Geomori

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Geomori or Geomoroi is the name of the second of the three classes into which Theseus is said to have divided the inhabitants of Attica. (Plut. Thes. 25 ; Pollux, viii. 111.) This class was, together with the third, the demiourgoi, excluded from the great civil and priestly offices which belonged exclusively to the eupatrids, so that there was a great distinction between the first and the two inferior classes.

However, there are no methods to ascertain any particulars respecting the relation in which the geomoroi stood to the two other classes. The name may either signify independent land-owners, or peasants who cultivated the lands of others as tenants. The geomoroi have, accordingly, by some writers been thought to be free land-owners, while others have conceived them to have been a class of tenants. It seems, however, inconsistent with the state of affairs in Attica, as well as with the manner in which the name geomoroi was used in other Greek states, to suppose that the whole class consisted of the latter only; there were undoubtedly among them a considerable number of freemen who cultivated their own lands, but had by their birth no claims to the rights and privileges of the nobles.

There are no recorded political distinctions between the geomoroi and the demiourgoi; and it may either be that there existed none at all, or if there were any originally, that they gradually vanished. This would account for the fact that Dionysius (ii. 8) only mentions two classes of Atticans; one corresponding to the Roman patricians, the other to the plebeians.

In Samos the name geomoroi was applied to the oligarchical party, consisting of the wealthy and powerful. (Thucyd. viii. 21; Plut. Quaest. Rom. p. 303; Mtiller, Dor. iii. 1. § 4.) In Syracuse, the aristocratic party was likewise called gamoroi, in opposition to the demos. (Herod, vii. 155; Hesych. s. v. Tdjjiopoi; Miiller, Dor. iii. 4. § 4 ; Gbller, de Situ et Orig. Syrac.)

References[edit]

PD-icon.svg This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSmith, William, ed. (1870). "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. London: John Murray.