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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 September 2017

James Kierstead
Victoria University of Wellington, NZ
E-mail address:


This passage provides invaluable evidence on the procedures pertaining to the admission of new citizens in Classical Athens. The picture that the author has given of the roles that were played by the institutions involved in these procedures is very clear: for the reader's convenience I display it in the form of a diagram in Figure 1. According to Ath. Pol., the deme voted on whether a candidate was both of legal age and of free status; if free status was denied by the deme, the candidate could appeal to the Central Court; and at the end of the process the Council of Five Hundred double-checked that the candidate was of legal age.

Research Article
Copyright © The Classical Association 2017 

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A version of this paper was presented in February 2016 at the Australasian Society for Classical Studies conference in Melbourne; I am grateful to those who offered comments, especially Matthew Trundle and Art Pomeroy. I also thank Simon Perris, Mark Masterson, Matt Simonton, Federica Carugati, Edward Harris and Stephen Lambert for comments on earlier drafts.


2 Unattributed translations are my own.

3 So also Rhodes, P.J., A Commentary on the Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia (Oxford, 1981 [henceforth simply ‘Rhodes’]), 500 Google Scholar: ‘If AP’s text gives a complete and accurate account of the procedure, an appeal lay to a δικαστήριον if the deme judged a candidate not to be ἐλεύθερος, all candidates approved by the deme were then reviewed by the boule on the criterion of age, but no further check was made on the criterion of birth in accordance with the laws.’

4 Rhodes had also rejected it in passing in an earlier publication ( The Athenian Boule [Oxford, 1972], 173 Google Scholar); but his later argument is fuller. Rhodes may have been building on the doubts of Sandys, J.E., Aristotle's Constitution of Athens (London, 1912 2), 161 Google Scholar. Gilbert, G., The Constitutional Antiquities of Sparta and Athens (London, 1895), 198 Google Scholar rightly accepts the account given by our passage, as do Levi, M.A., Commento storico alla Respublica Atheniensium di Aristotele (Milan, 1968)Google Scholar, 2.356 and De Ste. Croix, G.E.M., ‘The Athenian citizenship laws’, in Harvey, D. and Parker, R. (edd.), Athenian Democratic Origins (Oxford, 2004), 243 CrossRefGoogle Scholar (only recently published but written well before Rhodes's commentary). Chambers, M., Aristoteles: Werke (Berlin, 1990)Google Scholar, 10.336 and Cohen, E.E., The Athenian Nation (Princeton, 2000)Google Scholar, 61 n. 82 offer some limited argumentation in rejecting Rhodes's critique. Manville, P.B., The Origins of Citizenship in Democratic Athens (Princeton, 1990), 8 Google Scholar follows Rhodes ‘particularly regarding the likelihood that the boulȇ and dikastȇria could have examined both the age and free status of enrolled candidates’. Moore, J.M., Aristotle and Xenophon on Democracy and Oligarchy (London, 1983)Google Scholar follows Rhodes's view closely, while Robertson, B.G., ‘The scrutiny of new citizens at Athens’, in Hunter, V. and Edmondson, J. (edd.), Law and Social Status in Classical Athens (Oxford, 2000), 152 Google Scholar depends on Rhodes for his view that ‘questions of age might’ have been examined by δικασταί. Valdés, M.G., Aristóteles, Constitución de los Atenienses; Pseudo-Aristóteles, Económicos (Madrid, 1984), 155 Google Scholar states that it is possible that δικασταί made rulings on age as well as on status, but he admits that ‘en el testo esto no se indica’. Farenga, V., Citizen and Self in Ancient Greece (Cambridge, 2006), 357 CrossRefGoogle Scholar is compatible either with the text or with Rhodes (both of which he says he follows; n. 18): ‘Contested decisions [on both issues or on just one?] could be referred to a jury court, and later in the year, at the state level, the Council of 500 performed its own dokimasia to ratify the deme's vote on each ephebe.’

