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generally able to draw the government of the whole nation into their hands. Thus Larissa was subject to the great house of the Aleuadao, who were considered as descendants of the ancient Aleuas; Crannon and Pharsalus to the Scopadae and the Creondae, who were branches of the same stock." The vast estates of these nobles were cultivated, and their countless flocks and herds fed, by their serfs, the Penests, who at their call were ready to follow them into the field on foot or on horseback.t. They maintained a princely state, drew poets and artists to their courts, and shone in the public games of Greece by their wealth and liberality. We are not informed whether there were any institutions which provided for the union of the four districts, and afforded regular opportunities for consultation on their common interests. But, as often as an occasion appeared to require it, the great families were able to bring about the election of a chief magistrate, always, of course, taken from their own body, whose proper title was that of tagus, but who is sometimes called a king. We know little of the nature of his authority, except that it was probably rather military than civil; nor of its constitutional extent, which, perhaps, was never precisely ascertained, and depended on the personal character and the circumstances of the individual. The population of Thessaly, besides the Penests, whose condition was nearly that of the Laconian Helots, included a large class of free subjects, in the districts not immediately occupied by the Thessalian invaders, who paid a certain tribute for their lands, but, though not admitted to the rights of citizens, preserved their personal liberty unmolested. But above this class stood a third, of the common Thessalians, who, though they could not boast, like the Aleuadae and the Scopadae, of heroic descent, and had therefore received a much smaller portion of the conquered land, still, as the partners of their conquest, might think themselves entitled to some share in the administration of public affairs. Contests seem early to have arisen between this commonalty and the ruling families, and at Larissa the aristocracy of the Aleuadao was tempered by some institutions of a popular tendency. We do not know, indeed, to what period Aristotle refers when he speaks of certain magistrates at Larissa who bore the title of guardians of the freemen,f and exercised a superintendence over the admission of citizens, but were themselves elected by the whole body of the people, out of the privileged order, and hence were led to pay their court to the multitude in a manner which proved dangerous to the interests of the oligarchy. It seems not improbable that the election of a tagus, like that of a dictator at Rome, was sometimes used as an expedient for keeping the commonalty under. But the power of the oligarchs was also shaken by intestine feuds; and, under the government of the Aleuads, such was the state of parties at Larissa, that, by common agreement, the city was committed to the care of an officer, who was chosen, perhaps, from the commonalty, to mediate between the opposite * Theocr., xvi., 34, f. Buttmann on the Aleuada: Mythol., 11, xxii. Dem., De Contr., p. 173. 4. roMuropäMaxts, Pol., v., 6... It is not clear whether
factions; but, being intrusted with a body of troops, made himself master of both.* This event took place two generations before the Persian war;f but the usurpation appears to have been transitory, and not to have left any durable traces, while the factions of Larissa continue to appear from time to time throughout the whole course of Grecian history.
We must here conclude this survey; for the western states of Greece are, during this period, shrouded in so complete obscurity, that we cannot pretend to give any account of their condition. With respect to the AEtolians, indeed, it is uncertain how far they are entitled to the name of Greeks. The Acarnanians, as soon as they begin to take a part in the affairs of Greece, distinguish themselves as a finer and more civilized people, and it is probable that the Corinthian colonies on the Ambracian Gulf may have exerted a beneficial influence on their social progress.
We have already taken a survey of the legends relating to the origin of the people of Attica, and to the events of their history down to the Ionian migration. We must now look back to the same period, in order to trace the progress of their political institutions, from the earliest times to the establishment of that form of government under which the Athenians were living when they first came into conflict with the power of Persia.
