Deme

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For other uses, see Deme (disambiguation).
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 suburb of Athens or 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[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]

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 phyles 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[edit]

First period: 508 – 307/306 BC[edit]

Cleisthenes divided the landscape in three zones[4] and the 139 demes were organized into 30 groups called trittyes ("thirtieth"), ten for each of the zones and into ten tribes, or phyle, 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 (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[edit]

In 307/306 – 224/223 BC the system was reorganized creating the two Macedonian Phylay (XI. Antigonis and XII. Demetrias), named after Demetrius I of Macedon and Antigonus I Monophthalmus, and increasing the Boule to 600 members. Each of the ten tribes, except Aiantis, provide 3 demes (not necessarily one for trittyes); the missing contribution of Aiantis is covered by two demes of Leontis and 1 from Aigeis.

In connection the contribution of each village to the Boule is properly adapted.

Third period: 224/223 – 201/200 BC[edit]

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

Fourth period: 201/200 BC – 126/127 AD[edit]

In 201/200 BC the Macedonian Phylae are dissolved and the villages (except the two given to Ptolemais) go back to the original tribe. Moreover, in spring 200 BC the tribe XIV. Attalis, named after Attalus I, is created following the same scheme used for the creation of the Egyptian Phyle: each tribe contributes a deme and a new deme, Apollonieis, is created in honour of Apollonis, wife of Attalus I of Pergamum. As a consequence we have again 12 tribeas and 600 members of the Boule.

From this period there are no more quotas assigned to the demes for the 50 Boule members of each tribe

Fifth period: 126/127 – third century[edit]

The last modification is the creation in 126/127 of XV. Hadrianis, named after Hadrian following the same scheme: each tribe contributes a deme and a new deme, Antinoeis is created in honour of Hadrian's favorite, Antinous.

More over each tribe contributes 40 members to the Boule.

Representation in the Boule[edit]

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.[5]

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.[6]
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.[7]

As regards the last two periods, the material illustrates the complete collapse of the quota-system from 201/200 BC.[8]

Spurious and Late Roman demes[edit]

Some deme lists suggest to extend the 139+3 list adding 43 other names some of which have been considered by scholars as attic demes.[9] The criticism performed by John S. Traill[10] shows that 24 are the result of error, anceient[11] or modern,[12] or of misinterpretation[13] and 19[14] are well known chiefly from inscriptions of the second and third centuries after Christ, i.e. in the fifth period, and ths for political purposes they were originally dependent on legitimate cleisthenic demes.

Homonymous and divided demes[edit]

There are[15] 6 pairs of homonymous demes:

  • Halai Araphenides (VII.Kekropis) and Halai Aixonides (II.Aigeis)
  • Oion Dekeleikon (VIII.Hippothontis; later XIII.Ptolemais, XIV.Attalis) and Oion Kerameikon (IV.Leontis; affiliated with XII.Demetrias in the Macedonanian period)
  • Eitea: there were two demes of that name, but no modifier is known. One is associated to V.Acamantis, later XI.Antigonis and XV.Hadrianis; the other is associated to X.Antiochis
  • Oinoe: again no modifier is known; one deme was associated to VIII.Hippothontis, later XII.Demetrias and XIII.Ptolemais; the other was associated to IX.Aiantis, later XIV.Attalis and XV.Hadrianis.
  • Kolonai: again no modifier is known; one deme was associated to IV.Leontis; the other to X.Antiochis, later XI.Antigonis and XIII.Ptolemais.
  • Eroiadai: again no modifier is known for these two demes associated to VIII.Hippothontis and X.Antiochis.

and 6 divided demes, one composed of three parts:

  • Agryle, Upper and Lower (I.Erechtheis); one of them, but there is no prosopographical information for identifying which, was transferred to XI.Antigonis and went back at the end of the Macedonanian period; later one of them (again it is uncertain which) was transferred to XIV.Attalis.
  • Lamptrai, Upper and Coastal/Lower (I.Erechtheis); Upper Lamptrai was transferred to XI.Antigonis and went back at the end of the Macedonanian period.
  • Pergase, Upper and Lower (I.Erechtheis); one of them (no prosopographical information allows to decide which) was transferred to XI.Antigonis and went back at the end of the Macedonanian period.
  • Ankale: no special designations of either section are preserved, although they are presumed to have the regular Upper and Lower forms. One section, perhaps Upper Ankale, was transferred to XI.Antigonis and went back at the end of the Macedonanian period.
  • Paiania, Upper and Lower (III.Pandionis); Upper Paiania, was transferred to XI.Antigonis and went back at the end of the Macedonanian period.
  • Potamos has three sections, Upper Potamos, Lower Potamos and Potamos Deiradiotes (IV.Leontes); during the Macedonanian period, Potamos Deiradiotes belonged to XI.Antigonis and Lower Potamos to XII.Demetrias

