Chapter XVII: The Four Ionian Tribes
In an article in the “Journal of Hellenic Studies 1920 p. 200 f. on the four Ionian tribes which are widely known in the Ionian cities and colonies and which are familiar to all as an early institution in Attica I suggested and wrongly rejected an explanation which during subsequent study of Iono-Anatolian words has gradually established itself as the most probable.
We are of course in this book dealing only with probabilities not with certainties except where Hesychius or some other trustworthy authority makes a definite assertion.1 An occasional passage of Herodotus or other author is useful e.g. Euripides Ion in the last speech of the goddess Athenaia.
The four tribes which are indubitably Asian in origin are usually enumerated as Geleontes or Gedeontes Aigikôreis Argadeis or Ergadeis and Hopletes. The authorities differ greatly about this old enumeration and the proper order. That there was this ancient division of the Attic people into four tribes (phylae) is a primary fact: we cannot penetrate further back. Euripides ascribes it to the four sons of Ion i.e.
the Ionian settlement in Attica. Aristotle in the Athenian Politeia
ch. xli. mentions this system as the first and earliest; he does not name the tribes but connects them with Ion and his comrades who united the whole of Attica into one State.2
Under Theseus many of whose exploits were performed outside Attica and who was really in a sense a foreign hero though he lived in tradition as the great founder of Attic nationality and unity there was some attempt made to introduce the triple system but only of classes not of tribes. This European system of three Eupatridai Geômoroi and Dêmiourgoi is rather an interruption than a real step in development3
and its author Theseus was often said to be a son of Poseidon and Aethra an alien princess of Troezen:4
it has the appearance of Peloponnesian influence and it was not permanent.
Section I. The Quadruple and the Triple Tribal System.—The institution of the four tribes in Attica which is associated in tradition with Ion and his four sons (i.e.
with the early Ionian settlement in that country)5
has all the appearance of Asiatic origin.
The four castes in Hinduism are a very ancient institution but the castes have been much mixed during the wars of nations; and yet amid the forces of conquest and the rule of conquerors over subject races there remains the fundamental idea of difference in occupation Priests Warriors Agriculturists and Artisans as Professor Eggeling asserts).6
Brahmins Kshatriya Vaisya and Sudra are restricted to four several duties though other modern scholars would open to the Vaisya a variety of occupations for four occupations are too narrow a range as civilisation grows. So Plato classes together hunters shepherds and agriculturists in one of his ideal classes.7
However much Plato was guided by philosophic principles the idea of four tribes devoted to four occupations and modes of life was too deeply fixed in his mind to be disregarded; and yet in his time society had become during a long development far too complex to be confined within such restricted limits. In Ionia in European Greece on the Anatolian plateau and in India we must suppose that there did exist once a social state which was adapted to the fourfold way of life and that wars racial differences and the rule of tribe over tribe all tended to fall ultimately under that primaeval system.
Among the Dorians on the other hand immigration and conquest triumphed and the beginning of their political system lay in the victory of two united and allied tribes over native races and the gradual admission of the conquered to a pseudo-equality. The numbers in each tribe differed greatly but the tripartite system prevailed. This is a European idea.
In Attica political changes were far more rapid and thorough-going than among the Spartans and other Dorian tribes. In Crete where so many races found refuge that no united nationality could establish itself permanently8
the Dorians were simply one race of a number of old and new settlers who could not overcome their rivals (Chapter III.). The geographical barriers interposed by mountain glen and sea were insuperable. On the west Asiatic coast the tribal system proved also evanescent: and a certain tendency to unify different races and cities and to transplant the people of one city to increase another is strikingly apparent.
Section II. The Four Hindu Castes.—It is a remarkable fact that whereas in India (see Section I.) the idea of divine supremacy fixed the priestly caste as the highest and their conservatism prevented human development the priests in the Ionian and Attic quadripartite tribal system are rarely mentioned as highest. The cultivator of the ground was as I venture to think the great moral figure of the world alike in the Hittite sculpture at Ibriz far to the east in Asia Minor and in the Iono-Attic tribal system. The priest adores the peasant-god at Ibriz; but god is the working toiling power much superior in importance and in size to the priest.
