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A show of hands. The usual method of voting in Greek popular assemblies, whether at political meetings or elections. In elections, the cheirotonia was contrasted with the drawing of lots which was usual since the time of Cleis, thenes in the case of many offices.
A general. Among the Lacedoemonians, it was a special designation of leaders of those armies which were not commanded by the kings. They were appointed by the public assembly, or by the ephors commissioned thereby. At Athens, there was annually elected, by show of hands (cheirotonia) in the public assembly, a board of Ten Generals, who had the superintendence of all military affairs. Only those were elected to this high and influential office who were lawfully married, and who possessed landed property in Attica. In earlier times they superintended operations both by land and sea, and assumed the actual command in turn on successive days, while they held a council of war in common. In later times no more were sent to the seat of war than were deemed sufficient for the purpose; and, from the time when the Athenians carried on their wars mainly by means of mercenaries, soldiers of experience, who did not belong to the board, were not unfrequently entrusted with the command, and were called strategi during the continuance of the war. Those strategi who remained at home, besides seeing that the country was protected against hostile invasion, had the control of the war-taxes and the trierarchia, the selection and equipment of the troops and the jurisdiction affecting all the law-suits connected with the war-taxes and trierarchy, as well as all the military offences which had not been punished by the general at the seat of war. Their chamber of office was called the strategion, and bore they dined together at the expense of the State. [The office of strategos was not created by Clisthenes, but was at least as old as the time of Dracon (Aristotle, Constitution of Athens, 4). In the 4th century we find the strategi no longer elected from each of the ten phyloe, but from the whole body of citizens without distinction of phyle (ib. 61).] The highest officer of the Aetolian and the Achaean league, who was not only a commander of the federal army, but also president of the council and assemblies of the league, also bore the title of strategus.
Of all the official systems established among the Greeks, that in vogue among the Athenians is the best known to us. The qualifications for public office at Athens were genuine Athenian descent, blameless life, and the full possession of civic rights. If religious duties were attached to the office, physical weakness was a disqualification. No one was allowed to hold two offices at a time, or the same office twice or for a longer period than a year. The nomination was made in some cases by election, in others by the drawing of lots. Election took place by show of hands in the ecclesia, or, on the mandate of the ecclesia, in the assemblies of the several tribes. (See CHEIROTONIA, ECCLESIA.) In election by lot [on the introduction of which see Note on p. 706) the proceeding was as follows. The Thesmothetoe presided in the temple of Theseus. (See THESMOTHETAe.) Two boxes or vessels were placed there, one containing white and coloured beans, and the other the names of the candidates, written on tablets. A tablet and a bean were taken out at the same time, and the candidate whose name came out with a white bean was elected. Before entering on his office (whether he had been chosen by lot or election), every official had to undergo an examination of his qualifications (dokimasia). If the result was unfavourable, a substitute was appointed, either by a simultaneous casting of lots in the manner described, or (if the office was elective) by a new election. During their term of office the officials were subject to constant supervision, and were liable to suspension or deposition by the Ecclesia, through the proceeding called epicheirotonia (a new show of hands). On the expiration of his term, every official was bound to give an account of himself (euthyna). The regular officials, had each a place of office (archeion). If the officials formed a society, as in the majority of cues, the business was (so far as joint administration was possible) distributed among the members. If the society appeared in public as a whole, one of the members presided as prytanis. (See PRYTANIS.) In the cases at law which came under their jurisdiction, it was incumbent on the officials to make the necessary arrangements for the trial, and to preside in court. They received no salary, but their meals were provided at the public expense, either at their residences or in the Prytaneum. The emblem of office was a garland of myrtle. The offence of insulting an official in the performance of his duty was punishable with atimia. (See, for details, APODECTAe, ARCHONTES, ASTYNOMI, EPIMELETAeE, COLACRETAe, POLETAeE, STRATEGI, TAMIAS.) There were numerous attendants on the officials (hyperetai), who received a salary, and their meals at the public expense. Such were the clerks (grammateis) and heralds (kerykes). For Sparta, see EPHORS for Rome, MAGISTRATUS, ACCENSI, LICTORS, APPARITOR.