5 Rhodes 500: ‘We may guess that on all criteria a candidate rejected by the deme could appeal to a δικαστήριον, and (in case the deme had erred in the direction of generosity) candidates accepted by the deme, or rejected by the deme but reinstated by a court, were reviewed on all criteria by the boule (cf. Moore, 275).’

6 It will not help to argue, as an anonymous reviewer has, that Rhodes's claim is simply that candidates could appeal to the δικαστήριον, not that they necessarily would. Rhodes's claim is that candidates could appeal to the δικαστήριον with respect to their age as well as their legal status; and there is, as we will see, no good evidence for this.

7 My emphasis. Rhodes 500, quoted above.

8 Rhodes 35–6.

9 The first half of the work (1–41), dealing as it does with historical events, must have depended on written sources of varying reliability; the second half of the work (42–69), on the contemporary constitution, may have been more firmly grounded on records of law currently in force and on direct observation. See Rhodes 5–37.

10 Rhodes 35.

11 In the second part of his work, as in the first part, ‘AP has treated some matters at what seems disproportionate length’. Examples include his accounts of the δικαστήρια (63–9) and of the forty-two age-classes at 53.4–7; Rhodes suspects that the explanation is ‘that he was fascinated by elaborate constitutional arrangements of this kind’. Rhodes also notes that Ath. Pol. shows great interest in the organization of the ἐφηβεία (42.2–4), perhaps (Rhodes speculates) because its author was one of the first young Athenians to pass through the recently reformed system. The discussion follows on directly from our passage here, and is on a related topic; and Rhodes's speculation suggests yet another reason the author would have gotten his account of citizenship procedures absolutely right (for all this, see Rhodes 36–7).

12 So, minor liberties—such as writing ὁ μὲν ἐφίησιν when ‘he can appeal’ is meant—do not necessarily leave the reader with a false belief in how the system worked. But why would our author not have told us that status and age were assessed by both the δικαστήριον and the βουλή, if that is what happened?

13 Rhodes 500, quoted disapprovingly by Cohen (n. 4), 61 n. 82 (who, however, is more interested in the question of whether he means ‘of free status’ or ‘of citizen birth’).

14 Admittedly there are one or two asymmetries. For instance, the candidate is inscribed as a citizen after his status has been checked by the δικαστήριον, but before his age has been checked by the βουλή. This is related to the fact that, properly speaking, the first checkpoint is an appeal (ἔφεσις) and the second a review (δοκιμασία). But this technical difference hardly does anything to upset the very clear and logical structure of the procedures taken as a whole. And in any case, as Edward Harris has pointed out to me per litteras, it makes sense to reserve the more time-consuming process of a trial for the most important issue, legal status, and to leave the less consequential matter of age to a review by the Council.

15 Cohen (n. 4), 61 n. 82, rejecting the charge of haphazardness, believes that ‘it would not be unreasonable to permit appeals only on the issue of free status’, since ‘the candidate rejected on other criteria would suffer relatively benign consequences’. This is quite correct. The δικαστήριον was a dedicated legal body in a way in which the βουλή was not, and so it makes sense for it to have had sole jurisdiction over the decision with the gravest possible consequences.

16 This is certainly one of Moore's complaints: that it would be ‘surprisingly out of tune with normal Athenian practice if a relatively small body like the deme council could take such a decision without appeal being possible’ (Moore [n. 4], 275). He is referring to the decision about a candidate's age; but, of course, if we accept at face value what our passage says, there was an appeal (or at least a review) on this ruling—in the βουλή.

17 On the induction of new citizens into both demes and phratries before and after the Cleisthenic revolution of 508/507, see Ismard, P., La cité des réseaux (Paris, 2010), 101–10Google Scholar; with Lambert, S.D., The Phratries of Attica (Ann Arbor, 1993), 31–4Google Scholar.