In Asia the religious influence is always stronger: in Europe the political struggle of party with party (usually originating in difference of race) is the supreme fact. Only in the ideals of Plato (Critias and Timaeus) are the priests placed first. In Athens and in Rome tribes became merely part of a political machine for voting. The four city tribes in Rome were the humblest among the total which grew to be thirty-five; and in these city tribes all freedmen were enrolled.
The primaeval division goes back to Ion who unified the people of Attica and classified them into four Phylae twelve Phratriae or Trittyes 360 families (γένη) and 10800 individual members of families (γεννηταί). This represents a tradition that implies a settlement of the Old-Ionians in Attica. The scattered tribes of Attica were divided by mountain ridges and mutual dislike. Those early Ionian settlers instituted a classification of the entire people info four tribes (ϕυλαί) which were necessarily subdivided. The phratriai may have been fixed for a time at the number twelve; but the regulation numbers of families and individuals could not have been more than a brief and temporary arrangement. The numbers must have grown larger steadily as the population increased while emigration to colonies had not begun.
The division into phratrai is the ancient method recorded by Homer in Iliad iii. 362 but he necessarily uses the term nations (phyla) not the technical term tribes (phylae). The sole point in which Theseus diverged from the old Asian and Ionian system was in adopting apparently the Dorian triple system of classes Eupatridae Geomoroi Demiourgoi instead of the Ionian and Asian quadruple system of tribes; but his Eupatridae seem to have embraced both priests and warriors and to have been in possession of all civil and religious offices and to have been the exponents of the law (which was still uncodified and unwritten) and the declarers of religious right and usage. The other two classes had to accept this interpretation from the aristocratic class in whose possession lay the principles of interpretation.
Section III. The Four Tribes of Iconium.—The only place in the interior plateau of Asia Minor where the existence of four tribes can be proved with almost complete certainty is Iconium as is shown in the inscription on Fig. 6. The restoration is largely conjectural being founded on a poor copy by Hamilton; and the stone must already in his time have been in a very bad condition. Hamilton indeed was a geologist by profession and interest not an epigraphist; but his copies of inscriptions are almost always good because he was careful and thorough in everything and sought for truth not glory. I have often called him “the prince of travellers in Asia Minor” and consider him after many years’ experience to deserve this title fully.
The inscription was arranged between four garlands representing the four tribes.9
The tribes unfortunately have changed their names in compliment to the Roman Emperors. It was a common practice to inscribe within a garland the name of a tribe as here; sometimes “the Senate” or “the Demos” is engraved in this way.
Singly from other inscriptions we learn the names of three but all four were inscribed within four garlands. One is Augusta probably representing an original Dias for Augustus was worshipped as Zeus. Another is the tribe of Heracles the toiling god and the benefactor of men by subduing the earth for their use: it became
Hadriana. A third was the tribe of Athena having a second name beginning with P10
but the rest of the name is now lost. The fourth has perished entirely but a plausible conjecture would make it Hephaestias the tribe of craftsmen: or perhaps it may have been called after Hermes the messenger who is so frequently associated with Zeus as his servant and as the speaker (see Acts xiv. 12). It is vain to indulge in conjecture as to the tribes. The garlands and other ornaments had evidently been chiselled off before Hamilton saw them; and three or four of the letters of the inscription had become illegible.
Section IV. Attica.—According to tradition the primitive population of Attica was autochthonous. Pollux states that the Attic tribes were always four called at first Kekropis Autochthon Aktaia and Paralia in the time of the mythical Kekrops first king of Attica a land which was at that time called after his name Kekropia. Kekrops was sprung from the earth; he was an autochthon by birth but his name is given to a different tribe. His body was in its upper part human but in its lower part a dragon or serpent. He is sometimes said to have instituted marriage; i.e.
he founded the social system of families in Attica. His wife was Agraulos and his son was Erysichthon. In his reign at the beginning of Attic history occurred the contest between Athenaia and Poseidon for the lordship of the whole country (mentioned below in this chapter). Other primitive institutions of society in Attica were attributed to Kekrops such as the abolition of sacrifices of blood (presumably human blood for the sacrifice of animals was never abolished); he substituted cakes in the place of slain victims.11
With the substitution of pelanoi for human victims compare the sacrifice of Isaac commuted into the sacrifice of a ram and the statement in an inscription of Cilicia Tracheiotis which my friend and old pupil Professor T. Callander communicated to me that part of the sacrifice to the dead in that barbarous land consisted of “nine souls of men” evidently a substituted offering for nine human victims for the period is Roman when no such human sacrifice can have been permitted: to the Romans it was mere superstition which they regarded as worse than wrong.12
In other legends of Attica Kekrops was closely connected with Erechtheus (on whom see below in this section) and with Athenaia the Mother-Goddess of Athens.13
To his three daughters (the eldest Agraulos bearing the name i.e.