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

The ten Cleisthenic tribes[edit]

  1. Erechtheïs (Ἐρεχθηΐς)[16]
    Deme #[17] #[18] #[19] Notes
    city
    Upper Agryle 2 3 3 One deme to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods and to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
    Lower Agryle 2
    Euonymon 10 12 12
    Themakos 1 1 to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
    coast
    Anagyrous 6 8 8
    Kedoi 2 2 2
    Upper Lamprai 5 to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
    Coast Lamprai 9 10 10
    Pambotai 1(0) 1 2 to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
    Kephisia (?) inland
    Kephisia 6 8 8
    Upper Pergase 2 3 3 One deme to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
    Lower Pergase 2
    Phegous 1 1 1
    Sybridai 0(1) 1 1
    Deme #[17] #[18] #[19] Notes
  2. Aigeis (Αἰγηΐς)[20]
    Deme #[17] #[18] Notes
    city
    Upper Ankile 1 to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
    Lower Ankile 1 1
    Bate 1(2) 1
    Diomeia 1 to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
    Erikeia 1 2
    Hestiaia 1 1
    Kollytos 3 4
    Kolonos 2 2
    coast
    Araphen 2 2
    Halai Araphenides 5 9
    Otrine 1 1
    Phegaia 3(4) 3(4) to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
    Philaidai 3 3
    Epakria inland
    Erchia 7(6) 11
    Gargettos 4 to 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
    Kyndatidai 1(2) 1(2) to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
    Myrrhinoutta 1 1
    Plotheia 1 2
    Teithras 4 4
    Deme #[17] #[18] Notes
  3. Pandionis (Πανδιονίς)[21]
    Deme #[17] #[18] #[19] Notes
    Kydathenaion city
    Kydathenaion 12(11) to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
    Myrrhinous coast
    Angele 2(3) 4 4
    Myrrhinous 6 8 8
    Prasiai 3 3 3
    Probalinthos 5 5 5 to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
    Steiria 3 3 4
    Paiania inland
    Konthyle 1 1 to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
    Kytheros 2(1) to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
    Oa 4 4 4 to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
    Upper Paiania 1 to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
    Lower Paiania 11 22 22
    Deme #[17] #[18] #[19] Notes
  4. Leontis (Λεοντίς)[22][23]
    Deme #[17] #[18] #[19] Notes
    Skambonidai city
    Halimous 3 3 3
    Kettos 3 3(4) 3
    Leukonoion 3 5 5
    Oion Kerameikon 1 to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
    Skambronidai 3 4 4 to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
    Upper Potamos 2 2 2
    Lower Potamos 1 to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
    Phrearrhioi coast
    Deiradiotai 2 to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
    Potamioi Deiradiotai 2 to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
    Phrearrhioi 9 9 10
    Sounion 4 6 6 to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
    Hekale (?) inland
    Aithalidai 2 to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
    Cholleidai 2 5 5
    Eupyridai 2 2 2
    Hekale 1 1 to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
    Hybadai 2 2(1) 2
    Kolonai 2 2 2
    Kropidai 1 1 1
    Paionidai 3 3 3
    Pelekes 2 2 2
    Deme #[17] #[18] #[19] Notes
  5. Akamantis (Ἀκαμαντίς)[24]
    Deme #[17] #[18] Notes
    Cholargos city
    Cholargos 4 6
    Eiresidai 1 2
    Hermos 2 2
    Iphistiadai 1 1
    Kerameis 6 6
    Thorikos coast
    Kephale 9 12
    Poros 3 to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
    Thorikos 5(6) 6
    Sphettos inland
    Eitea 2 to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods and to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
    Hagnous 5 to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods and to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
    Kikynna 2 3
    Prospalta 5 5 to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
    Sphettos 5 7
    Deme #[17] #[18] Notes
  6. Oeneïs (Οἰνηΐς)[25]
    Deme #[17] #[18] Notes
    Lakiadai city
    Boutadai 1 1 to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
    Epikephisia 1(2) 1
    Hippotomadai 1 to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
    Lakiadai 2 3
    Lousia 1 1
    Perithoidai 3 3
    Ptelea 1 1
    Tyrmeidai 1(0) 1 to 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 2 to XII.Demetrias in the second and third period
    Thria 7 8 to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
    Pedion inland
    Acharnae 22 25
    Deme #[17] #[18] Notes