Among the few facts which we are able to collect with regard to the state of Attica in the earliest times, there are two which seem to be so well attested, or so clearly deduced from authentic accounts, that they may be safely admitted. We read that the territory of Attica was originally divided into a number of little states; and tradition has preserved the names of some petty chiefs who are said to have ruled in these districts with the title of king,t These communities were independent of each other and of Athens in their internal government, and sometimes even made war on their neighbours. On the other hand, we are informed that attempts were made at a very early period to unite the forces of the whole nation for the purpose of mutual defence. It was Cecrops, according to an Attic antiquarian," who first established a confederacy among the inhabitants of Attica, to repel the inroads of the Carian pirates, and of the Boeotians, who invaded it on
* Ar., Pol. v., 6. The context seems to require this interpretation, since the distrust of the oligarchs towards one another is here manifestly contrasted with ther distrust of the commonalty just before mentioned. Yet Kortnem (Hellenische Staatsverfassungen, p. 79) supposes that Aristotle is speaking of a struggle between the oligarchical and democratical parties. + Buttm., p. 252,279.
t Colemus at Myrrhinus (Paus., 1.31, 5). Porphyrion at Aioi. 14,7). Crocon, whose palace had stood near Rhetti (Paus., 1.38, 1). Compare Plut., Thes, 32. Thucydides, i., 15. But it is not clear that there is any reference to this state of things in the tradition that Crunaus, when dethroned by Amphictyun, fled to the deme of Lamptrae, and was buried there (Paus., 1.31, 3) : which Platner (Bontraege, p. 25) considers as another example.
* Philochorus in Strabo, ix., p. 397.
the land side. The same author, indeed, speaks as if Cecrops, with this view, had founded twelve cities, or had divided the country into twelve districts, which were members of this confederacy: and this it was necessary to suppose, if Cecrops was believed to be sovereign of Attica. But, though we reject this opinion, we need not, on this account, question the existence of the league itself. The number (one which predominates in the Ionian institutions) was made up, according to Philochorus, of the following names: Cecropia, Tetrapolis, Epacria, Decelea, Eleusis, Aphidna, Thoricus, Brauron, Cytherus, Sphettus, Cephisia, Phalerus. The first of these names probably represents the town which afterward became the capital, but which may not have been more ancient than several of the others in this list, nor for a long time more powerful. Among the rest, the Tetrapolis (which contained the four villages (Enoe, Marathon, Probalinthus, Tricorythus) and Sphettus were, according to other traditions, founded long after the time of Cecrops. It seems to be a similar event, if it is not the same, that is implied in the name of the Attic king Amphictyon. This may be probably interpreted to signify the foundation of an Amphictyonic congress, such as appears to have subsisted in early times in almost every part of Greece. But the influence attributed to Cecrops, and the mention of Amphictyon among the kings of Athens, indicate that Athens was acknowledged as the head of this confederacy. The periodical meetings of its council were probably held in Cecropia, and the religious rites, which were invariably connected with such associations, celebrated in the temple of the Athenian goddess. It is not so clear what kind of foundation ought to be attributed to other accounts, in which the whole country, or people, is said to have been divided into four tribes, which changed their names, if not their constitution, under several successive kings. Thus, in the reign of Cecrops, these tribes received the names Cecropis, Autoction, Actaea, and Paralia. Under Cranaus, either a new distribution was made, or the old one was designated by the new names Cranais, Atthis, Mesogata, Diacris. Under Erichthonius, again, each tribe took its name from a god; they were then called Dias, Athenias, Posidonias, Hephæstias. It must be observed, that as the last series of names is entirely derived from the religion of the country, so in the two preceding some of the names relate to the natural seatures of the land (Actaea, Paralia, Mesogaea, Diacris, and perhaps Atthis), others to the origin or political relations of its inhabitants (Cecropis, Autocthon, Cranais). We may readily believe that the inhabitants of Attica were very early distinguished from one another by various names, according to the different stocks from which they sprang; which may, perhaps, be indicated by the names of some of their mythical kings, as Cranaus and Cecrops; or according to the nature of the regions which they occupied, in the plains, or the highlands, or the coast ; or, according to the habits and pursuits belonging to these various situations; or, finally, according to the deities who were exclusively or pre-eminently objects of worship among them. And it would not be difficult,