being another form of her mother) Athenaia entrusted a box containing the child Erich-thonios which they were commanded not to open but they disobeyed the command and were terrified at the sight of a serpent the guardian genius of the land.
In the days of another later mythical king Kranaos the names of the four tribes were changed to Kranais Atthis Mesogaia and Diakris. Then under the king or chief Erichthonios their names became Dias Athenais Poseidonias and Hephaistias and they were called in the time of Erechtheus (from the Sons of Ion Yavan) Geleontes14
Hopletes Aigikoreis and Argadeis.
|Euripides Ion 1579 f. Sons of Ion. ||Plato Crit. 110 ||Plato Tim. 24. ||Herodotus v. 66. Sons of Ion. ||Strabo viii. 7. 1. ||Plutarch Solon 23.|
|Teleôn [Geléon] ||Priests ||Priests ||Geleon ||λεωργοί ||Ὁπλῖται|
|Hopletes ||Demiourgoi ||Demiourgoi ||Aigikoreus ||δημιονργοί ||Ἐργαδεῖς|
|Argadês ||Agriculturists ||ShepherdsHuntersAgriculturists ||Argadês ||Hieropoioi ||Γεδέοντες|
|Aigikores (Wearers of the Aigis) ||Warriors ||Warriors ||Hoples ||Phylakes ||Αἰγικορεῖς|
These and other tales and names evidently refer to the primitive state of Attica and of Athens and to the gradual settlement there of the Asian Sons of Ion (Yavan) “by whom the isles and lands of the sea were parcelled out and occupied” (Genesis x. 4). There were contests even among the gods for this almost sea-girt land separated from the rest of Greece by mountains (especially Parnes) mountains not now so difficult to cross as formerly when no roads had been made.
Those earliest four tribes in the time of Kekrops derive their names from the king himself from the indigenous population from the long promontory and from the sea-shore. They are purely native and local; but the prominence assigned to the promontory and the sea-shore indicates that settlements by the Old-Ionian sailors were beginning in a barbarous land.
The four tribes of Kranaos hardly represent any development from those of Cecrops but one tribe Atthis may stand for the country in general (like the older Autochthon) while the two last are purely local divisions. The reference to the Old-Ionians has been lost. Kranaos in fact represents almost an earlier stage than Kekrops but little is related about him. Both kings are really native to the soil; both represent the primitive state of the land.
|Pollux viii. 109. ||Pollux ||Pollux ||Pollux: names from the Sons of Ion. ||Stephanus Byz.|
|Time of Kekrops. ||Time of Kranaos. ||Time of Erichthonios. ||Time of Erechtheus. |
|Kekropis ||Kranais ||Dias ||Teleontes ||Αἰγικορεῖς|
|Autochthon ||Atthis ||Athenais ||Hoplêtes ||Ἀργαδεῖς|
|Aktaia ||Mesogaia ||Poseidonias ||Aigikoreis ||Γελέοντες|
|Paralia ||Diakris ||Hephaistias ||Argadeis.15 ||Ὁπλῖται|
Erechtheus marks a more developed stage than either of the two previously mentioned. The land has a guardian spirit in the form of the household serpent social life is beginning and the gods have settled as patrons of the land.
Section V. The Four Tribes in Attica.—As to the number of the early Iono-Attic tribes all authorities are agreed though Pollux has substituted in one of his lists Kadeis for Argadeis. He seems to have found Gedeontes in his authority but he can hardly be quoted in proof of this spelling which rests mainly on Plutarch and Pollux.
