Page images

412. The plan was then adopted of allowing two persons to join in the trierarchy, not as a universal rule, but in as many cases as it might be necessary, and these ourtpiņpapxou commanded their ship in turn during their year of office.

7. In B.C. 358, when a large fleet was suddenly required to act against the Thebans in Euboea, the existing machinery proved inadequate for the occasion, and the trierarchy was for the first and only time undertaken by volunteers, of whom Demosthenes was one. This was obviously only a temporary expedient, and in the same year a complicated system, borrowed from the mode of collecting the elo popá, was brought into use. According to this, 1200 ouvredeîs were appointed annually from the citizens liable to the trierarchy, and were divided into twenty ovupoplal or classes, each of which was further divided into ouvré Xerai, apparently varying in number according to the exigencies of the State, but usually four. The members of each OUVTÉMela were required to undertake the maintenance of a ship, so that ordinarily, instead of one or two men bearing the whole expense, it would be divided among fifteen. Demosthenes speaks of sixteen persons thus com bining in the period immediately preceding B.C. 340,2 so that if his figures are correct, some slight change, of which we have no other indication, must have been made in the arrangement, probably in the total number of the συντελείς.

8. Under this system, even if it had been fairly administered, the burden must have fallen very unequally on the various members of the outélela. They were all supposed to contribute the same portion of the expense, and what was a serious burden to the poorer members was less than the more wealthy might reasonably have been expected to contribute.

But the management within the outélela seems to have fallen as a rule into the hands of the richest contributors, ηγεμόνες των συμμοριών, and Demosthenes charges some at least of these with contracting for the maintenance their trireme for a talent, and then levying the whole talent from their associates, so as to escape scot free themselves. 3 And generally he says that these wealthier members oppressed their poorer comrades, contributing little or nothing themselves. 4 Accordingly, as early as B.C. 354, Demosthenes proposed a modification of the new system, leaving the arrangement substantially the same, but providing against the unfair distribution of the burden. As this proposal was never carried out, it is unnecessary to describe its details here; the next real change of system being introduced by a further law of Demosthenes passed in B.C. 340. By this the whole system of 1 Dem. de Cor., p. 259, 12.

2 De Cor., p. 261, 2. pp. 564, 565.

4 De Cor., p. 260, 29.

3 c.


ovuuoplac was abolished, and the citizens who were liable to serve in each year were called upon to contribute in direct proportion to their taxable property. If a man had taxable capital of ten talents, implying that his whole property was worth fifty talents, then he was called upon to furnish one trireme; if more, then in proportion to its amount, but never more than three triremes and a tender (útnpéolov). If his taxable property was less than ten talents, then he was required to combine with others in like circumstances. The amount of property which rendered a man liable to the trierarchy is nowhere exactly stated; but Boeckh can find no instance of a man with less than 500 minae (gross property) being called upon to serve.? It should be observed that from the time of the introduction of the system of ouuuopía, the State furnished the stores as well as the hull of the vessel, 3 so that the expenses falling on the trierarch were materially diminished.

9. Of those whose amount of property would have rendered them liable to perform the lectoupylai, à certain number were exempted for various reasons. These may be classified under three heads. a. Persons exempt because of the performance of other duties of the kind. Thus no one could be called upon to perform two 'liturgies’ in the same year, or any liturgy in two successive years, 4 or the trierarchy more than once in three years, at any rate in the time previous to B.C. 358.5 The nine archons were also exempt from all deltoupylau. ß. Heiresses, orphans, till a year after they were enrolled among the citizens, klmpollxol, colonists sent by the State to occupy a military colony, and Kolvwvikoí, this last being a term of doubtful import, but perhaps meaning coparceners, heirs of an undivided property which would have rendered the previous possessor liable, but which was not enough, had it been divided, to bring each of the coheirs under the liability. 6 7. Persons specially exempted for services rendered to the State. First among these came the descendants of Harmodius and Aristogeiton, whom even Leptines did not propose to deprive of their exemption. The number of others who would fall under this head appears to have been insignificant, and it is to be noticed that their exemption extended only to the eykúkd.o. DELTovpylal, not even the descendants of Harmodius and Aristogeiton being exempted from the trierarchy.

10. The position of the μέτοικοι in respect to the λειτουργίαι is not very clearly ascertained. They were liable to pay eiopopá, apparently on a higher scale than the citizens,7 but they were 1 De Cor., p. 262, 1. 2 Public Economy of Athens, B. IV. 16. 3 Dem. c. Meid., 1. c.

4 Lept., § 8. 5 Isacus de Apollod. Hered., p. 67, 19. 6 Dem. de Class., p. 182, 15.

7 Dem. C. Androt., p. 612, 3.

not admitted to the responsible position of trierarchs. Of the ordinary lectoupylal we know that they were excluded from the yuuvadiapxla, and probably they were not allowed to undertake the xopnyia at the greater festivals, though we know from this speech 1 that some eltoupylai devolved on them, and also that they, as well as the citizens, might have exemptions granted them. Boeckh 2 gives credence to the account of Ulpian, that they had a cotlaois of their own; and he mentions certain less honourable λειτουργίαι, the σκαφηφορία, υδριαφορία, and σκιαδηpopla, which devolved on them at the Panathenaic procession. (See Lidd. and Scott, s.v. o kaonpópos.)