without much violence, to make the three abovementioned divisions tally with each other.” But we have so little assurance that they are anything more than arbitrary combinations, invented by writers who transferred the form of institutions which existed in the historical period to the mythical ages, that the attempt is scarcely worth making. Even if we believe that, in the period represented by the reigns of Cecrops and Cranaus, Attica comprehended four main divisions, described by any of the above-mentioned names, it will not follow that the term tribe is correctly applied to them in a sense implying the existence of a political unity pervading the whole nation. They may still have been connected by no bond but the temporary fear of a common enemy. The fourfold distribution of the country is the foundation of another tradition, which distinctly asserts the absolute independence of the several parts. The four sons of Pandion share his dominions among them, and rule their respective portions with supreme authority. But all these divisions were finally superseded by one much more celebrated and lasting, which is said to have been instituted by Ion, the progenitor of the Ionian race, and to have derived its names from his four sons. This last feature in the tradition, indeed, though it is adopted with perfect confidence by Herodotus, excited the suspicion of many even among the ancients, who perceived that the names of the tribes founded by Ion were all, or mostly, descriptive of certain occupations.# They were the Teleontes (or, as it is also found written, Geleontes or Gedeontes), the Hopletes, the AEgicores, and the Argades. With regard to the second and third of these names, there is no question that the former denotes a class of warriors; and there seems to be as little room to doubt that the latter was once applied to the race which tended its flocks on the Attic hills. And this is ground sufficient for inferring that the two other names are similarly significant; but their precise meaning is still the subject of a controversy which is not likely to be ever decided, because each of the conflicting opinions may be easily connected with a plausible theory. With the assistance, however, of other descriptions left by the ancients of these divisions, we perceive that the last name, which will signify labourers in general, must have been applied in this case either to a class of husbandmen, or to one employed in other laborious occupations. Our choice between these meanings must depend on that which is to be assigned to the first name, which is, unfortunately, both variously written, and, according to each way of writing it, ambiguous in sense; and the difference amounts to nothing less than the whole interval between the summit and the base of the social scale. For, according to one opinion, the Teleontes or Geleontes were a sacerdotal caste; according to another, they were peasants, who tilled the land of their lords, and paid a tribute or a rent for the use of it. This question is subordinate to another as to the origin and nature of these divisions; for it is doubtful in what sense they are to be called tribes. The mythical story describes Ion as their founder, just as Romulus is said to have instituted the distinction between the patricians and the plebeians at Rome. This supposition needs not now be refuted; but we still have to inquire whether these four tribes were, from the beginning, comprehended under a higher national unity, or whether they remained insulated and independent of each other down to the period represented by the reign of Theseus. One of the four names—that of the pastoral tribe—implies a geographical separation, and it must have been contrasted in the same sense to one of the rest, that which describes the tillers of the plain. This leads us to believe that the other two were similarly separated from each other and the rest, though a tribe of warriors or priests was not necessarily connected with any peculiar habitation. If, however, the warrior tribe was chiefly composed of foreign conquerors, it may easily be imagined that it may have occupied a separate district, and that it was thus locally distinguished from the rest. But here we find ourselves perplexed by the ambiguity of the name Geleontes, which in Herodotus stands first, and by this position seems to confirm the opinion that it denoted a priestly caste. In this case, no reason can be assigned for limiting it to any situation distinct from the others. Still, it is not impossible that it may have occupied a territory of its own; and it is not an improbable conjecture that this territory was the hallowed land of Eleusis. On this supposition, the four tribes would correspond to a geographical division of Attica, which may be compared with that which is attributed to the sons of Pandion, and which may also be easily adjusted to that which we find at a much later period determining the state of political parties in Attica—the threefold division of the plain, the highlands, and the coast. On the other hand, if the tribe which has been taken for a priestly caste was really composed of a dependant peasantry, they cannot so well have been locally distinguished from the warriors,
* The reader may see how this has been done for the first two divisions by Dr. Arnold (Thucyd, i., p. 656), and for the third by Platner in a little dissertation, De Gentulus Attaria.