Moreover Pollux gives a still more primitive enumeration of the Athenian tribes according to the names of their patron deities as Dias Athenais Poseidonias and Hephaestias. His two lists must be connected and are of the same nature and number. The first list enumerates the four tribes as four religious groups protected by four special deities whereas the other uses technical or tribal titles. Dias is the tribe of Zeus Geleon (originally Gedeon); Euripides connects the Aigikoreis with Athenaia and her Aigis; these two are respectively the toiling class which works the earth and the class of priests who are devoted to the service of Athenaia the goddess of the united country Attica.
The sequence of Poseidonias after Athenais is due to the famous incident of Athenian history which made Athenaia and Poseidon contend for the place of guardian deity of the country.
For what divine figure Poseidon may perhaps have been substituted remains uncertain but the double name Poseidon-Erechtheus on the Acropolis of Athens weighs in favour of Erechtheus-Erysichthon16
as the guardian of the land; now there can hardly be any doubt that this guardian deity was the sacred serpent who lives in the house and under the ground brings good fortune and must never be killed17
as with him dies the luck of the household. Poseidon for Poti-davan is the lord-earth though ordinarily the Earth was conceived of as the Mother. Kekrops himself was half serpent half man and he was first king of Attica.
Hephaistias is naturally the class of the skilled artisans as we have seen; and it remains that Poseidonias is the tribe of the Hoplitai or Hoplitai warriors who made their own bows and arrows in primitive time and tested them as they tested all their own implements of war: he was also the horse-god and the horse was used in war.
Thus there emerges the explanation of the strife between Athenaia and Poseidon which of the two should rank highest as guardians of the land and its fortunes. Athenaia created and appealed to her olive the tree of peace and comfort:18
the olive produces the oil the one great source of wealth in the plain of Athens: the olive is a very slow-growing tree; and the planter of the olive must look forward to a long period of peace before any result can accrue from his labour. Poseidon appealed to his horse the animal of war which is inevitably fatal to that distant comfort and the riches that accrue from growing the olive. The alternative was peace or war; and the aristocratic class was the horse-riding and horse-using class as is apparent during the fifth century before Christ in Athenian history. The peasant used the ox: the noble used the horse. The peasant wanted peace; the noble was far from averse to war though not all nobles actually desired it.
Plato placed hunters agriculturists and shepherds together as a single class (see Timaeus
24 and Critias
110). The hunters sought food not sport. In Anatolia at the present day it is considered a crime to kill any animal except for food; just as it is wrong to throw away bread instead of eating it. Plato was guided by ancient ideas and was not inventing novelties: his model is often to be sought in Anatolia or farther east.19
In the Critias
he states what he considers to be the true facts of Crete but facts under a veil of phantasy. It is his pleasure to mention the warriors last as lowest in his estimation; but in this he agrees with the official order in Attica (as below stated) and with the order given by Strabo.
The official and regular order in Attica according to a good modern scholar20
whose original authority I am unable to verify was Geleontes Argadeis Aigikoreis Hopletes. So far as I can see the nearest approach to an authority is Boeckh's commentary on C.I.G.
ii. 3665 p. 928 where the order at Cyzicus is Geleontes Argadeis Aigikoreis Hopletes but Bôreis21
and Oinôpes are there interposed before Hoplêtes; being presumably two tribes meant to contain population (probably native) added to the Old-Ionians. The authority would require further study which I assume that the scholar has given. The division was based on difference of occupation and ways of life as Strabo says. He and Pollux are agreed that there were stages in the history of the four tribes as is Aristotle in his Athenian Polileia
ch. xii. Plutarch gives the impression that there existed at an earlier time four tribes who subsequently chose four different occupations; but this is an impossible inference from his authority—who however is good. We must imagine a primitive state of Attic society in which there were four chief and fundamental occupations agriculturists artisans priests and warriors. Ion having first as Strabo says (viii. 7. I p. 383) divided the people of Attica into four tribes (phylae) thereafter classified them according to four ways of living. There can however be no doubt judging according to natural probability and the general evidence derived from many sources that the four tribes and the four ways of living are identical. The four tribes bore the technical and Old-Ionian names as enumerated above; but Strabo designates them from their ways of living agriculturists (γεωργοί
) skilled workmen (δημιουργοί
) doers of religious things (ἱεροποιοί
) and guardians (ϕύλακες
) agreeing with the order quoted above in this paragraph as official.
