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The tribal organization of Chios1

  • W. G. Forrest


The economic and political development of the Greek states from the eighth century onwards left few, if any, of their tribal organizations unaffected; as these became unworkable or unpopular, the traditional divisions into tribes, phratries, and gene, based in practice, if not in origin, on kinship, were sooner or later replaced or modified. But the factors which led to reform were many; it might be the problem of a subject population, a mixed population, a shifting population, or of synoecism; it might be the need for military reform; or simply a question of political feeling, an attempt to satisfy anti-aristocratic prejudice by destroying the essentially aristocratic kinship system. More than one factor could be involved in any change; each might have a different effect on the result. Consequently the process was not simple or uniform; the new order might be wholly artificial or merely a modification of the old; the old might be discarded or retained alongside the new for some special purpose; old names, proper or generic, might still be used in the new system at the same or even at a different level. In such confusion it is essential to analyse in detail the evidence for each organization on its own before looking for any general pattern or arguing by analogy from one state's system to another.

In the case of Chios the relevant documents have often been interpreted in the light of what was known of the gentilicial system of Attica. Tribes, of number unknown, were thought to have been divided into phratries, each composed of several smaller units of two kinds, gene and thiasoi. The comparison is misleading. The constitution of the Attic phratries is far from clear, but, whatever it may have been, these documents from Chios, of which the text is given below, must belong to a very different order.



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2 As genos was used at Samos (Guarducci, M., L'Istituzione della fratria 6163) or patra at Kamiros (Andrewes, , BSA lii (1957) 3037). Cf. below nn. 5, 7, and 39.

3 Cf. the works cited on the inscriptions below and, for example, Francotte, , La Polis grecque 202, n. 1; von Premerstein, A., AM xxxv (1910) 116; Busolt-Swoboda, , GS 254, n. 1; Nilsson, M., Cults, Myths, etc. (1951) 150 f.; Hignett, C., HAC 62; Dunst, G., Arch. Pap. xvi (1958) 178.

4 The distribution is not, I think, accidental. 2, which was found in the Kastro, may have come from anywhere, but the others are less likely to be wanderers. Cf. below, p. 176.

5 For the use of the word ‘phratry’ alongside artificial names in a modified gentilicial system see Latte in RE art. Phratrie, 747 f., and below, n. 7.

6 There is no exact parallel for the form, but cf., at Miletos, Ἀργαδέων πρώτη (sc. χιλιαστύς) (Wiegand, , SbAk Berlin 1904, 85); at Kyzikos, (CIG 3657). The three columns at Kamiros may indicate a similar type of division (cf. Andrewes, loc. cit., and below, n. 11). For the nominative cf. the place-name of the same form: n. 20 below.

7 For a numerical arrangement of large units as implied by the second interpretation cf. numbered tribes in Sicily, (IG xiv. 2407, 1019); or, a closer parallel, the tribes of Ankyra which had both names and numbers (JOAI xxx (1937) Beiblatt 23 ff.).

Alexandria offers an example of the use of numbers to distinguish subdivisions of a large unit (as on the first interpretation). PTeb 879 mentions a τρίτη φράτρα and, if PHib 28 describes the Alexandrian system, as it almost certainly does (Seyfarth, J., Aegyptus xxxv (1955) 10 ff.), the φράτραι there, in spite of the name a wholly artificial unit, were subdivisions of demes, themselves subdivisions of the tribes.

8 IG ii2. 2345.

9 Cf. Beloch, , Bevölkerung 234; Roebuck, C., Ionian Trade (1959) 21 ff., for such evidence as there is.

10 A third inscription of the Totteidai might be used as an argument for the rejected interpretation, but it has been wrongly understood. See Appendix A.

11 Cf. Guarducci and Andrewes, locc. citt. Andrewes (p. 31) refers to an ‘Organization at three levels’, but if the heading Ἀλθαιμενίς did appear in col. III of the relevant inscription (p. 35 with n. 20) four levels are implied.