11. It remains to consider the singular provision of the αντίδοσις. If any one who was nominated to perform any Lectoupyla thought that another man, who was more properly liable than himself, had been unfairly passed over, he might propose to exchange properties with this other man, undertaking after the exchange to perform the required 'liturgy. If the person thus challenged refused the exchange, then he in turn was called upon to bear the burden. The exchange extended to all the property belonging to either party, excepting only any share in the silver mines at Laurium, which were exempt from the lectovpylai as being liable to special taxes of their own. This curious regulation was one of the safeguards provided by Solon against arbitrary oppression, and it seems to have been frequently brought into operation, especially in the case of the trierarchy.



1. The whole of Athenian legislation may be looked upon as having the code of Solon for its basis. He was always the lawgiver par excellence, and though the necessity of altering his laws from time to time was acknowledged by himself, and freely acted on in all subsequent periods of the city's history, yet such action was guarded by jealous precautions against hasty and ill-considered changes, such as might violate the spirit of the constitution, or introduce contradictory enactments into the code of laws.

2. Thus, though, in the time of Demosthenes, any citizen might propose a new law, yet he could only do so under very 1 Public Economy of Athens, B. IV. 10.

2 $ 18.

close restrictions. The first step was to publish his proposals, which he did by writing them on a tablet (åvéypayev èv oavidi), which he hung up before the statues of the ήρωες επώνυμοι in the Cerameicus (EEOnke apóolev TWV ét wvú uw). If the proposed new law was to supersede one already in existence, it was necessary to hang the two up side by side for comparison (παραγράφεσθαι τους νόμους).

3. The next step was to have the law considered in the Bourń, or Senate of 500. If the proposer were a member of the Senate he could introduce it himself without more ado; but otherwise it was necessary to obtain permission for its introduction (Ttpbo odov ypápegai). If the measure received the sanction of the Senate, it became a poßoúlevua, and was then ripe for introduction into the popular assembly, where it might be proposed at any time while the senators who sanctioned it remained in office. At the expiration of this time, if no further steps had been taken, it dropped as a matter of course. (See Demosth. adv. Aristocr., p. 651, 16.)

4. At the meeting of the èKKA nola the business of the day was laid before it by the πρόεδροι (έχρημάτισαν οι πρόεδροι); after which they called on the citizens to speak (byov a poètioeo av). The proposer of the law then introduced his measure (iOnke vóuov), and a debate ensued, in the course of which, with the consent of the apbedpoi, it was competent for other citizens to move amendments. At the close of the debate the chairman of the apbedpou might still refuse to put either the original motion or an amendment, on the ground of its contravening existing laws; but for this he was liable to be tried by a process called ēv delšis, and if his reasons were found to be insufficient to justify his refusal, he could be punished by imprisonment or even death. (Plat. Apol., p. 32A.) If he saw no reason for interference, he put the question to the vote (éneynoloev, or érrexelpotovlar émolnoev). In the case of voting between two proposals, as between a new law and an old one which it sought to supersede, or between an original motion and an amendment, he was said διαχειροτονίαν διδόναι. The voting was by show of hands, and if the measure was carried, it became at once yngloua, and was in force for a year.

5. Up to this point the process was the same whether the measure proposed was intended as a permanent addition to the code of laws, or merely to serve a temporary purpose, such as the proposal of Ctesiphon to crown Demosthenes, which gave rise to the speeches on the Crown. In the latter case the purpose was fully served, and no further steps were necessary. But if it were intended to raise the ynolo ja to the position of a võuos, or permanent law, then it was referred to the court of the vouoőétai, whose duty it was to examine carefully whether its provisions were inconsistent with any existing laws, or any main principle of the constitution. If it avowedly involved the repeal of another law, this latter was defended by publicly appointed o úvolkol, and any one else who might be disposed to aid them. The vouodéTai were not concerned with the merits of the measure, and if they pronounced in its favour on technical grounds, their decision made it law (vónov), and was duly registered among the archives kept in the temple of Demeter (εν τω Μητρώω).

6. The vouooétal were appointed annually, from the Olkaotai of the Heliastic court, at the third kupla ékkinoia in each year. The manner of their election is uncertain, but it was probably by lot. In a case quoted by Demosthenes (in Timocr., p. 708, 27), they were 1001 in number, but the very specification of the exact number on that occasion makes it probable that it varied, in proportion to the amount and the importance of the business that was before them. The apóedpol presided in the court of the νομοθέται, as in the εκκλησία, and the vote was taken openly by χειροτονία.

7. Besides the power thus given to individual citizens of introducing alterations in the law, there was a general review of the existing code of old laws at the first κυρία εκκλησία in each year (ÈTIXElpotovla vóuwv), and if any objection was then raised to any of them, the question was similarly referred to the νομοθέται. A second annual revision by the θεσμοθέται seems to be spoken of by Aeschines (in Ctes., p. 59, 12), though some writers think that this is identical with the other. It seems, however, more probable that it took place towards the close of their year of office; but the whole passage is obscure. If it was an independent revision, any questions arising out of it were equally referred to vouodétai, who seem in that case to have been specially appointed for the purpose.

8. In addition to all the precautions thus adopted against hasty and inconsistent legislation, a further safeguard was provided in the power given to prosecute the proposer of any law for introducing an illegal measure. This was called γραφή παρανόμων, and the proposer was liable to its penalties from the time that the measure passed the Senate till the expiration of a year from the date of its becoming võuos. If this period were allowed to pass without an action being commenced, then by the statute of limitations (T podeo ulas vóuy), the personal liability of the mover ceased ; but the same machinery could be brought to bear, as in the case of Leptines, for the abrogation of the law. The first step in the process was an affidavit on the part of the prosecutor that he meant to bring an action, corre.


« PreviousContinue »