We take the agreement between Strabo and the official order already mentioned as the most trustworthy. Plato is philosophically inclined to place the priests first: they have to do with divine things and to interpret to men the will of the gods; and it is really difficult to see why an Asian system should not take the same view (Section I.). The fact that the Anatolians put the priests after the agriculturists and the artisans is illuminative regarding the ancient Anatolian and Old-Ionian ideas.
Otherwise Plato Critias 120 tends towards the tradition expressed by Strabo. He calls the Ergadeis or Argadeis the skilled workmen (demiourgoi) classes together with them all that gain their nurture from the ground and at the end he places the fighting class as the least useful in a well-ordered state but prescribed by tradition and old custom and as not wholly unnecessary even in a philosophic state. In the Timaeus 24 he makes a clear distinction between the skilled workman (demiourgoi) and the class of shepherds and hunters and agriculturists. While Plato is not bound to an ancient Attic or Ionian custom but speaks as a philosopher aiming at eternal truth he was not wholly unmindful of the ancient Asian ways of life and preserves the fourfold classification. He could not bring his philosophic mind to rank the agriculturists high; but he could not disregard the facts of life: the earth must be tilled and they that tilled the ground were more useful than mere warriors. There is every probability that he thought of Geleontes as priests and Aigikoreis as herdsmen. Stephanus of Byzantium seems to consider the Aigikoreis as the first of the four tribes which came down from Ion the rest being in order Ergadeis Geleontes and Hoplêtai.
It is a disappointment to find that the order of Euripides agrees neither with the “official” order nor with Strabo an excellent authority for everything connected with or derived from Asia Minor. Euripides however clearly considers that the Aigikoreis wearing the goatskin of Athenaia the goddess of the land were therefore her priests. His enumeration is perhaps modified by metrical considerations and by the desire to make Athenaia end her enumeration with her own priests giving them prominence and emphasis. The last place in such a poetic list is emphatic22
like the first; the middle two are slurred over and are mentioned as less important “then second are Hoplêtes and Argades.” He also connects them with the four sons of Ion implying a popular and accepted tradition which could not be seriously violated in a drama acted before the people.
The name Geleon (Teleon in Euripides Ion
1579 f. and in Plutarch is a mere error of form) is often placed first in our authorities. Strabo means the Geleontes or Gedeontes when he uses the Greek word γεωργοί23
viz. those that work the earth to make it useful to mankind. Euripides and Herodotus v. 66 make Geleon the eldest son of Ion and first among the eponymous heroes of the four tribes; but Euripides has the subsequent order Hoplêtes Argades and Aigikorês24
while Herodotus enumerates the sons of Ion as Geleon and Aigikoreus and Argadeus and Hoples.
23 puts the Hoplitai or warriors first by a very natural error.25
Warriors come first in a conquering tribe. There is however no reason to think that the Ionians settled as conquerors in Attica rather they came as civilisers of that barbarous country. Then he mentions the artisan class Ergadeis the agriculturists Gedeontes and the class devoted to pasture and breeding of sheep Aigikoreis.
Stephanus of Byzantium puts the Aigikoreis first; but like Plutarch he understands them to be herdsmen and after he had made this first error his order is disturbed and becomes untrustworthy: Argadeis Geleontes Hoplitai.
Plutarch depends on a good ancient tradition which used the names Gedeontes and Ergadeis (true old forms according to the view taken in this chapter).
The four tribes fell into disuse in Attica at a comparatively early date during the gradual development of the Athenian constitution. Partly through the prejudices of some authorities partly through actual want of knowledge (for accuracy about past institutions was not much sought for) accounts are conflicting. Herodotus v. 66 says that the names were derived from the four sons of Ion; and so also say Euripides and Aristotle. It is a notable coincidence that in Genesis x. 4 the sons of Yavan (the Semitic form of Ion) were four; but beyond the fourfold division there is no resemblance. The four sons of Yavan are four separate states or cities and they can only be four divisions of the Ionian people who settled in different regions; and one would expect to find that in each of the states (as in Ionian colonies generally) the division into four tribes existed.
The sons of Yavan (Ion) had a natural tendency towards this fourfold division; but in different settlements the four tribes would naturally acquire a different character. What is certain is that the four Attic tribes or divisions must be connected with the very ancient settlement of the Ionians in Attica when they imposed their institutions on an uncivilised country.