  7. Kekropis (Κεκροπίς)[26]
    Deme #[17] #[18] Notes
    Melite (?) city
    Daidalidai 1 to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods and to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
    Melite 7 to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
    Xypete 7 to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
    Aixone(?) coast
    Aixone 8 12
    Halai Aixonides 6 10
    inland
    Athmonon 6 10 to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
    Epieikidai 1 1(0)
    Phlya 7 9 to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
    Pithos 2(3) 4
    Sypalettos 2 2 [27]
    Trinemeia 2 2
    Deme #[17] #[18] Notes


  8. Hippothontis (Ἱπποθοντίς)[28]
    Deme #[17] #[18] Notes
    Peiraieus city
    Hamaxanteia 2 2
    Keiriadai 2 2
    Koile 3 to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
    Korydallos 1 1 to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
    Peiraieus 9 10
    Thymaitadai 2 2
    Eleusis coast
    Acherdous 1 1
    Auridai 1 to XI.Antigonis in the second and third periods
    Azenia 2 2
    Elaious 1 1 to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
    Eleusis 11 12
    Kopros 2 2
    Oinoe 2 to XII.Demetrias in the second and to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
    Dekeleia (?) inland
    Anakaia 3 3
    Eroiadai 1 2
    Dekeleia 4 6
    Oion Dekeleikon 3 3 to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period and to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
    Deme #[17] #[18] Notes
  9. Aiantis (Αἰαντίς) [29]
    Deme #[17] #[18] #[19] Notes
    Phaleron (?) city
    Phaleron 9 9 13
    Thorikos coast
    Marathon 10 10 13
    Oinoe 4 4 6 to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period and to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
    Rhamnous 8 8 12
    Trikorynthos 3 3 6 to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
    Aphidna (?) inland
    Aphidna 16 16 to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period and to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
    Deme #[17] #[18] #[19] Notes


  10. Antiochis (Ἀντιοχίς)[30]
    Deme #[17] #[18] Notes
    Alopeke city
    Alopeke 10 12
    Anaphlistos coast
    Aigilia 6 7 to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
    Amphitrope 2 3
    Anaphlystos 10 11
    Atene 3 to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods and to XIV.Attalis in the fourth period
    Besa 2 2 to XV.Hadrianis in the fifth period
    Thorai 4 to XII.Demetrias in the second and third periods
    Pallene inland
    Eitea 2(1) 2
    Eroidai 1 1
    Kolonai 2 to XI.Antigonis in the second period and to XIII.Ptolemais in the third period
    Krioa 1 2
    Pallene 6(7) 9
    Semachidai 1 1
    Deme #[17] #[18] Notes

The Macedonian tribes[edit]

  1. Antigonis[31]
    Deme Former phyle Trittys #[17] #[18]
    Lower Agryle Erachtheis city 3 3
    Upper Lamptrai Erachtheis coast 5 5
    Lower Pergase Erachtheis inland 2 2
    Upper Ankyle Aigeis city 1 1
    Ikarion Aigeis inland 5 6
    Kydathenaion Pandionis city 12 12
    Kytheros Pandionis inland 2 2
    Upper Paiania Pandionis inland 1 1
    Aithalidai Leontis inland 2 2
    Deiradiotai Leontis coast 2 2
    Potamos Deiradiotes Leontis coast 2 2
    Eitea Akamantis inland 2 2
    Auridai Hippothontis coast 1 1
    Kolonai Antiochis inland 2 2
  2. Demetrias[32]
    Deme Former phyle Trittys #[17] #[18]
    Diomeia Aigeis city 1 1
    Oion Kerameikon Leontis city 1 1
    Lower Potamos Leontis coast 1 2
    Hagnous Akamantis inland 5 5
    Poros Akamantis coast 3 3
    Hippotomadai Oineis city 1 1
    Kothokidai Oineis coast 2 2
    Phyle Oineis coast 2 6
    Daidalidai Kekropis city 1 1
    Melite Kekropis city 7 7
    Kypete Kekropis city 7 7
    Koile Hippothontis city 3 3
    Oinoe Hippothontis coast 2 2
    Atene Antiochis coast 3 4
    Thorai Antiochis coast 4 5