18 Rhodes 500.

19 Moore is less cautious, referring to ‘Aristophanes Wasps 578, where it is said that it is the privilege of the dikastai to decide on the maturity of the young men (and they much enjoyed their duty!)’ (Moore [n. 4], 274–5). But the line is far from a straightforward statement of the claim that δικασταί ruled on the age of candidates for citizenship; nor, as I suggest below, can the line be taken to imply that claim. If by ‘privilege’ Moore meant that δικασταί alone examined candidates’ ages, that would be doubly wrong: first because δικασταί did not examine candidates’ ages, and second because even if they had, they would have been the second group to do so after the candidates’ demesmen.

20 MacDowell, D.M., Aristophanes Wasps (Oxford, 1971), 210 Google Scholar uses the line in a different way but also comes to a conclusion which is at odds with the picture painted by our passage. MacDowell's idea is that appeal could be made to a δικαστήριον after the review of a candidate's age by the βουλή. (He repeats this claim in The Law in Classical Athens [Ithaca, 1978], 69 Google Scholar, citing in n. 108 only our passage and this line from Aristophanes.) This would reconcile the line with our passage, although the author of Ath. Pol. would have to have left out an important stage in the procedure he was describing. MacDowell believes in the possibility of a further appeal because of Ath. Pol. 45.1, where it is stated that there was an appeal to the δικαστήριον whenever the βουλή ordered a punishment. But there are reasons to doubt this (see Rhodes 540), and in any case that passage seems to be concerned with punishments meted out to individuals, not to associations such as demes. Finally, if the δικαστήριον could rule on a candidate's age, why did it not do so before or instead of the βουλή? We know that it was the first court of appeal for judgments on a candidate's status.

21 On obscenity in Old Comedy, see e.g. Dover, K.J., Aristophanic Comedy (Berkeley, 1972)Google Scholar; Henderson, J., The Maculate Muse (New Haven, 1975)Google Scholar; Robson, J., Aristophanes (London, 2009), 120–40Google Scholar. On the complexities of using Aristophanic evidence for Athenian legal procedures, see MacDowell, D.M., ‘Aristophanes and Athenian law’, in Harris, E.M., Leão, D.F. and Rhodes, P.J. (edd.), Law and Drama in Ancient Greece (London, 2010), 147–57Google Scholar.

22 For a catalogue of Philocleon's vices, see Dover (n. 21), 126–7; Dover's concluding judgement is hopefully unsurpassed: Philocleon is the kind of man ‘who in old age spends his days in the infliction of pain on others and his evenings in running his hand up his daughter's skirt’. We might add here that within Wasps ‘most of the obscenities are associated with the protagonist. Philocleon's language, as befits a salty old man, runs to the colourful, and he is fond of using extravagant and vulgar expressions, especially scatological ones’ (Henderson [n. 21], 79–80).

23 It is true, for example, that δικασταί arrived at court in the morning (552), that they did not undergo εὔθυναι (587) and that they received a three-obol payment (608). And it must have been widely believed that, say, Cleon took care never to cross that section of the dȇmos most heavily represented among δικασταί (596).

24 Among the gross exaggerations here is surely the statement that nobody ever carried a proposal in the ἐκκλησία without including a motion to dismiss the δικαστήρια after the day's first case (594–5). That Theoros approached δικασταί with a sponge and a bottle of water in order to clean their shoes (600) seems a piece of pure comic fantasy.

25 573, 608.

26 Rhodes 171.

27 The youths that δικασταί might have seen in the law courts would not have been naked, of course. But here Aristophanes’ particular brand of humour might play a role. For the comic idea that randy old men found ways of thinking about young bodies even when they were not actually on display, see Ar. Nub. 973–83.

28 SEG 28.46. I am grateful to Matt Simonton for suggesting that this decree might be relevant here. Stroud, R.S., ‘Theozotides and the Athenian orphans’, Hesp. 40 (1971), 285–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar thinks that the oligarchs in question were the Thirty; Matthaiou, A.P., Τὰ ἐν τῆι στήληι γεγραμμένα (Athens, 2011), 7681 Google Scholar argues that they were the Four Hundred. But the exact date of the decree does not affect my argument.