As being of Asian origin the four sons of Ion in Attic story viz. the four tribes descended from him represent four occupations and modes of life. So Strabo says and he is probably our best authority. Plutarch26
agrees in a hesitating way omitting priests altogether and misunderstanding the term Aigikoreis. The four were priests soldiers artisans and agriculturists; of these the agriculturists are really the most important though they may seem the most humble. They are also especially in a simple state of society necessarily the most numerous. During the time when this Attic classification was a real political fact there was no such thing as popular voting or counting of individual votes and numbers. In any public deliberation the popular feeling made itself apparent in other ways as e.g.
by applause or by crowding towards a speaker who expressed a widespread sentiment. Otherwise the government lay in the hands of chiefs or kings with leading men or elders as a sort of consultative body. The names of the Attic tribes appear in two forms Gedeontes and Geleontes.27
It seems to me now most probable that the transition from “d” to “l” was a stage in the development of the Ionian and the Anatolian languages (as it was in Latin). Gedeontes then must be the older form and it has all the appearance of being connected with Da or Gda28
the earth. Gedeontes are Gadavantes (with interposed vowel between two consonants) the men of the earth the toiling peasants who support the State. Their god is Zeus Geleon (for Gedeon) who enjoyed an ancient and obscure cult in Athens. The “Peasant God” was the lord of the state the god that cleared the land and worked and made the earth useful to man a sort of toiling Heracles whose “labours” were almost all for the benefit of man; compare e.g.
the Lernaean Hydra (or marsh) and the Lion of Nemea etc. which conceal truth under a guise of fancy and myth. With regard to the “Peasant God” I may refer to the chapter on his character in Anatolia as “the great moral figure” of the world in Luke the Physician and other Studies in Religious History.
He is dressed as a peasant in contrast to the gorgeous robes of the priest who adores him but he wears the cap of power in the famous Hittite sculpture at Ibriz.
There is considerable variation in the text of Pollux. He gives the tribes as being always in early times before and after Ion four (according to the text of Bekker which is here followed). They were changed in name by different kings Kekrops Kranaos and Erechtheus (who called them after the four sons of Ion) and finally for political reasons they became ten by the reforms of Alcmaeon and Cleisthenes when the Pythian oracle selected names which were ancient.29
were the skilled workers the artisans and their name is connected with the Greek word ἔργον
applied to the arts of the household practised by women and to the constructive arts practised by men. A woman is praised both by Homer and in the late Phrygian dirges (Chapter IX.) for her beauty and her skilled household management (ἔργα
). Their deity was Hephaestus the god of all skilful things and labour-saving devices.31
The Anatolian village Manarga may perhaps retain a memory of the name as the Erga or Arga of Mannes—Men. Probably “arga” was the true Anatolian form not “erga.”
In many Anatolian inscriptions of the Roman period the term “skilled workman” is used almost as a title of distinction and is added to a man's name according to certain important trades e.g.
tekton carpenter and house-builder32
(these two occupations being usually united for a house needed both wood and stone in its walls as in Asia Minor at the present day) chalkeus worker in bronze or copper and so on.
The meaning of the term “tekton” has a bearing on the often-discussed question whether Jesus like his father Joseph was a “carpenter” in our sense or a “mason.” The truth is that Joseph was both and his “son” in the usual fashion was brought up to the same trade as his father; but their implements (ὅπλα) were far from being as accurate as at the present day. There can be no question what was the meaning of architect (ἀρχιτέκτων); why then of tekton? A man who could do only one of the two trades was of little use at that time. The architekton planned the entire house wood and stone.
Aigikoreis are as Euripides says the priests that wear the goat's skin (aigis). They were the goat-priests of Chapter VII. the Attabokaoi33
of Pessinus the priests that taught the culture of the goat in a country where goat-breeding was of prime importance as it is in the great plains that stretch south of Pessinus the main central plateau of Asia Minor. From the misunderstanding of the term Aigikoreis spring many of the difficulties that we encounter in trying to reconcile ancient authorities. Much confusion was caused to the ancients by mistaking Aigikoreis as goat-herds instead of “goat-priests” and the mistake has seriously influenced the lists transmitted by them.
