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This was the Athenian term for the members of the 360 ancient families (gennoe), thirty of which made up one of the twelve phratrioe of the four old Ionic tribes. These families consisted of some thirty houses, who referred their origin and name to a common ancestor, and observed a common worship, with special priests to superintend it. The objects of this worship were Zeus Herkeios (the god of house and home), Apollo Patroos (the god of the family), the heros of the family, and other tutelary deities. Supposing that a family worship rose to the dignity of a state ceremony, the priestly office remained hereditary in the family (genna). If there were no nearer relations, the members of the genna had a law of inheritance which they observed among themselves. Maintained by these religious and legal ties, the gennoe and the phratrioe survived the old Ionic tribes, after the abolition of the latter by Cleisthenes. The president of the genna superintended the enrolment of new members into it at the feast of the Apaturia, the occasion italics>on which the new members of the phratrioe were also enrolled. (See APATURIA.) A citizen who did not belong to a genna could only become member of one by adoption, and under certain conditions.
Type: Standard
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