29 δ[οκι]μασάτω αὐ[τ]ό[ς.

30 There is certainly space in the lacuna at the end of line 15 for τὸ δικαστήριον. For lines 13 and 14 Matthaiou (n. 28), 76 suggests [ἐπιμέ]λεσθ[αι] … / […] τὴν ὅς [ἄν ἦι ἑκάστοτε], ‘let the [magistrate], whoever that is at the time, see to it’ (cf. IG I3 110.16–20, ἐπιμέ/λεσθαι … καὶ τὸν ἄρχοντα ἐν Σκιάθωι ὅς ἄν ἦι ἑκάστοτε, ‘let the archon in Skiathos, whoever it happens to be at that time, see to it’). The lacuna in line 15 will thus have contained the name of the agency that was to assess the orphans and, as Matthaiou points out, ‘the subject of δοκιμασάτω in l. 15 cannot be the same as that of the infinitive [ἐπιμέ]λεσθ[αι] because of the different tense’. The only other possibility for the subject of δ[οκι]μασάτω would appear to be the βουλή, which scrutinized invalids (Ath. Pol. 49.4).

31 Stroud (n. 28), 291 n. 30.

32 Stroud (n. 28), 291 n. 30.

33 The presence of τοῖς παισὶ in line 9 of our decree (not to mention the same word, more heavily restored, in line 6) would seem to me to indicate that orphans were scrutinized at some point before they became ephebes.

34 On this, see Golden, M., ‘Slavery and homosexuality at Athens’, Phoenix 38 (1984), 308–24CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

35 A final consideration that might weigh in favour of this hypothesis is that we have no evidence as to whether the specific citizenship-related δοκιμασία referred to in our passage of Ath. Pol. was operative in the fifth century. If it was not, the word δοκιμαζομένων would obviously have no chance of referring to this procedure.

36 Cf. also Harpocration, who twice presents δοκιμασία as the entire process leading to registration as a citizen: ἀδοκίμαστος· δοκιμασθῆναι τὸ εἰς ἄνδρας ἐγγραφῆναι and δοκιμασθείς· ἀντὶ τοῦ εἰς ἄνδρας ἐγγραφείς.

37 The ordinary word for ‘age’ in the sense required here is ἡλικία. Aristophanes might thus have added something like καθ’ἡλικίαν, or simply ἡλικίαν (accusative of respect)—both of which would have fitted perfectly into the anapaestic tetrameter of the line.

38 One major problem is that παίδων … δοκιμαζομένων already means ‘when the boys are being assessed’, and to require παίδων to bear the additional meaning of ‘as to whether they are in fact boys’ would be too much. We would expect something like ὡς παῖδες somewhere in the sentence.

39 Even if we take the view of Robertson (n. 4), 153–62 that Athenians did not deal in precise chronological ages as we do, they could clearly distinguish the physical and personal changes experienced by younger teenagers from those experienced by older teenagers. If they could not, why was there a separate coming-of-age ceremony for fourteen-year-olds to fifteen-year-olds (the κουρεῖον) held by the phratries during the Apatouria?