12 There is little or no evidence for the names of social groups in Chios after the fourth century (see Appendix B). One stone (Studniczka, , AM xiii (1888) 175, no. 19) mentions a and this has been used as evidence for the existence of such bodies in Chios (by Guarducci, op. cit. 66), but an earlier publication records that it had been transported from Erythrai (Vischer, W., Rh. Mus. xxii (1867) 326 f. = Kl. Schrift.ii. 156), and only positive arguments for a Chian origin can legitimately be used against this testimony. Difficulties in finding a home for these Χαλκιδεῖς in Erythrai (Dunst, G., SbAKBerl 1960, i. 2324) do not constitute such an argument.

13 A restoration of this type is inescapable, but Δελφ[ίνιοι] is not, of course, the only possible form of the name.

14 Zolotas, op. cit. 163 ff. no. Γ′ and i. 388 ff., revised by Plassart and Picard, op. cit. no. 26; Col. A is reproduced (with bibliography) by Maier, F. G., Gr. Mauerbauinschr. i. 192–5, no. 51.The readings given in the text are mine and differ from those of earlier editors. The ascription of the gift to Attalos I seems to me virtually certain. In this inscription three groups are mentioned, the (cf. Kontoleon, , Ἀθηνᾶ li (19411946) 126–7), the (cf. below n. 16) and the Ἱεροποιοί. It is likely that they are all units of the kind that appears on our lists.

15 The Presbonoi, Jacobsthal, P. in Nordion. Steine 16 f. with fig. 4; the Hieropoioi, Wilhelm, A., JOAI xxviii (1933) 197 ff. (B6). The Presbonoi are owners of a hieron of Acheloos about 400 B.C.; the Hieropoioi are to receive payments on behalf of the phratry (or tribe) of the Klytidai (cf. below, pp. 179 f.) in the middle of the fourth century. They may be, of course, no more than officials of the Klytidai, but equally they may be a genos named after its hereditary function, cf. the Kerukes in Attica. The Attalos inscription at least shows that the name could be applied to a group who were bound together by more than common office The restoration which would make them an annual or, at least, periodic board of officials, is ruled out by the fact that they are to receive a

16 The Salaminioi, Ferguson, W. F., Hesperia vii (1938) 1 ff., cf. Hignett, , HAC 391 ff. with reff. The Alkmeonidai, Kirchner, PA no. 647, and Stamires, G. and Vanderpool, L., Hesperia xix (1950) 376 ff. Two other names on the Attalos inscr. remain puzzling, (B37–38) and (A 27). The second is used geographically but presumably had a personal origin. The form again suggests some kind of subdivision, but one can only guess at the circumstances of it. The first at any rate would have been divided at a time when -ίδαι was still a current formation (Andrewes, op. cit. 32), well before the fourth century, and not, one imagines, at the same time as the Presbonoi, &c.—one would have expected a similar form throughout.

17 Below, p. 177.

18 There would be no ambiguity in 4, but in 2, e.g., may be more Delphinioi. Are yet more Delphinioi?

19 FGH 90 F52. Attalos inscr., B31; cf. Hemberg, , Die Kabiren 139, n. 2, and 140.

20 Attalos inscr. B25 and Zolotas, , Ἱστορία i. 374.

21 Cf. the military groups in Egypt; Pros. Ptol. nos. 1825 ff.

22 Several of the names recur in late fourth-century contexts—Poseidippos, Philiskos, Metrodoros, Apollodoros, and Dioskourides all appear in the catalogue of the Totteidai (see Appendix A), but these names are too common to be significant. Besides, if my interpretation of the catalogue is correct, men listed in it could not be leaders of units in these sections, and, in any case, Metrodoros could not be both of the Totteidai and Chalazoi. Otherwise Apollodoroi, Metrodoroi, Dionysodoroi, Dioskouridai, and names in Ana- and Arist- abound at or about the right period; there is at least one Parmeniskos (Rev. Phil. (3me sér.) xi (1937) 322, l. 11), perhaps two Herakleitoi, (IG iv 2. 123. 117; Ἀθηνᾶ xx (1908) 200, no. Ζ′ 29), a Philiskos, (IG ix. 4.547), a Hermis, (SIG 3402. 40; though the genitive is there Ἓρμιδος), and a Hekates (Studniczka, , AM xiii (1888) no. 32). The last two are uncommon enough in Chios to be significant. Ἀθηνᾶ xx (1908) no. ΡΠ′ might read Βέρτιο[ς] and should be of the fourth century or earlier (the absence of a patronymic and the fact that the name is at the top of the stone point to a date before 300, to judge from other Chian tombstones). It is just conceivable that the Archelas who went on an embassy to Athens in 384 (SIG 3 142. 41) might have survived long enough to give his name to Of the names which do not occur (Poseidippos, Telagros, Pythodoros, Matris, Agathanor) only the first, I think, is found at any earlier date (on a coin c. 400; Mavrogordato, , Num. Chron. xviii (1918) 7375).