The Hoplêtes must be the warriors and must denote a special caste. Hoplôn is a common personal name in Pisidia amid whose mountains old Anatolian customs and names lingered longest and who were soldiers and brigands and robbers all fighting men hated and feared by the men of the fertile plains the cultivators of the soil. The word ὅπλον was in origin Anatolian; it was used both in a general sense as an implement and in a special sense as a weapon of war.
Section VI. The Tribes and Their Subdivisions in Ephesus.—In Ephesus which had been subjected to many changes of constitution as it was successively Greek or Lydian or reconstructed there were according to the editor of the British Museum Inscriptions
Part III. p. 68 f. six tribes (phylai): (1) Epheseis (the original native population whom the Attic colonists found in the land);34
(2) Sebaste (“which owes its name and perhaps its origin to Augustus”); (3) Têioi (new colonists brought in from Teos to compensate for great losses sustained by Ephesus in a war); (4) Karenaioi (of similar character from a town in Mysia); (5) Euonymoi (early Attic colonists); (6) Bembinaioi or Bembeinaioi.
Little can be learned from this classification dating from the Roman period about the real state of early Ephesus. Possibly the tribe Sebaste was the tribe of Zeus from the usual identification of Augustus with that god. The spelling and forms are often of late Roman period and are incorrect.
More important is the subdivision of the tribes into groups called thousands (chiliastyes). Among tribe I Epheseis there are known Argadeis Bôreis (as at Cyzicus) Lebedioi (presumably a group of settlers from Lebedos not numerous enough to constitute a tribe) Oinôpes (as at Cyzicus); in tribe 2 Sebaste there are known Labandêoi (perhaps either settlers from Caria or worshippers of the god of the double axe labranda) Sieis and another ending in -mêoi; in tribe 3 Têioi Eurypom-[pou?] Echeptolemeus Hegetoreioi [Gel?]eontêoi and at least one other unknown.
In tribe 4 Karênaioi there are Althaimeneus probably named from a legendary hero of Crete who fled to Rhodes and was there worshipped (Diodorus Sic. v. 59); according to Strabo (x. 479 481 and xiv. 653) he had come from Argos to Crete and thence to Rhodes. There was a tribe Althaimenis at Camiros in Rhodes (Inscr. Brit. Mus. ii. cccliii.: see also Pausanias vii. 2. 3). There are also “thousands” named Echyreos Peios Simôneos and Chelôneos. Peios is local named after Mount Pion.
In tribe 5 Euonymoi where old names might be expected there are known only Glaukêos and Poly[klê?]os.
In tribe 6 Bembine Bembinaioi Bembineis there are known only two “thousands” Aigôteos and Pelasgêos: the latter name suggests an ancient division and the former an early goat-worship.
Boeckh on C.I.G. 2855 conjectures (without solid ground of any kind to stand on but with mere probability) that the four old Ionian and Attic tribes once existed at Miletus Teos and Cyzicus. This may be so. Wiegand's excavations at Didyma may yield proof; but at present no mere guess is of any value.
The constitution and the tribes of Ephesus are unusually well known among all the Ionian peoples because an account of them was given by Ephoros the historian about 400–350 B.C. which is summarised by Stephanus of Byzantium34
(unfortunately very much abbreviated) and because the constitution as fixed during the Roman imperial time is attested by numerous inscriptions which have been skilfully published by the late Bishop Hicks (Greek Inscr. of Brit. Mus.
Pt. III. p. 69 ff.). The city was subjected to numerous vicissitudes. New citizens were introduced and new tribes had to be made for them. The city was conquered or rather taken over peaceably by the Lydian king Alyattes about 580 B.C. and more violently by the Macedonian king Lysimachus; and it was radically changed in constitution by both. Ephesus was doubtless first a Lydian village the property of the goddess then a free Ionian city then a Lydian town under the guardianship of the goddess then a Hellenistic city then Roman. The number of tribes grew to six in the Roman time. The old Ionian names disappeared; but the Argadeis and perhaps the Gedeontes35
remained as chiliastyes or “thousands” in one or other of the tribes. It is possible that there were five chiliastyes in each tribe making thirty in all; but this is quite uncertain: others of the old names may have survived; but the list of the chiliastyes is or seems to be very defective.
