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bled in a temple that was dedicated to Amphictyon. The place in which they assembled in later times, was called Thesmopylæ, and sometimes Pyle, because it was a strait and narrow passage, and, as it were, a gate or inlet into the country. Strabo says, that at the first institution of this council, it consisted of twelve persons, delegated by as many cities; others enumerate twelve nations, of whose delegates this council was composed.
In the days of Philip, king of Macedon, the Phocians, having ransacked and spoiled the Delphian temple, were, by a decree of this assembly, invaded by the rest of Greece, as a sacrilegious and impious nation, and after a ten years war, deprived of the privilege of sitting among them, together with their allies, the Lacedamonians, who were one part of the Dorians, and under that name, had formerly sat in this assembly. The vacant seats of these, were filled by the Macedonians, who were admitted in return of their good offices during the Phocian war. But about sixty-eight years after, when the Gauls, under the command of Brennus, made a terrible irruption into. Greece, the Phocians displayed so much courage and bravery, and so signalized themselves above the rest of the Grecians in that battle, that they were thought to have made sufficient atonement for their former crimes, and were therefore restored to their ancient privilege and dignity. Strabo, who flourished in the reigns of Augustus and Tiberius, informs us, that this council, as well as the general assembly of the Achæans, was at that time dissolved; while Pausanias, who lived many years after, under Antoninus Pius, assures us, that in his time it remained entire, and that the number of the Amphictyons, was. then thirty, and consisted of delegates from the following nations, viz. the Nicopolitans, Macedonians, Thessalians, Bæotians, (who in former times were called Æolians, and inhabited some part of Thessaly) Phocians, Delphians, Locrians, called Ozolæ, with those that lie opposite to Eubæa, Dorians, Athenians, and Eubæans. This assembly had oply two set meetings in a year, the one in the beginning of spring, the other in
autumn, but they were called together at other times on extraordinary occasions. The chief design of their meeting was to determine public quarrels, and to decide, when differences arose between any of the cities of Greece, when no other means were left of composing them,
Before the members of the council entered on busi, ness, they jointly sacrificed an ox, cut into small pieces, to Delpbian Apollo, thereby signifying the union of the cities which they represented. The decisions of this council were always received with a great deal of respect and veneration, and held inviolable; the Grecians being always ready to unite against those who rejected them, esteeming them common enemies.
The Public Assemblies of the Athenians.
Ecclesia, was an assembly of the people, met together according to law, to consult for the benefit of the commonwealth. It consisted of all such as were freemen of Athens, of, what quality soever, as has been already mentioned; but such as had been punished with infamy, slaves, foreigners, women and children, were excluded. In the reign of Cecrops, women are said to have been allowed voices in the popular assembly, where Minerva, contending with Neptune, which of them should be declared protector of Athens, gained the victory by the suffrages of the women. The assemblies were of two kinds, that in which the people met of their own accord, to confirm and ratify the decrees of the senate, and that in which they met by convocation or summons. They were held four times in five and thirty days, which was the time that each company of Prytanes, presided in the senate. The first assembly was employed in approving and rejecting magistrates ; in hearing actions called Æsangeliæ, and in proposals respecting the public welfare; as also in hearing the list of such possessions as were confiscated for the service of the commonwealth, and for various other purposes.
The second made provisions both for the community and private persons. And it was permitted to every man to prefer any petition, or speak his mind concerning either of them. In the third, audience was given to the ambassadors of foreign states. The fourth was wholly taken up with religion and sacred things. At this time the Prytanes, who were obliged, every day, to offer sacrifices for the public safety, appear to have acquainted the assembly with the success of their devotions, in this manner: “ It is just and meet, O Athenians, 'as has been customary with you, that we should take care that the gods be religiously worshipped; we have therefore faithfully discharged this duty for you; we bave sacrificed to Jupiter the Saviour, to Minerva, to Victory: all which offerings have been accepted for your safety. We have likewise offered sacrifices to Persuasion; to the Mother of Gods; to Apollo; which have met with the like good success. Also, the sacri. fices offered to the rest of the gods, have all been secure and acceptable, and salutiferous. Receive therefore the happiness which the gods have vouchsafed to grant you." The first assembly was on the eleventh day of the Pritanea; the second upon the twentieth; the third upon the thirtieth; the fourth upon the thirty-third. :
Thc Convoked Assembly. The occasion of this convoking of the people was principally the sudden breaking out of a dangerous war. On very momentous occasions, not only the citizens who resided in the city, but all that lived in the country, or were on board ships in the haven, were summoned. The places of assembling were various, as
1. The Market Place; there, not only the Athenians, but most other cities, had their public meetings, because it was usually the most capacious.