40 I take this to have been the crucial error in the reasoning of both Rhodes and Moore. In modern scholarship, it can be traced back to Sandys (n. 4), 161, who says that ‘in Aristoph. Vesp. 578 it is regarded as a privilege of the δικασταί to take part in ascertaining the physical maturity of Athenian youths on the occasion of the δοκιμασία. ‘Physical maturity’ elides the point at issue, combining as it does sexual maturity (= puberty), civic maturity (= 18 years of age) and physical readiness (i.e. to enter the ἐφηβεία). But our passage makes it very clear that the only type of maturity the δικασταί are authorized to assess is not sexual maturity (which might have been checked by an examination of the genitals) but civic maturity (which could not have been). In any case, Sandys may have been encouraged by the statement of a scholiast on Vesp. 578 that ʼΑριστοτέλης δέ φησιν ὅτι ψήφῳ οἱ ἐγγραφόμενοι δοκιμάζονται as to whether they were eighteen years old (Rose fr. 427, quoted by Kenyon, F.G., Aristotle on the Constitution of Athens [London, 1892], 132)Google Scholar. This statement is of course true, since there was a δοκιμασία which assessed candidates’ ages; however, since (according to ‘Aristotle’) this occurred not in the δικαστήριον but in the βουλή, it has little relevance to Philocleon's utterance. That the assessment of age was performed by the βουλή may explain the scholiast's confusion; he continues ἴσως δʼἂν περὶ τῶν κρινομένων παίδων εἰς τοὺς γυμνικοὺς ἀγῶνας λέγει· (and here Kenyon is right to take the subject of the verb to be Aristophanes, not ‘Aristotle’) οὐχ ὡς ἐν δικαστηρίῳ κρινομένων ἀλλʼ ὑπὸ τῶν πρεσβυτέρων; The scholiast's suggestion is not a bad one, but it leaves unexplained why Philocleon (or Aristophanes) would include this line in a list of the advantages of serving in a δικαστήριον.

41 Another possible reading is that of Robertson (n. 4). Although Robertson is aware that this line of Aristophanes is a joke (151), he agrees ‘with most commentators that at some point in the process of the dokimasia [used to refer to the entire procedure] the candidates were naked’. He also believes ‘that Aristophanes’ joke is that those who swore the heliastic oath were getting a cheap thrill from what should be a solemn ceremony’ (152). For Robertson, then, all δικασταί saw all of the candidates completely naked, as a regular part of the scrutiny procedure—and even deliberately looked at their genitals (cf. 161, where nudity is called ‘a necessary part of the initiation ritual’). A few of the δικασταί (including Philocleon) gained sexual pleasure from this; but most of them did not, apparently because of their greater sense of the dignity of the ceremony being conducted. But why would the δικασταί have regularly scrutinized the genitals of young citizens? As we have seen, doing so would not have helped them distinguish eighteen-year-olds from seventeen-year-olds. Robertson (n. 4), 153–63 argues that the Athenian concept of age was more flexible and vague than ours. But the Athenians were surely not under the impression that puberty took place around eighteen years of age. Robertson's stimulating view that the point of the δοκιμασία procedure was to ensure that new citizens lived up to a class-constructed standard of physical beauty (153–73) assumes that our line from Aristophanes is evidence that candidates were surveyed in the nude (which, as we have seen, is not the case). Robertson's tentative identification of the scene on a fourth-century funerary stēlē (Nat. Mus. Inv. no. 896; Robertson [n. 4], 172) as a δοκιμασία is not convincing, mainly because the nudity of the youth is surely an artistic convention.

42 In this case, there would remain the problem that Aristophanes uses a word cognate with δοκιμασία when what he was referring to was technically an ἔφεσις. But this is not a major problem, especially since (as we have seen) words related to δοκιμασία often referred to assessment or examination in a general sense. Chambers (n. 3), 336 does not discuss this question (or most of the others discussed here) but comes to the right conclusion: ‘Einige Leser haben vermuten, dieser Witz beweise eine mit der Prüfung des Alters der Jungen verbundene Tätigkeit des Rates, aber es kann auch ein Witz sein, der sich nur auf die Pflicht der Gerichte, Fälle von unsicherer Abstammung zu behandeln, bezieht.’