+ With the highest respect for Mr. Malden's judgment, we cannot be satisfied with his assertion (History of Rome, p. 140), that “the notion that the four Ionic tribes were castes, deriving their names from their employments, is founded on nothing but bad etymologies.” He should at least have proposed some better etymology for "Omonre; and Alyoxoprus. Niebuhr's objection, from the order in which the names occur, is weighty, but not conclusive. On a point of etymology, Buttmann's authority is at least sufficient to shelter those who agree with him from the suspi, on of having fallen into any very palpable error. See his Mythologus, ii., p. 318.
for these must then have been the lords whose
maintain their independence against the warrior tribe, notwithstanding the advantages it may have possessed in its weapons, or its armour, or its closer and more orderly array. We have spoken of the priestly tribe as a caste; and if there was such a tribe, it can scarcely be considered in any other light. Hence we are naturally led to apply the same term to the other three: and undoubtedly there may have been a period during which the occupations from which they derived their names continued hereditary in the same families. But we have no ground for believing that this separation was ever enforced by any religious sanction, or was anything more than the natural result of situation and circumstanees. We have no reason to imagine that the four tribes constituted a hierarchy, after the manner of the Indian or Egyptian; on the contrary, it is probable that, in proportion as they became more closely united in one body, the primitive distinctions to which they owed their names were gradually obliterated by mutual intercourse. The difficulty of conceiving how this may have been effected with regard to the priests is rather an objection to the hypothesis that they once formed a caste, than a ground for doubting that they had ceased to be one before they became a part of the Attic nation. For if they once occupied such a station by the side of the warrior tribe, it could only have been through some convulsion, of which no trace is left in history, that they lost their sacred character, with its consequent privileges and influence. Such a revolution may undoubtedly have occurred; but if so, it must have preceded that settlement of the Attic population which is designated in the legend by the arrival and the institutions of Ion; for from this epoch we must date the commencement of a heroic age in Attica, during which the state of society became more and more similar to that described in the Homeric poems, when a priestly caste was utterly unknown in Greece, or, at the utmost, all that remained of such a one were a few scattered fragments—sacred functions appropriated to certain families—affording doubtful traces of a long past existence. | The four tribes of Ion, then, were perhaps originally not members of one body, but dis| tinct communities, long kept apart by differences of descent, of situation, of pursuits, and of religion, yet still connected by neighbourhood, by affinities, closer or looser, of blood and language, and by the occasional need of mutual assistance. Thus was their gradual interfusion prepared and promoted, while the superiority of the race which occupied Athens, as it be|came more and more felt, disposed all to look to their city as the natural centre of political union. The time at length arrived when the effect of all these causes became visible in the important change which is commonly described as the work of Theseus, by which the national unity was consolidated, and many of the germs were fixed out of which the institutions to which Athens owed her greatness finally unfolded themselves. Theseus is said to have collected the inhabitants of Attica in one city, and thus forever to have put an end to the discord and hostilities which had till then prevented them from considering themselves as one people. The sense in which this account is to be understood is probably not that any considerable migration immediately took place out of other districts to Athens, but only that Athens now became the seat of government for the whole country; that all the other Attic towns sank from the rank of sovereign independent states to that of subjects; and that the administration of their asfairs, with the dispensation of justice, was transferred from them to the capital.” The courts and councils in which the functions of government had hitherto been exercised throughout the rest of Attica were abolished, or concentrated in those of the sovereign city. This union was cemented by religion, perhaps by the mutual recognition of deities, which had hitherto been honoured only with a local and peculiar worship, and certainly by public festivals, in which the whole people assembled to pay their homage to the tutelary goddess of Athens, and to celebrate the memory of their incorporation.f That this event was attended with a great enlargement of the city itself might be readily presumed, even if it was not expressly related. Thucydides fixes on this as the epoch when the lower city was added to the ancient one, which had covered little more than the rock which was af. terward the citadel, though it still retained the name of the city. And hence there may seem to have been some foundation for Plutarch's statement that Theseus called the city Athens, if this name properly signified the whole enclosure of the Old and the New Town. But though, after this revolution, new temples and other buildings, public and private, must have continued to rise at the foot of the Cecropian rock, it is not necessary to suppose that any considerable addition was immediately made to the population of Athens. It is probable that the families who were induced by the new order of things to change their abode were chiefly those of the highest rank, whose members had constituted the ruling class in their respective states, and were admitted to a similar station under the new Constitution. This leads us to consider the ambiguous light in which Theseus is represented by the ancients, on the one hand as the founder of a government which was for many centuries after him rigidly aristocratical, and on the other hand as the parent of the Athenian democracy. If we make due allowance for the exaggerations of poets or rhetoricians, who adorn him with the latter of these titles in order to exalt the antiquity of the popular institutions of later times, we shall, perhaps, find that neither description
* Dr. Arnold (Appendix iii. to Thucydides, i., p. 662) seems to think that residence at Athens was the condition on which the nobles were admitted to a share in the government; and that those parts of the population of Attica which still remained in their original habitations were not included in the tribes at all. • conceive both these points to be o doubtful, and the second extremely improbable Indeed, the former proposition is a little qualified in a subsequent page (664), where it is said the Eupatrida, seem mostly to have resided at Athens; and as it is there admitted that some inhabitants of the country were enrolled in the tribes, it does not appear in Dr. Arnold's statement on what principle the rest were excluded.
