Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
DEMIURGI 100.00%
A general term among the Greeks or tradesmen, among whom they included artists and physicians. In old times they formed, at Athens, the third order, the other two being the Eupatridae and Geomori (see these names). In some states demiurgi was the name of the public officials; in the Achaean League, for instance, the ten demiurgi were among the highest officers of the confederacy.
GEOMORI 62.68%
In many Doric states, particularly in Syracuse, this term denoted the territorial aristocracy. But in Athens it was applied to the landed commonalty, distinguished from the Eupatridgoe, or nobles, on the one side, and the Demiurgi, or mechanics, on the other.
The members of the ancient noble families of Attica. After the abolition of royal power they found themselves in exclusive possession of political rights, and distinguished from the Geomori or agriculturists, and the Demiurgi or mechanics. The constitution of Solon deprived them of this privilege. But their landed property, and the priestly dignities which they had possessed of old, assured them a certain influence for a considerable time.
Examples of handicraft applied to the ordinary needs of life occur in the mythical ages of Greece. Among the gods of Olympus, Hephaestus represents this kind of industry, and the oldest craftsmen are represented as divine beings appearing on earth, as in the instance of the Idaean Dactyli and the Telchines in Crete. In the Homeric poems, which are the production of an age fairly advanced in culture, the number of craftsmen properly so called is very small. (See DEMIURGI.) The only ones mentioned are builders, carpenters, potters, and workers in leather and metal. The development of the mechanical arts inGreece was immensely indebted, in ancient times, to foreign influence, especially that of the East; for Eastern civilization was far older than Hellenic. The greater part of the trade carried on in Greek waters was in the hands of the Phoenicians, and it was, consequently, Phoenician manufacture which the Hellenes took as a model for imitation, so soon as they thought of widening the sphere of their own industries, and bringing them to perfection. Since the 6th century B.C., or thereabouts, the definite impress of Asiatic manufacture disappears, and Greek trade, supported by a rapidly developing art, takes its own time. Not that it lost all contact with foreign work, for not only did the colonies keep up an active communication with the non-Hellenic world, but foreign craftsmen took up their permanent residence in Greek towns, such as Athens and Corinth. Manual labour, like every lucrative occupation, was generally held in low esteem among the Greeks, and especially among the Dorian tribes. But this state of opinion must have grown up comparatively late, as there is no trace of it in Homer or Hesiod. On the contrary, the Homeric princes do not think it beneath them to undertake the work of craftsmen. In later times we find the free citizens of many states entirely declining all manual labour. In Sparta, for instance, the handicrafts were only practised by the perioeci and helots, and mechanics were excluded from civic rights. At Athens all citizens were equal in the eyes of the law, and it was expressly forbidden to reproach a man for the character of his vocation, whatever it might be. The poorer citizens were compelled by law to practise some trade or other, and it was quite usual to engage in commerce. But still, in the opinion even of the wisest statesmen, mechanical labour was physically, intellectually, and morally prejudicial. The petty anxieties which it involved were held to be incompatible with the tone, and culture demanded by the active life of the citizen, with the qualities which would enable him to join in deliberation on great affairs of state, and conduct public business with hones and intelligence. It was thought, in fact, that all manual labour should be left to slaves and freedmen. Much of the mechanical industry of Athens was, accordingly, in the hands of slaves, freedmen, and resident aliens. The slaves worked sometimes on their own account, paying a certain amount of their earnings to their master; sometimes entirely for the profit of their masters, the latter taking no active part in the business; sometimes they acted as assistants to the citizens and resident aliens who carried on a business of their own. But in industrial cities the great mass of slaves was employed in factories, the owners of which left the superintendence of the work to a head man, usually himself a slave or freedman, reserving for themselves only the general management and the financial control of the business. The immense masses of slaves kept at Athens and Corinth, and in Aegina and Chios, show how numerous the factories were in industrial cities. The manufacture of metal wares, pottery, and other objects which could not be made at home, was the most extended of all. The division of labour kept pace with the development of trade and manufacture. This fact may partly explain how it is that, in spite of the comparative simplicity of their tools, the Greek craftsmen attained, especially in works of art, such admirable perfection of technical detail. In ancient Greece it would appear that there were no trade-guilds and corporations in the proper sense. But among the Romans these societies were an institution of old standing, the foundation of which was attributed to king Numa, like that of many others which had existed from time immemorial. The guilds of craftsmen (collegiaopificum), included flute-players, goldsmiths, coppersmiths, carpenters, fullers, dyers, potters, and shoemakers. There was originally a ninth collegium, which embraced all not included in the other eight; but in later times these, with the new industries that gradually arose, combined into special guilds. The object of the guilds undoubtedly was to maintain an unbroken tradition, and to watch over the common interest. But there seems to have been no compulsion exercised to make men join a guild. The Romans, like the Greeks, seem to have thought that there was something objectionable in mechanical labour; but it is uncertain whether the prejudice was of really old standing. It must be remembered that the Servian constitution threw the burden of military service entirely upon the landowners. Thus the craftsmen, who as a rule had no landed property, were practically, though not legally, excluded from the army. From this circumstance may have arisen the low estimation in which manual industry was consequently held. It was partly owing to this state of opinion that peasants, when they lost their land, were unwilling to win their bread as mechanics, and preferred to adopt the dependent position of clients livin on public alms and the bribes of candidates at elections. In Rome, as in Greece, the handicrafts tended more and more to pass into the hands of strangers, freedmen, and slaves. In wealthy houses most of the necessary manual work was done by slaves, whose talents were often, as in Greece, turned to account by their masters. They were often employed in manufactures, and specially in such branches of industry as could be combined with agriculture, tilemaking for instance, pottery, dying, tanning, felt-making, etc. No social stigma attached to manufacture in Rome any more than in Greece; indeed in the imperial age even the emperors and the members of the imperial household would, without scruple, invest their private capital in industrial undertakings of this sort. After the fall of the republic, and throughout the imperial age, Rome was the centre of the whole commercial activity of the ancient world, though the Romans made no special contribution to industrial progress. Having in former ages been dominated by Etruscan influence, Roman industry was in later times dependent on the art of the Eastern world, and especially of Greece.
Type: Standard
gutter splint
gutter splint
gutter splint