43 Moore (n. 4), 275: ‘There is no necessary contradiction between this [our] passage [of Ath. Pol.] and Aristophanes Wasps 578, where it is said that it is the privilege of the dikastai to decide on the maturity of the young men (and they much enjoyed their duty!); this would refer to the decision of disputed cases. Aristotle is, however, the only authority to assign the approval of the decision of the deme council on this to the Boule.’ As we have seen, there is no reason to take Ar. Vesp. 578 as saying what Moore describes it as saying. But if we do, the statement that there is no contradiction between this line and our passage is misleading, if not strictly false. Our passage states clearly that the δικαστήριον passed judgment on candidates’ legal status, and that the βουλή made rulings on candidates’ ages. It does not say that the δικαστήριον heard appeals on the subject of candidates’ ages; if that did in fact happen, our author must have been quite incompetent not to tell us. What he does tell us is that a review of the age of candidates was carried out by the βουλή. Moore is, once again, strictly speaking in the right when he says that our passage is the only authority that tells us this; but, as I hope will soon be clear, it would also be true to say that there is no other source that contradicts our passage.

44 Rhodes 500. The discrepancies that Rhodes notes between the two sources do not affect the point at issue here. As he says, the fact that Euphiletus’ case went first to the διαιτηταί is probably explained by the likelihood that in a general review of the citizen rolls ‘there were so many appeals that it was necessary to spread the burden’ on the δικαστήρια.

45 Rhodes 501. Moore (n. 4), 275 is similarly reduced to accusing the author of Ath. Pol. of a lack of clarity. ‘The combination of passages’, he states, ‘implies that there was an appeal also from a decision that a man was too young.’ Besides the many other problems with this comment, the ‘also’ refers back to what Moore has just been discussing, and that is decisions about a man's age. So, Moore seems to be making the same point twice, doubtless because of a simple oversight in writing the note. ‘If this deduction is correct,’ he concludes, ‘Aristotle's phrasing is less clear than it might be.’ The deduction is (as we have seen) invalid; it seems to have been performed twice; and Ath. Pol.’s phrasing is perfectly clear. It is also perfectly consistent with the rest of the literary evidence.

46 I explore the role of associations (especially the phratries) in Athenian citizenship procedures in a forthcoming paper in Historia. But a discussion of the topic would take me too far afield of our passage to be justified here.

47 ‘There was no central register of all citizens … each deme kept the ληξιαρχικὸν γραμματεῖον of its members, and those who were registered as members of demes were Athenian citizens’ (Rhodes 497).

48 ἐὰν δὲ νικήσῃ, τοῖς δημόταις ἐπάναγκες ἐγγράφειν. Near the beginning of our passage, we are told that, ὅταν δ᾽ ἐγγράφωνται, διαψηφίζονται περὶ αὐτῶν ὀμόσαντες οἱ δημόται. We should not, of course, conclude from this that the demesmen voted on candidates after they had inscribed their names in the deme registers. The phrase ὅταν δ᾽ ἐγγράφωνται (with the verb in the subjunctive mood and with incomplete aspect) refers not to individual acts of inscribing but to the whole process of registering new citizens. This supports my translation ‘when they are up for inscription’.

49 μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα δοκιμάζει τοὺς ἐγγραφέντας ἡ βουλή.

50 Isae. 7.28. The speaker, Thrasyllus, states that, after a debate about his status as an adopted son of Apollodorus, the demesmen ὁμόσαντες καθʼ ἱερῶν ἐνέγραψάν με. There is no sign that the demesmen were doing anything out of the ordinary in inscribing Thrasyllus in the deme registers right after making their decision (and before any review by the βουλή had taken place).

51 μετὰ δὲ ταῦτα δοκιμάζει τοὺς ἐγγραφέντας ἡ βουλή, κἄν τις δόξῃ νεώτερος ὀκτωκαίδεκ᾽ ἐτῶν εἶναι, ζημιοῖ τοὺς δημότας τοὺς ἐγγράψαντας. ἐγγραφέντας is the aorist passive participle; it refers to ‘those who were inscribed’ (although ‘those who have been inscribed’ is better English). ἐγγράψαντας is the aorist active participle, and refers to the demesmen ‘who inscribed’ a candidate's name.

52 The statement of Sandys (n. 4), 161 that ‘the preliminary enrolment belongs to the δημόται’ is hence quite misleading. The vote of the demesmen was in no way preliminary; it might well lead directly to the candidate's name being inscribed forthwith.