t The Xuvoira (Thuc. ii., 15, and Steph. Byz., voe. Assova), Panathenaea, Festival of Aphrodite Pandemus (Pausan, 1. 22.3). To the same head may perhaps be reserred the introduction of the worship of Dionysus, which is said to have taken place under Amphictyon.
is entirely groundless, though the former is more simply and evidently true. Theseus is said to have accomplished his purpose partly by force, partly by persuasion. With the lower classes, we read, he found no difficulty, but the powerful men were only induced to comply with his proposals by his promise that all should be admitted to an equal share in the government, and that he would resign all his royal prerogatives except those of commanding in war and of watching over the laws. The promise he fulfilled in his regulation of the state, when he laid aside his kingly majesty, and invited all the citizens to equal rights. But, on the other hand, to guard against democratical confusion, he instituted a gradation of ranks and a proportionate distribution of power. He divided the people into three classes—nobles, husbandmen, artisans;” and to the first of these he reserved all the offices of the state, with the privilege of ordering the affairs of religion, and of interpreting the laws, human and divine. This same division, however, is also represented to have been made in each of the four tribes, so that each included a share of each class. This can only be conceived possible on the supposition that the distinctions which originally separated the tribes had become merely nominal, and that, although the occupations from which two of them at least derived their names were always held ignoble, there were families among them no less proud of their antiquity than the most illustrious of the warriors or the priests. Still we need not imagine that the numbers of the noble class were equal in each of the tribes. The nobles of the tribe to which Athens itself belonged may have formed the main body, and may, on that account, have been the less unwilling to extend and strengthen their power on condition of admitting a few additional partners. The privileges which Theseus is said to have conferred on his nobles were undoubtedly the same which they had enjoyed, in narrower spheres, before the union. His institutions were aristocratical, because none were then known of any other kind. The effect of the union would even be, in the first instance, to increase the influence of the noble class by concentrating it in one spot; and hence it proved too powerful both for the king and the people. In this sense, we may say, with Plutarch, that Theseus gained the assent of the great men to his plan by surrendering his royal prerogatives, which they shared equally among them. The king was no more than the first of the nobles: the four kings of the tribes,t all chosen from the privileged class, were his constant assessors, and rather as colleagues than as counsellors. The principal difference between them and him appears to have consisted in the duration of their office, which was probably never long enough to leave them independent of the body from which they were taken, and to which they returned. But there was also a sense in which Theseus might, without impropriety, be regarded as the founder of the Athenian democracy, both with respect to the tendency and remote consequences, and to the immediate effect of the institutions ascribed to him. The incorporation of
several scattered townships in one city, such as took place in Attica, was in many, perhaps in most parts of Greece, the first stage in the growth of a free commonalty, which, thus enabled to feel its own strength, was gradually encouraged successfully to resist the authority of the nobles. And hence, in later times, the dismemberment of a capital, and its repartition into a number of rural communities, was esteemed the surest expedient for establishing an aristocratical government. Butas, in using the name of Theseus, we would be understood to speak rather of a period than of an individual, though without questioning that the name may have been borne by one who contributed the largest share, or put the finishing hand to the change which is commonly considered as his work, we may be allowed to conjecture that it was really a democratical revolution, in something more than this its general character and tendency. We read that the four tribes were divided into a certain number of smaller bodies, which continued to subsist and to exercise their functions long after the tribes themselves had been abolished. Each tribe contained three phratries (a name in its origin equivalent to a fraternity,” and in its political relations