23 See above, p. 174.

24 Robert, L., BCH lvii (1933) 483 f., publishes a dedication of the late fourth century by a certain Euenor. I know of no Chian name long enough to fill the gap in the example cited above (p. 176, n. 15) from the Attalos inscr. and am therefore inclined to restore But the stone which defined the place of the Hieropoioi in the system would have read and would still read

25 Many of the Totteidai in the Catalogue (Appendix A) are obviously related but this, in itself, does not prove that they were basically a gentilicial group. Any local unit would contain members of the same families.

26 The former would mean that about 60 per cent. of the population had been non-gennetai.

27 Cf. n. 2 above. The word occurs in Ἀθηνᾶ xx (1908) no. ΡΜΖ′ and Paspatis, no. 53. But in neither case need it be in a technical sense.

28 The stone was discovered by Mr. Stephanou who, with characteristic generosity, has published it at once so that I might use it in this paper, which could not have been written without his unselfish co-operation on this and many other points.

29 The number of important inscriptions from the area of Berberato indicates a major sanctuary nearby. Among tribal inscriptions alone, the Catalogue, the second list of Chalazoi (3), and this fragment; among others, the letter of Alexander (Tod, , GHI ii. 192), while the ‘Constitution’ was found at Tholopotami on the other side of the valley.

30 Cf. Andrewes, op. cit. 33.

31 e.g.

32 Hippias, , FGH 421 F 1. For conjectural dates, Historia vi (1957) 168 n. 9; Jacoby, Commentary ad loc.

33 Andrewes, loc. cit.; cf. above, n. 11.

34 SIG 3 987 and (the most recent text) Wilhelm, A., JOAI xxviii (1933) 197 ff. Haussoullier dated the former to the end of the century, but it is certainly somewhat earlier, of much the same date as 1–4. I cannot decide on epigraphical grounds whether it comes before or after them (the reader may judge for himself from Plate 49b), and the date given in the text (335 B.C.) is only the result of my inability to fit the Klytidai, as I imagine them to have been, into the system of 1–4 as I imagine it to have been.

35 Op. cit. 171.

36 Op. cit. 151 n. 5.

37 On democrats and see below, n. 54. The authors of the change would certainly be democrats (below, p. 181).

38 Op. cit. In fact ỴΤΟΜΗ can be read on the stone.

39 Above, nn. 2, 5, and 7. There is still some justification for the use of patra at Kamiros (as there may have been for genos at Samos) in that these units were at least in part of gentilicial origin. It would be less easy to incorporate larger units in a new system and therefore less likely that the original name would be used. There are, of course, the extraordinary phratries of Alexandria, but they are extraordinary.

40 Cf. above, p. 176.

41 Cf. above, p. 176, n. 15.

42 See Appendix B for a few other references to tribes, &c., from Chios.

43 For a bibliography to 1936 see Argenti, P., Bibliography of Chios (1940) 207 ff. Cf. n. 44.

44 Jeffery, L. H., BSA li (1956) 157 ff.

45 Latyschev, B., Zap. Imp. Russ. Akad. iv (1890) 14 and 13. The copy reads: in which Latyschev sees There is, I think, no alternative.

46 SIG 3 986.

47 Thuc. viii. 14. 2.

48 viii. 24.