The Council instituted at Athens by Solon consisted of 400 members (bouleutai), 100 being taken from each of the four Ionic tribes (phylai). By Cleisthenes the number was increased to 500, 50 being taken from each of the ten newly constituted tribes, and chosen by lot; whereas up to his time the councillors had been elected from the number of candidates who offered themselves for the position. In 306 B.C. two new tribes were added, and the number of the council was accordingly increased to 600, at which figure it remained, with some variations, down to the times of the Roman empire. But in the 2nd century A.D. it again fell to 500. In ancient times no one was eligible as a councillor who did not belong to one of the three wealthiest classes; but after the time of Aristides the position was open to any free Athenian of thirty years of age, and in possession of full civic rights. In choosing councillors by lot, two candidates were presented for each vacancy. The same person might hold the office several times, though not for two years in succession. Every councillor had to take a special oath, strictly formulated, on entering the Boule. At the meetings of the Council its members wore myrtle crowns as insignia of their office. They had the further privilege of a place of honour at the festivals, and were excused, during their term of office, from military service. They also received a payment of five obols (nearly 7d.) for every sitting they attended. Their place of meeting was called the bouleuterion ("council-chamber"); here they met every day except on public holidays, each member having his numbered seat. When assembled, the Council was divided into ten sections of 50 members each, each representing one of the tribes. These sections were called Prytaneis ("Presidents"), and officiated in succession, as arranged at the beginning of each year, for 35-36 days, or in leap-years for 38-39. This period was called a Prytaneia, and during its continuance the prytaneis, for the time being presided over the full sittings of the Council and of the public assembly. At other times they remained the whole day at their office (Tholos or "dome") near the council-chamber, where they usually dined at the expense of the State. A president (Epistates) was chosen every day by lot from among the prytaneis to act as chairman in the Council and the public assembly, to keep the keys of the fortress and the archives, and the seal of state. From 378 B.C. the presidency of the public assembly was committed to a special chairman, elected from among the nine proedroi ("presidents"), who were chosen by lot by the epistates of the prytaneis from the remaining nine tribes at each sitting of the Council and of the public assembly. At other times they remained the whole day at their office (Tholos or "dome") near the council-chamber, where they usually dined at the exponse of the State. A president (Epistates) was chosen everyday by lot from among the prytaneis to act as chairman in the Council and the public assembly, to keep the keys of of state. From 378 B.C. the presidency of the public assembly was committed to a special chairman, elected from among the nine proedroi (" president"), who were chosen by lot by the epistates of the prytaneis from the remaining nine tribes at each sitting of the Council. The first duty of the Council was to prepare all the measures which were to come before the public assembly, and to draw up a preliminary decree (probouleuma). Accordingly it was its business to receive the reports of the generals and of foreign ambassadors. Foreign affairs always stood first in the order of daily business. Besides this, the Council exercised a general supenintendence over all public business, and especially over the financial administration. It gave the authority for the farming of the taxes, contracts for public works, sales of confiscated property, for adopting new lines of expenditure or modes of raising income, for arresting tax-gatherers and tax-farmers if they fell into arrear. The treasurers of the temples were also responsible to it. The cavalry and the navy were placed under its special supervision, and it had, in particular, to see that a certain number of new ships of war was built every year. It examined the qualifications of the newly elected archons. In many cases it acted as a court of justice, and had the power of inflicting fines up to the amount of 500 drachmae (£16 13s. 4d.). But more serious cases it had to pass on to the Heliastai, or to the public assembly (see HELIASTAI). The assembly would sometimes entrust the Council with absolute power to deal with cases which, strictly speaking, lay outside its jurisdiction. The decrees passed by the Council on matters affecting the public administration ceased to be binding on the expiration of its year of office, in case they were not adopted by its successors [Aristotle, Const. of Athens, 43-49]. The voting took place by show of hands (cheirotonia); voting pebbles and other devices being only used for judicial decisions. Private citizens could transact business with the Council only after previous application for an audience, generally made in writing. The official correspondence was transacted by three secretaries (called grammateis or "writers") appointed from among the members, and assisted by a Dumber of subordinate functionaries.
Type: Standard
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