2. A Place, near the citadel, called Pryz, either because it was filled with stones, or seats set close together, or from the crowds of men in the assemblies. This place was remarkable for nothing more than the meanness of its buildings and furniture, so that it afforded
a striking example of ancient simplicity, when contrasted with the splendour of after ages. In latter times the theatre of Bacchus, in which the assemblies were held; but even then Pnyx was not wholly abandoned, it being against the law to decree any man a crown, or elect any of the magistrates in any other place. The stated assemblies were held in the aforementioned places, but the convoked, or extraordinary assemblies, were not confined to any certain place, being sometimes held in the Piræus, where there was a Forum, or in any other place capacious enough to contain the people. The magistrates that had the care and management of these assemblies were the Prytanes, Epistatai, and Proedri. The Prytanes sometimes called the people together, and always before their assembling set up a notice in some very public place, indicating the subjects to be brought before the meeting, in order that every man might have an opportunity of making himself acquainted with the merits of the case before he gave his judgment..
The Proedri were so called from the first places which they had in the assemblies. Whilst the tribes of Athens were no more than ten, the Proedri were nine in number, being appointed by lots out of the nine tribes, which, at that time, were exempted from being Prytanes. Their business was to propose to the people the things that were to be deliberated upon, and deter: mine in that meeting, at the end of which their offices expired. For the greater security of the laws and the commonwealth from the attempts of ambitious and designing men, it was customary for the Nomophylaches, in all assemblies to sit with the Proedri, to prevent the people from decreeing any thing contrary to the public interest. By another law it was likewise provided, that in every assembly, one of the tribes should be appointed by lots to preside at the suggestum, to defend the commonwealth, viz. by preventing the orators, and others, from proposing any thing inconsistent with the received laws, or destructive of the peace and welfare of the eity. The president of the assembly was chosen by. lots out of the Proedri ; his office seems chiefly to have consisted in granting the people liberty to give their voices, which they were not permitted to do till he had given the signal. If the people were remiss in coming to the assemblies, the magistrates used their utmost endeavours to compel them, they shut up all the gates, that only excepted, through which they were to pass to the assembly; they took care that all the vendibles should be carried out of the market, that there might be nothing to divert them from appearing; and, if this was not sufficient, Logistæ, whose business it was, took a cord dyed with vermillion, with which they detached two persons into the market, where one of them standing on one side, and another on that which was opposite, pursued all that they found there, and marked with the cord as many as they caught, all of whom had a fine set upon them,
« They in the Forum chat, and up and down
Scamper to avoid the cord, vermillion dy’d."
Lastly, for the encouragement of the commonalty to frequent the assemblies, it was decreed, at the instance of Callistratus, that an obolus should be given out of the exchequer to all such as came early to the place appointed for the assembly. This was afterwards increased to three oboli, at the instance of Acyrrhius. The expectation of this reward, drew many of the poorer sort, who would otherwise have absented themselves. They who came late to the assembly received nothing. If boisterous and tempestuous weather, or a sudden storm, or earthquake happened, or any inauspicious omen appeared, the assembly was immediately adjourned; but if all things continued in their usual course, they proceeded to business in this manner:
First, the place where they were appointed to meet was purified by killing young pigs, which as-was usual in such lustrations, they carried round about the utmost bounds of it, and on the outside of which no man was permitted to stand, because those places were considered