49 DS xiv. 84. 3.

50 Tod, , GHI ii. 118; Dem. xv. 19. To this democracy belongs the decree, Ἀθηνᾶ xx (1908) no. ΡΜ⊖′ (cf. BCH xxxvii (1913) 231 no. 35).

51 Aristotle, Pol. 1306b5.

52 [Plut.] Mor. 837b.

53 For Isokrates' views on democracy see Fuks, A., The Ancestral Constitution 711 with notes and refs.

54 Pol. 1319b19.

55 In line 1 I read ΕΣΒΥṬ (cf. Plate 49 b; ΕΣΩΤ Hauss., ΕΣΩΤ Sourias) whence we may infer the existence of a body called among the Klytidai. It would be in their houses, perhaps, that the ἱερά had previously been kept.

56 The second and third decrees are passed in different years (lines 10 and 22), but one cannot judge the interval. The issue settled by the second would arise as soon as the first was put into effect and, one imagines, would be settled fairly soon.

57 Tod, , GHI ii. 192.

58 Arrian iii. 2. 5. The name also occurs on the near-contemporary decree for the Naxian and Andrian judges, SEG xii. 390, l. 29.

59 Vanseveren, J., Rev. Phil. (3me sér.) xi (1937) 322, lines 28 and 33; Zolotas, , Ἀθηνᾶ xx (1908) no. Ζ′, line 61. I read for in PP, no. 27, col. II, line 7. Mme Robert prefers a date towards the end of the century for these lists, but they are, I think, noticeably earlier than the Attalos inscr. Indeed, I should like to identify the Βιτῆς father of in the Attalos inscr. with the Βιτῆς son of in her list, l. 11. The name is a rare one. The tombstone of (CIG 2239b; her list, l. 8) belongs to the end of the century but this gives us only a terminus ante quern for the list. If Timolykos, grandfather of Aggeles in Zol.'s list, l. 60, is the mint official of 330–300 (Mavrogordato, loc. cit.; another rare name), a date in the middle of the century would again be suitable.

60 Vanseveren, loc. cit. l. 12.

61 For the date I am indebted to Mr. J. Boardman.

62 This is borne out at least for the second century by the grouping of the names on C and D. The number of names added at a time varies between 1 and 4 and averages exactly 2 (the average is the same whether one takes only those groups that are certainly complete (6 in number) or includes at their minimum those which may have been larger (11); it would, of course, be slightly higher if we had these complete). But with this range of numbers it is likely that in some years no additions would be made and the blank years would then bring the average down considerably. In C I 45–58 six names appear in the same hand, but they are set in three different groups (see text) which may then have been added in different years.

63 On this phrase see Dunst, loc. cit.

64 Below, p. 188, and n. 73.

65 Above, n. 25.

66 Loc. cit.

67 Jeffery, loc. cit.

68 Jeffery, loc. cit., n. 1.

69 Above, p. 178, and n. 27.

70 Zolotas, , Ἐφημερίς, Aug. 23rd, 1889 (= Haussoullier, , REG iii (1890) 272) and Ἀθηνᾶ xx (1908) no. Δ′ (2) (= SGDI 5654).

71 Kontoleon, N. M., Rev. Phil. (3me sér.) xxiii (1949) 1 ff.

72 The reading is so doubtful that it is pointless to discuss restorations, but it is at least possible that we should divide in which case we have perhaps a tribal decree.

73 On these units see Robert, op. cit.

74 Salac has been misled by PP's description and his restorations are therefore worthless. For a similar document see now Dunant, and Pouilloux, , Thasos ii (1958) 3536.

75 Equally the upsilon before the lambda is at this date decisive against it.

76 The form does not occur in Chios; was common.

77 Kontoleon, loc. cit.

78 Above, pp. 175 f. and n. 16.

79 Εὐάδαι DGEEP 688; the others in the Attalos inscr. Cf. Guarducci, op. cit.

1 I am very grateful to Professor A. Andrewes and Mr. P. M. Fraser for their generous help and advice in the preparation of this paper.

The tribal organization of Chios1

  • W. G. Forrest


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