The later tribes[edit]

  1. Ptolemais[33]
    Deme Former phyle Trittys #[17] #[18] #[19]
    Kolonai Antigonis inland 2 2 2
    Oinoe Demetrias coast 2 2 2
    Themakos Erechteis city 1 1 1
    Kydantidai Aigeis inland 1 (2) 1 (2) 1
    Konthyle Pandionis inland 1 1 1
    Hekale Leontis inland 1 1 1
    Prospalta Akamantis inland 5 5 5
    Boutadai Oineis city 1 1 1
    Phlya Kekropis inland 6 9 9
    Oion Dekeleikon Hippothontis inland 3 3 3
    Aphidna Aiantis inland 16 16 16
    Aigilia Antiochis coast 6 7 7
    Berenikidai new 1
  2. Attalis[34]
    Deme Former phyle Trittys #[17] #[18] #[19]
    Lower Agrile Erechteis city 3 3 3
    Ikarion Aigeis inland 5 (4) 6 6
    Probalinthos Pandionis coast 5 5 5
    Sounion Leontis coast 4 6 6
    Oion Dekailekon Ptolemais inlamd 3 3 3
    Hagnous Akamantis inland 5 5 5
    Tyrmeidai Oineis city 1(0) 1 1
    Athmonon Kekropis inland 6 10 10
    Korydallos Hippothontis city 3 3 3
    Oinoe Aiantis coast 4 4 6
    Atene Antiochis coast 3 4 4
    Apollonieis new
  3. Hadrianis[35]
    Deme Former phyle Trittys #[17] #[18] #[19]
    Pambotadai Erechteis coast 1 (0) 1 (0) 2
    Phegaia Aigeis coast 3 (4) 3 (4) 4
    Oa Pandionis inland 4 4 4
    Skambonidai Leontis city 3 4 4
    Aphidna Ptolemais inlamd 16 16 16
    Eitea Akamantis inland 2 2 2
    Thria Oineis coast 7 8 8
    Daidalidai Kekropis city 1 1 1
    Elaious Hippothontis coast 1 1 1
    Trikorynthos Aiantis coast 3 3 6
    Besa Antiochis coast 2 2 2
    Oinoe Attalis coast 4 4 6
    Antinoeis new

The ten tribes of Thurii[edit]

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.[36]

Later usage[edit]

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[edit]

  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. ^ Urban/asty or astu (ἄστυ), coastal/paralia (παραλία) and inland mesogaia (μεσογαία).
  5. ^ Traill 1975, p. 56
  6. ^ Traill 1975, p. 59
  7. ^ Traill 1975, p. 62
  8. ^ Traill 1975, p. 61
  9. ^ 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).
  10. ^ Traill 1975, pp. 81–96
  11. ^ Anakaia B, Phegaieis B, Graes, Pol(--)
  12. ^ Agriadai
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ Hyporeia,Thirgonidai, Titakidai, Perrhidai, Petalidai, Eunostidai, Klopidai, Melainai, Sphendale, Pentale, Psaphis, Akyaia, Amymone, Ergadeis, Kykala, Kyrteidai, Leukopyra, Phy(r)rhinesioi, Semachidai B,
  15. ^ Traill 1975, pp. 123-8
  16. ^ Traill 1975, Table I
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Quota in the first period
  18. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y Quota in the second period
  19. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Quota in the third period
  20. ^ Traill 1975, Table II
  21. ^ Traill 1975, Table III
  22. ^ Traill 1975, Table IV
  23. ^ Traill & 1975 pg.133
  24. ^ Traill 1975, Table V
  25. ^ Traill 1975, Table VI
  26. ^ Traill 1975, Table VII
  27. ^ Meritt, 1961, pp.227-230 suggests that Sypalettos could be temporarely 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 epynom, Attalos II, was of the deme Sypalettos and that a similar reletionship between phylai and members of the family of the epynom 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.
  28. ^ Traill 1975, Table V
  29. ^ Traill 1975, Table IX
  30. ^ Traill 1975, Table X
  31. ^ Traill 1975, Table XI
  32. ^ Traill 1975, Table XII
  33. ^ Traill 1975, Table XIII
  34. ^ Traill 1975, Table XIV
  35. ^ Traill 1975, Table XV
  36. ^ Fritz Schachermeyr, Perikles, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart–Berlin–Köln–Mainz 1969

References[edit]