =Aristotle
first =
authorlink =
coauthors =W.L. Newman
title =Politics
publisher =Harvard University Press
date =1902
location =
pages =268–269
url =
doi =
id =
isbn =


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Aesymnétes — AESYMNÉTES, æ, Gr. Ἀισυμνήτης, ου, ein Beynamen des Bacchus, welcher so viel, als ein König oder Vorsteher bedeutet. Als Troja übergieng, so bekam Eurypylus unter andern ein Kästchen mit zur Beute, welches, nach einigen, Aeneas vergessen; nach… …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • Dionysus Aesymnetes — For the ancient Greek political office, see Aesymnetes. Aesymnetes (Ancient Greek: Αισυμνήτης) was an epithet of the Greek god Dionysus, which signifies the Lord , or Ruler , and under which he was worshipped at Aroë in Achaea.[1] The story about …   Wikipedia

  • Dionysus — Bacchus redirects here. For other uses, see Bacchus (disambiguation). This article is about the Greco Roman deity. For other uses of the names Dionysus and Dionysos , see Dionysos (disambiguation). For other uses of the theophoric name Dionysius …   Wikipedia

  • Cult of Dionysus — The Cult of Dionysus is strongly associated with satyrs, centaurs, and sileni, and its characteristic symbols are the bull, the serpent, the ivy, and the wine. The Dionysia and Lenaia festivals in Athens were dedicated to Dionysus, as well as the …   Wikipedia

  • ЕВРИПИЛ —    • Eurypўlus,          Ευρύπυλος,        1. сын Евемона, царь Ормения в Фессалии, с 40 кораблями участвовал в походе против Трои, где он в числе главных героев вызвался вступить в поединок с Гектором. Рану, нанесенную ему Парисом, излечивает… …   Реальный словарь классических древностей

  • Aroêvs — AROÊVS, ëi, Gr. Ἀροεὺς, έως, ein Beynamen des Bacchus, dessen besondere Statüe zu Paris zu sehen war, und jährlich mit zwoen andern ihres gleichens mit besondern Solennitäten in den Tempel des Aesymnetes getragen wurde. Er hat solchen Namen von… …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • Bacchvs — BACCHVS, i, Gr. Βάκχος, ου, (⇒ Tab. X. & ⇒ XVI.) 1 §. Namen. Diesen soll er, nach einigen, von βαχέω, ich heule, ich kreische, haben; Eustath. ap. Ludov Vivem ad Augustin. de C. D. lib. VI. c. 9. wogegen ihn andere von ἴακχος, und dieses wieder… …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • Triclaria — TRICLARIA, æ, Gr. Τρικλαρία, ας, ein Beynamen der Diana, welche in Achaia ihren besondern Tempel hatte; in welchem ihr jährlich der schönste Jüngling und die schönste Jungfer des Ortes mußten geopfert werden. Denn, als sich deren Priesterinn,… …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • Vvlcánvs — VVLCÁNVS, i, Gr. Ἤφαιστος, ου, (⇒ Tab. X.) 1 §. Namen. Der lateinische Namen Vulcanus wird auch hin und wieder Volcanus geschrieben. Schurtzfl. & Cellar. Orthogr. Lat. in Vulcanus. Er soll von dem ebräischen Thubalcain, durch Wegnehmung des Thu… …   Gründliches mythologisches Lexikon

  • AESYMNETAE erant — qui parem regiae dignitati potestatem habebant; unde Dictatoris imperium traxisse originem creditur. Alex. ab Alex. l. 4. c. 13. Hesych. Αἰσυμνᾶ, Βασιλεύει, ἄρκει. Aesymnetes etiam Bacchi cognomen, cuius rationem prolixe exponit Pausan. in Att.… …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.