53 According to the author of the Ath. Pol., before his time the names of new citizens were inscribed on whitened boards, but in his day they were inscribed instead on bronze stēlai (53.4). Names written on whitened boards might well have been removed without much trouble; scratching out names inscribed in bronze would doubtless have been a more difficult and costly matter.

54 Notice, though, that, while the deme faces a fine if the candidate is too young, the candidate himself can reapply without penalty. Anyone who was not a native-born Athenian faced significant disincentives to apply for citizenship: if he was rejected by both the demesmen and the δικαστήριον, he was enslaved. Those who were native-born but were still under eighteen, on the other hand, had nothing to worry about, since the only consequence of their rejection (by either the ἀγορά or the βουλή) was being told to reapply later. A young man whose rejection by the βουλή led to a fine for his deme might not be very popular with his demesmen; but anyone who could persuade their deme to take a risk for them would immediately be only one step away from citizenship. The influence of the deme ἀγοραί on who became a citizen is again evident.

55 ἐπὰν δὲ δοκιμασθῶσιν οἱ ἔφηβοι. Clearly δοκιμασθῶσιν refers back to the δοκιμασία in the βουλή which has just been described.

56 Ephebes, we should recall, were new citizens in the first two years of their citizenship, during which time they performed military service for the Athenian state. On the ἐφηβεία in Ath. Pol., see Rhodes 493–5, and the comments on the rest of section 42.

57 In assessing the relative importance of the various institutions involved here, it is also instructive to consider the seriousness of the various punishments that each of them might inflict. The most serious outcome of any of the procedures is clearly the enslavement that might be ordered by the δικαστήριον; in comparison, the fine that the βουλή has the power to lay down appears negligible. Of course, from this perspective the deme ἀγορά looks less powerful than it really was, since it was not in a position to enact penalties before appeals were heard and reviews conducted.

58 ‘Probably, whenever no higher minimum is stipulated, they had to have passed their thirtieth birthday (see on 30.ii, 63.iii, but it is possible that younger men could hold military office: in the case of generals doubts are hinted at by W.K. Pritchett, The Greek State at War, ii.63 n. 17 …)’ (Rhodes 510).

59 Eighteen-year-olds could participate as full citizens in various festivals and cults associated with the polis; see Manville (n. 4), with the citations in n. 23.

60 Hansen, M.H., The Athenian Assembly in the Age of Demosthenes (Oxford, 1987), 7 Google Scholar with nn. 51 and 53. His case is built on the propositions that 1) an ephebe could not be involved in lawsuits (Ath. Pol. 42.5), and so could probably not attend meetings of the ἐκκλησία; 2) ephebes served in garrisons, and garrison troops could not attend the ἐκκλησία (Dem. 21.193); and 3) Xen. Mem. 3.6.1 and Lys. 16.20 point to an age-limit of twenty years for attendance of the ἐκκλησία.

61 There is no hard evidence that the δοκιμασία in the βουλή existed in the fifth century, although we cannot rule it out. Rhodes 494 says that ‘the δοκιμασία of young citizens is at least as old as Ar. Vesp. 578’. But, as we have seen, the term δοκιμασία is used there either in error for ἔφεσις, or in reference to the entire procedure for attaining citizenship, not simply for the final review by the βουλή. So this is really the only evidence that some procedure which was referred to with the word δοκιμασία existed in the fifth century; not that this procedure was the review by the βουλή that we are discussing here. (The same goes for Lys. 21.1, ἐγὼ γὰρ ἐδοκιμάσθην μὲν ἐπὶ Θεοπόμπου ἄρχοντος.)

