Papers of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens — 5.1886-1890

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A STUDY OF THE ATTIC PHRATRY.

179

are (or were) of another opinion. Regarding the Demotionidai as a
gens, with which our phratry was intimately connected, either as con-
tained in it (Szanto) or containing it (Busolt), the}7 see in the "law of
the Demotionidai" a recent enactment of the gens, and suppose that
the diadikcma was in the archonship of Phormion first introduced into
our phratry and presumably into others as well. Now, it may be, as
Szanto and Eusolt have assumed, that the first of our phratrial pse-
phisms is symptomatic of the same movement which found expression
in the archonship of Eukleides in the revival of the law, that only
those should be citizens both of whose parents were citizens, though the
interval of time, eight years, is hardly favorable to such an assump-
tion. But, at any rate, the psephism of Hierokles does not introduce
a new practice. If the "law of the Demotionidai" had been a recent
enactment, it would almost certainly have been called a ■^njcfjta/j.a :
and the language, "all who have not yet been subjected to a diadi-
kasia according to the law," implies that some have already passed
that ordeal. The law is not a novelty, but it has been laxly observed,
and is now to be again enforced. Furthermore, as we now know, there
have been one or more earlier psephisms of the phratry in regard to
elaayeoyi'] or hiahiKaaLa or both. The irporepa tyr)<f>l(Tfj,aTa to which
Nikodemos refers {B, 11) may include the psephism of Hierokles, but
imply at least one besides. The measures now enacted in-esuppose the
immemorial vofios and the previous legislation, of whose precise nature
we are ignorant.29

In the second place, the style of our document is extremely clumsy
and inexact, Attention has been called above to the illiterate syntax
of certain passages. What is tar more serious is the inconsecutiveness,
the incompleteness and the ambiguity in statement of principles. It
requires talent and training of a high order to frame a good law, and
these the legislative methods of the Athenians did not tend to develop.
Least of all were such qualities likely to be found in the subordinate,
rural corporations, as these psephisms bear witness. Hence it is use-
less to bring to bear upon them strict rules of interpretation.

In consequence of these difficulties, a complete and certain explana-
tion of these decrees is impossible so long as our materials remain what
they are. The way in which the newly discovered text has thrown

29 The words ots elprtrai M rfj avaKplvei Tmpt'xecrea! seem to me to refer to a previous
psephism. The novelty in Nikodemos' measure was not the requirement of witnesses,
but the requirement that they should be of the thiasos of the candidate.
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