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property of any gennet who died without heirs went to the gens, though after the time of Solon he might dispose of it by will. In case of murder, next after the near relatives of the slain, the gens was authorized and required to bring the murderer to trial. In some cases there were mutual claims and duties of marriage. Some gentes had common property, with an archon and treasurer of their own.
Such, then, was the GENS;-a group of families tracing their descent from common superhuman ancestors, bound together by common interests, privileges and rights, and identifying their descent from a common ancestor, as we shall presently see, by a united worship of that ancestor. When or how this myth of superhuman parentage took its place as an historical fact, on what principle the several families came together into the same gens, whether these families may not have had a common human ancestor in the remote past-these and other like questions we have not the means of answering. It is enough to know that, at the commencement of authentic history, there were such groups of families, more or less in number, distributed throughout Attica, claiming descent from the superhuman progenitors and autochthonous settlers of the land, and, as such, constituting the people of Attica. But it was not the simple union of the gentes that constituted the People; there was a combination of these gentes into larger bodies, and of these larger bodies into others still larger, through which the Body Politic was at last formed. For, besides the grouping of families into gentes, there was a grouping of gentes into Brotherhoods or Phratries; then, a further grouping of phratries into tribes; and finally, a grouping of the four tribes into one body-the people of Attica. According to the views of the ancient writers, thirty families constituted a gens, thirty gentes a phratry, and three phratries a tribemaking the whole people to consist of just ten thousand eight hundred families. But though supported by the authority of Aristotle, this proportion cannot rest on any solid basis, since the number of families must have been continually fluctuating.
But a mere mechanical division and combination of this
kind would soon have fallen to pieces, unless there had been connected with it that which gave a living coherence to the parts. This living principle was found in the social and relig ious nature of man, and it is interesting to notice how carefully these sentiments were cultivated. First, each family had
its own sacred rites and ceremonies; these were celebrated by the head of the family alone, and none but members of the family were admitted to them. Next, each gens had peculiar religious festivals and ceremonies, wherein the cominon divine ancestor was worshiped and honored. Again, the twelve phratries, each by itself, celebrated an annual festival, called the Apaturia, (aaroúpia, from ȧ-äpa, together, and Tarpia, lineage, or perhaps, parpia, brotherhood.) The Apaturia lasted three days. The first day was called the day of the feast, (dopria,) on which the phrators feasted together; the second day was called the day of the sacrifice, (avágğuris,) on which sacrifice was offered to Zeus Phratorius and to Athene. The third day was the day of registration, called xoupeūtis, (from xoupos or xópos, a boy.) The feeling of ancestry was peculiarly strong among the Athenians. To preserve the purity of descent and the legitimacy of birth, was one of the most im portant cares of the gennets and phrators. Each newly married woman was to be introduced into the phratry of her husband, and each new-born child registered in the phratry of its father. The person who introduced the child had to swear to its legitimacy, and objection might be made to the proceeding, if any one thought there were sufficient grounds for doing so. An offering to Zeus Phratrius, and gifts to the phrators, ratified the solemn act. The introduction into the gens was more strictly of a private, domestic nature, and less is known of it. Moreover, all the four tribes were united together by the common worship of Apollo Patrous, since Apollo was the father of Ion, and from the four sons of Ion the four tribes traced their descent. Thus, through these social festivities and religious ceremonies were the several groups within the body politic-the gens, the phratry, and the tribe-united and bound together into one harmonious living whole. How strong these sentiments of fellowship and
family union became, is manifest from the fact that amidst all subsequent changes of the government the gens and the phratry remained, with all their social and religious rites, a living thing, as long as the Athenian people had a free, political existence.
But this social and religious constitution of the people, though of the utmost importance in ascertaining the citizenship and preserving its purity, and though diffusing its influence through every part of the civil administration, was not in itself sufficient for all the purposes of government. We come, then, to speak of another division, which had in view to facilitate the administration of state affairs.