anal. ogous to the Spartan obe and the Roman curia); each phratry was subdivided into thirty sections, which bore a name exactly answering to the Roman gens,t and nearly equivalent to the terms sept, clan, or house, taken in its larger signification as an aggregate of families. The genos, or house, was again made up of thirty gennetes, or heads of families, the last elements of the whole body amounting, therefore, in the whole, to 10,800 persons. It is, however, by no means certain that these numbers, which were evidently adopted for the sake of symmetry, perhaps with reference to the parts of the year, and certainly were not the result of any exact account taken of the population, included the whole body of citizens. We find mention of a class of Athenians who were not comprehended in any of the numbered families;t and it has been conjectured, with some probability, that they were entitled to be admitted into the phratries as vacancies occurred, without, however, being debarred in the mean time from the other rights of citizenship. We are informed that this division of the tribes was made by Theseus; but we have strong reasons for referring it to the period when the inhabitants of Attica were united into one people; for it is difficult to conceive that it can have taken place either earlier or later. Its uniformity seems to imply that it could not have happened so long as the four tribes were independent of each other; and if it had been effected by any subsequent innovation, this and its author could scarcely have escaped the notice of history. Now this division, whenever it took place, was purely artificial, and framed for political purposes. The word, indeed, which we have rendered house, properly signifies a
race of men; but we are expressly informed that, in the language of the Athenian Constitution, it did not imply a community of descent among the persons comprehended under it. By this arrangement, therefore, Theseus, or whoever its author may have been, introduced a new principle, which tended to level the distinctions that had previously existed among the different classes of society. In the little states into which Attiea was originally divided, though similar associations undoubtedly existed, they were probably of natural growth, rather than created by a deliberate enactment, and comprised a much smaller number of families, whose claims to political privileges rested, perhaps, chiefly on this basis. But the freemen who were admitted into the phratries, which also contained these noble houses, though they did not immediately share all their privileges, were at least placed on a footing of equality with them as citizens of Athens. Besides the religious rites which were peculiar to some of the houses, and which gave their members a right to the exclusive exercise of certain priestly offices, there were others common to all, and which, by their very nature, suggested the sentiment of a domestic rather than of a merely political connexion. The worship of Zeus and Apollo was the symbol and the seal of this intimate union: of Zeus, as the guardian of households; of Apollo, as the progenitor of the Athenian people." Beyond this we have no means of ascertaining the exact relation between the nobles and the two inferior classes, or that in which the latter stood to one another. Even their names are not free from ambiguity; for that which we have expressed by husbandmen may signify either independent landowners, or peasants who cultivate the lands of their lords. It seems, however, unnecessary and inconvenient to limit it to the latter sense, which would imply that the nobles were owners of the whole soil of Attica. There is no reason for denying that this class may have contained a number of freemen who cultivated their own land, but were not entitled by their birth to rank with the nobles, and in other respects were, perhaps, but little raised above those who, possessing no property of their own, depended on the rich, whose estates they occupied as tenants. The third class comprehended all those who subsisted on any other kind of industry besides that connected with agriculture. The name of this class comprehended a great variety of occupations, which were held in very different degrees of esteem; and as these were not connected with the soil, it has been suspected that those who exercised them were considered as sojourners,f who, like the resident aliens of later times, needed the protection of a patron. Plutarch observes of this class that it had the superiority in numbers, as the second had in the importance of its labour, and the first in the lustre of its rank. But we hear of no political dis