62 The ἐφηβεία ‘as described here is an institution of c.335/334’; although it seems to have had earlier roots, these probably did not extend into the fifth century. See again Rhodes 493–5 and Hansen (n. 60), 7 n. 49 (according to whom ‘the earliest unquestionable attestations of ephebic training are Aeschin. 2.167 [the 370s] and Xen. Vect. 4.51–2 [c.355])’. I cannot discuss this controversial issue any further here; but see now Chankowski, A.S., ‘L’éphébie athénienne antérieure à la réforme d'Epikratès. À propos de Reinmuth, Eph. Inscr. 1 et de la chronologie des premières inscriptions éphébiques’, BCH 138 (2014), 1578 Google Scholar.

63 In the fourth century citizens may finally have been certified for the ἐκκλησία by having their names inscribed in a separate register, the πίναξ ἐκκλησιαστικός, which was also kept in the demes. See again Hansen (n. 60), 7 with n. 52, citing Dem. 44.35.

64 Cf. Cohen (n. 4), 61 n. 82: ‘the candidate rejected on other criteria [other than status; but what other criteria were examined apart from age?] would not share in the political or economic benefits of the politeia (a temporary deprivation in the case of those rejected on age), but his freedom and other rights would be unaffected.’

65 Sealey, R., ‘On coming of age in Athens’, CR 7 (1957), 195–7Google Scholar; Golden, M., ‘Demosthenes and the age of majority at Athens’, Phoenix 33 (1979), 2538 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; both cited by Hansen (n. 60), 7 n. 48. Note, however, the important objections of Harris, E.M., ‘Demosthenes’ speech against Meidias’, HSPh 92 (1989), 117–36Google Scholar.

66 Whitehead, D., The Demes of Attica (Princeton, 1986), 102 Google Scholar.

67 Robertson (n. 4), 163–4 denies that the δοκιμασία sought to weed out individuals who were not physically ready for the ἐφηβεία on the grounds that the handicapped could become citizens who were not liable for military service (Ath. Pol. 49.4; Lys. 24; Philochorus, FGrHist 328 F 197b). But such individuals were surely exceptional. (We might imagine that, in the absence of any obvious handicap, all candidates were assessed as to their readiness for military service. Those that did have a disability were assessed purely with respect to their age.) In any case, Robertson's alternative view (that the δοκιμασία sought to ensure that candidates had bodies that adhered to a citizen type) depends upon the idea that Ar. Vesp. 578 tells us that δικασταί looked at candidates in the nude.

68 Cf. the way in which Thrasyllus, in defending his claim to Apollodorus’ estate, stresses the fact that his demesmen voted for his admission to their number, not the fact that he was confirmed by the βουλή. Farenga (n. 4), 358 n. 21 helpfully lists references in the orators to the vote of the deme ἀγοραί (Dem. 39.5 and 39.29, 44.35–7 and 44.41, 57.9–14; Is. 2.14, 7.28) and to the δοκιμασία in the βουλή (Lys. 21.1, 10.31, 32.9; Dem. 27.5, 30.6 and 30.15). Farenga himself calls the first group of references ‘clear’ and the second only ‘likely’; and my own cursory examination of the second group revealed that they consist overwhelmingly of phrases that should probably be taken as general references to the citizenship procedure as a whole, and not to the vote of the βουλή in particular. It would seem, then, that litigants appealed in the first instance to the fact that they had passed through the overall δοκιμασία; when more evidence was required, they appealed to the vote of their demesmen; they almost never appealed to the δοκιμασία in the βουλή specifically. Farenga is in any case right to say that ‘it's clear from Ath. Pol. 42.1–2 that the dokimasia itself climaxed with the demesmen's vote, or its subsequent legal appeal, and then required confirmation by the Council of 500’.

69 Cf. again Farenga (n. 4), 357: the vote in the deme agora was important, ‘but it was in effect the last in a series of presentations a kurios made to his community peers of a child and adolescent in his care’; and Robertson (n. 4), 149: ‘a male of Athenian parents inched towards citizen status in a series of loosely connected rites that incorporated him into increasingly larger social units.’

70 Ath. Pol. was written either by Aristotle himself or by a member of his school; it was written as one of a number of πολιτεῖαι. See Rhodes 58–63.

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