families. This national idea Cleisthenes further emphasized by setting up in the market-place at Athens a statue of each tribal hero.
The next step was the organization of the deme. Within each tribe he grouped ten demes (see below), each of which had (1) its hero and its chapel, and (2) its census-list kept by the demarch. The demarch (local governor), who Demes. was elected popularly and held office for one year, presided over meetings affecting local administration and the provision of crews for the state-navy, and was probably under a system of scrutiny like the dokimasia of the state-magistrates. According to the Aristotelian Constitution of Athens, Cleisthenes further divided Attica into three districts, Urban and Suburban, Inland (Mesogaios), and Maritime (Paralia), each of which was subdivided into ten trittyes; each tribe had three trittyes in each of these districts. The problem of establishing this decimal system in connexion with the demes and trittyes is insoluble. Herodotus says that there were ten demes to each tribe (δέκα εἰς τὰς φυλάς); but each tribe was composed of three trittyes, one in each of the three districts. Since the deme was, as will be seen, the electoral unit, it is clear that in tribal voting the object of ending the old threefold schism of the Plain, the Hill and the Shore was attained, but the relation of deme and trittys is obviously of an unsymmetrical kind. The Constitution of Athens says nothing of the ten-deme-to-each-tribe arrangement, and there is no sufficient reason for supposing that the demes originally were exactly a hundred in number. We know the names of 168 demes, and Polemon (3rd century B.C.) enumerated 173. It has been suggested that the demes did originally number exactly a hundred, and that new demes were added as the population increased. This theory, however, presupposes that the demes were originally equal in numbers. In the 5th and 4th centuries this was certainly not the case; the number of demesmen in some cases was only one hundred or two hundred, whereas the deme Acharnae is referred to as a “great part” of the whole state, and is known to have furnished three thousand hoplites. The theory is fundamentally at fault, inasmuch as it regards the deme as consisting of all those resident within its borders. In point of fact membership was hereditary, not residential; Demosthenes “of the Paeanian deme” might live where he would without severing his deme connexion. Thus the increase of population could be no reason for creating new demes. This distinction in a deme between demesmen and residents belonging to another deme (the ἐγκεκτημένοι), who paid a deme-tax for their privilege, is an important one. It should further be noted that the demes belonging to a particular tribe do not, as a fact, appear always in three separate groups; the tribe Aeantis consisted of Phalerum and eleven demes in the district of Marathon; other tribes had demes in five or six groups. It must, therefore, be admitted that the problem is insoluble for want of data. Nor are we better equipped to settle the relation between the Cleisthenean division into Urban, Maritime and Inland, and the old divisions of the Plain, the Shore and the Upland or Hill. The “Maritime” of Cleisthenes and the old “Shore” are certainly not coincident, nor is the “Inland” identical with the “Upland.”
Lastly, it has been asked whether we are to believe that Cleisthenes invented the demes. To this the answer is in the negative. The demes were undoubtedly primitive divisions of Attica; Herodotus (ix. 73) speaks of the Dioscuri as ravaging the demes of Decelea (see R. W. Macan ad loc.) and we hear of opposition between the city and the demes. The most logical conclusion perhaps is that Cleisthenes, while he did create the demes which Athens itself comprised, did not create the country demes, but merely gave them definition as political divisions. Thus the city itself had six demes in five different tribes, and the other five tribes were represented in the suburbs and the Peiraeus. It is clear that in the Cleisthenean system there was one great source of danger, namely that the residents in and about Athens must always have had more weight in elections than those in distant demes. There can be little doubt that the preponderating influence of the city was responsible for the unwisdom of the later imperial policy and the Peloponnesian war.
A second problem is the franchise reform of Cleisthenes.
Aristotle in the Politics (iii. 2. 3 = 1275 b) says that Cleisthenes
created new citizens by enrolling in the tribes “many resident
aliens and emancipated slaves.” But the Aristotelian Constitution of Athens asserts that he gave “citizenship to the
masses.” These two statements are not compatible. It is
sephismus. perfectly clear that Cleisthenes is to be regarded as a democrat, and it would have been no bribe to the people merely to confer a boon on aliens and slaves. Moreover, a revision of the citizen-roll (diapsephismus) had recently taken place (after the end of the tyranny) and a great many citizens had been struck off the roll as being of impure descent ( οἱ τῷ γένει μὴ καθαροί). This class had existed from the time of Solon, and, through fear of political extinction by the oligarchs, had been favourable to Peisistratus. Cleisthenes may have enfranchised aliens and slaves, but it seems certain that he must have dealt with these free Athenians who had lost their rights. Now Isagoras presumably did not carry out this revision of the roll (diapsephismus); as “the friend of the tyrants” (so Ath. Pol. 20; by Meyer, Busolt and others contest this) he would not have struck a blow at a class which favoured his own views. A reasonable hypothesis is that Cleisthenes was the originator of the measure of expulsion, and that he now changed his policy, and strengthened his hold on the democracy by reinstating the disfranchised in much larger numbers. The new citizens, whoever they were, must, of course, have been enrolled also in the (hitherto exclusive) phratry lists and the deme-rolls.
The Boulē (q.v.) was reorganized to suit the new tribal arrangement, and was known henceforward as the Council of the Five Hundred, fifty from each tribe. Its exact constitution is unknown, but it was certainly more democratic The council and boards of ten. than the Solonian Four Hundred. Further, the system of ten tribes led in course of time to the construction of boards of ten to deal with military and civil affairs, e.g. the Strategi (see Strategus), the Apodectae, and others. Of these the former cannot be attributed to Cleisthenes, but on the evidence of Androtion it is certain that it was Cleisthenes who replaced the Colacretae by the Apodectae (“receivers”), who were controllers and auditors of the finance department, and, before the council in the council-chamber, received the revenues. The Colacretae, who had done this work before, remained in authority over the internal expenses of the Prytaneum. A further change which followed from the new tribal system was the reconstitution of the army; this, however, probably took place about 501 B.C., and cannot be attributed directly to Cleisthenes. It has been said that the deme became the local political unit, replacing the naucrary (q.v.). But the naucraries still supplied the fleet, and were increased in number from forty-eight to fifty; if each naucrary still supplied a ship and two mounted soldiers as before, it is interesting to learn that, only seventy years before the Peloponnesian War, Athens had but fifty ships and a hundred horse.
The device of ostracism is the final stone in the Cleisthenean structure. An admirable scheme in theory, and, at first, in practice, it deteriorated in the 5th century into a mere party
- Wilamowitz-Moellendorff (Arist. und Athen, pp. 149-150) suggests δεκαχά, “in ten batches,” instead of δέκα
- It should be observed that there are other translations of the difficult phrase ξένους καὶ δούλους μετοίκους.
- Colacretae were very ancient Athenian magistrates; either (1) those who “cut up the joints” in the Prytaneum (κῶλα, κείρω), or (2) those who “collected the joints” (κῶλα, ἀγείρω) which were left over from public sacrifices, and consumed in the Prytaneum. These officials were again important in the time of Aristophanes (Wasps, 693, 724; Birds, 1541), and they presided over the payment of the dicasts instituted by Pericles. They are not mentioned, though they may have existed, after 403 B.C. At Sicyon also magistrates of this name are found.
- It is, however, more probable that the right reading of the passage is δέκα ἱππεῖς instead of δύο, which would give a cavalry force in early Athens of 480, a reasonable number in proportion to the total fighting strength.