Co-existent with the division of the people into gentes and phratries, we find a division of the territory of Attica into small districts or townships. There were forty-eight such districts called naukraries, (from the verb, vaiw, to dwell or inhabit,) and embracing such of the inhabitants as inhabited a given territory. This was the ultimate territorial division, and was like the division into townships among us. Each naukrary had its proper limits and its appropriate officers. In order to connect this territorial division with the social and religious divisions of the people into gentes and phratries, the naukraries were so arranged that twelve of them belonged to each tribe, and then within the tribe, four of these were arranged together, forming a larger territorial division, called the trittys, (or third part,) like a county composed of townships. In reality, therefore, the aggregate of the naukrars in the naukraries was the same as that of the gennets in the gentes. It was the same citizenship, but differently subdivided.
Before dismissing the subject of the subdivisions and aggregations of the people, we add two remarks. First, outside this citizenship of Attica, as we have explained it, there was a large population, partly of freemen and partly of slaves, and this outside body of people had its influence on subsequent history.
Secondly, within the citizenship itself, there was the greatest diversity of condition in life. This citizenship, dependent as it was on descent from the exalted and superhuman progeni
tors of the country, was indeed a kind of aristocracy in itself, yet there were some gentes far more honored and venerated than the rest, and in the gentes some families of very superior wealth and power. Thus, as Grote says, "The Eumolpida and Kerykes, who supplied the hierophant and superintended the mysteries of the Eleusinian Demeter, and the Butadae, who furnished the priestess of Athene Polias, as well as the priest of Poseidon Erechtheus in the acropolis, seemed to have been reverenced above all the other gentes." Besides, there were families in the gentes, who were distinguished by great wealth and power. These families formed a class within the citizenship, and were distinguished by the name of Eupatrids. They were the nobles of the land, and constituted an oligarchy, which had the control of all matters, sacred and profane.
We are now prepared to consider the rulers by whom the administration of government was carried on. But, here, either the number of rulers was very small, or our knowlege is very limited. For, we know only the archons, the Areopagus, and the prytanes of the naucraries.
The duties of the archons, which were both administrative and judicial, were classified and distributed. The first archon, called Eponymus, from giving his name to the year, or, simply, the archon, attended to disputes arising from the gentile and phratric relations. We have already seen that the estates of those who died without children went to the gens or phratry, and this would give rise to many controversies. Indeed, the question of citizenship and inheritances through these relations was an abundant source of litigation to the latest days of the democracy. In connection with this office, the first archon was the guardian of widows and orphans. The second archon, called basileus, or king archon, attended to disputes arising from religious matters, and had the charge of cases of homicide. The third archon, called the polemarch, led the forces in war, and had as his civil jurisdiction the disputes between citizens and non-citizens. The remaining six archons, called the thesmothetæ archons, presided over controversies between citizen and citizen in the ordinary affairs of life,-over everything except those just mentioned. Although called thesmothetæ, it is not to be un
derstood that these archons were either lawgivers or administrators of laws, in the modern sense of the words. For there were at this time no written laws. They must have decided individual cases, either according to prevalent usages or the ordinary judgments of common sense.
The Senate of the Areopagus was one of the primitive institutions of Attica, the first establishment of which lies beyond the bounds of authentic history. It was at first, perhaps, a body of consultation, attending upon the kings, and afterwards upon the archons. Upon the establishment of the Solonian senate, its functions were limited, and it became a judicial body, a court rather than a senate. Both the archons and the senate were selected from the Eupatrids, and chosen by them. These magistracies extended their domain over the whole territory.
Each naucrary had its own local officer. He was called the prytanis of the naucrary, (púravis, from pó, paros,) the first man of the naucrary, like the select man with us. It was through the naucraries that the public contributions were levied, and the military forces furnished.
We thus have before us, on the one hand, the body of citizens in Attica, as they existed at the commencement of authentic history, in 683 B. C.; and, on the other, the body of magistrates-archons, prytanes and senate-by whom the country was governed. At this time, be it observed, there was no civil code, nor any legislative body to enact laws. There was no commerce; even the Piræus was not yet settled. Athens was not extended much beyond the acropolis rock; the people, principally tillers of the soil and handicraftsmen, together with the nobler families, living in the country, on the Athenian plain, in Mesogea, on the seaboard, and the more mountainous tracts.
This state of things continued about two generations, (from 683 B. C. to 624 B. C.,) when the first great step in advancement was taken. We refer to the introduction of written laws. When we consider that the entire religious and civil power in the land was in the hands of the wealthy nobles, and that the Areopagus and the archons, who were chosen from