The Bembinaioi was the last tribe in later time; but the order may have changed in various ways. Bembinaioi is perhaps a reduplicated form of Bennaioi: compare Salouda and Salsalouda in the Tchal-Ova mere variations also Pasa and Paspasa in Cappadocia.35
Bishop Hicks however thinks that an Argive village Bembina close to Nemea sent colonists to Ephesus after the return of the Heracleidae and that these formed a special tribe; but that seems in my judgement unlikely. Still it is highly probable that the Athenians under Androclus were accompanied by many of the old Peloponnesians especially from the Argolid territory fleeing from the Dorian invasion the so-called “Return of the Heracleidae.”
|List of Tribes in Ephesus|
|Roman period.||Time of Ephoros.|
The words quoted from Ephoros about 400–350 B.C. are very important in their bearing. Androclus son of Codrus king of Athens was said to have led an Attic migration to Asia Minor and to have founded the Greek city Ephesus; but he made war on Priene disastrously; and the Ephesians lost so many men that the survivors rebelled against the sons of Androclus. Colonists and helpers came to Ephesus from Teos and Karina. These were enrolled in two new tribes; the original inhabitants whom the new colonists had found there were called Ephesioi and the two tribes of introduced settlers were called Têioi and Karinaioi while the Attic founders of the Greek Ephesus were called Euônymoi from the name of an Attic deme.37
It is implied in this account that the old native population of Ephesus must have constituted a tribe. They could not be expelled; there is no precedent for thinking that they were massacred; at that time the older population were always accepted and incorporated in the new city. In Ephesus especially the older population was strong in the protection of the native goddess; and to have degraded them in any way would have offended the divine power that ruled the land. They were therefore made the first tribe and the chief priest of the goddess by hereditary right as sprung from the Lydian king Kandaules was a conspicuous and splendid figure among them (see Chapter XII. B).
It is evident in history that Ephesus was the least thoroughly hellenised and the most truly Lydian of all the Ionian cities; and this is indicated by the primary position of the ancient Lydian population among the five tribes about 400 B.C. and in the Roman period. They held the priesthood; the temple was at the Lydian end of the city: the temple the Christian church of St. John Theologos and the old Seljuk mosque are all close together.38
At this point the immense power of the goddess and her priests was concentrated. When Alyattes gave his daughter in marriage to Melas a wealthy citizen of Ephesus it is probable that he chose one of the Lydian element and tribe; for this marriage would strengthen that element.
It is highly probable that there was by no means a harmony of feeling between the Greek part of the city and the Lydian. Hipponax an Ionian Greek seems to have made a specially scurrilous attack on the chief priest (see p. 180). The priest is said to have been called by the Persian title Megabuzes; and it is possible that a Persian title was given to him under Persian domination but it seems not improbable that buzes
was an Anatolian word meaning the representative of the god: see my Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia
Pt. I. p. 152 f. No. 52 where it is shown that Bazis-Bozis meant “the estate of the god” (both at Tyana and on the Lydo-Phrygian frontier).39
It would not be possible here to study closely the “thousands” of Ephesus; they imply Carian elements as well as Ionian and Greek and Lydian. One was called Labandêos40
where the disappearance of the “r” after “b” is an Anatolian peculiarity.41
Aigôteos points to an early form of goat-breeding according to the rules prescribed and enforced by religion. The goddess probably had her earliest home among the mountains south of Ephesus and she was then a goat-goddess as well as a bee-goddess (see Chapter VII.). Hicks however connects Aigôteos with an ancient Arcadian town Aigus and the “Thousand” Pelasgêos with Arcadian Pelasgians who accompanied the Attic emigrants. Perhaps he is right.
There was a local element among the “thousands” as e.g.
Peios took its name from Mount Peiôn;42
and probably other examples might be given with fuller knowledge of the “thousands” and of the parts or divisions of Ephesus.
Two of the “thousands” in the tribe Epheseis Bôreis and Oinôpes bear names that are markedly Anatolian. They also occur at Cyzicus along with the four old Ionian tribes. The only town in Upper Anatolia where four tribes are known to have existed is Iconium that ancient city where the old legend of the flood and the mourning of Nannakos was localised. They are given as four but three only are known as shown in Fig. 5 taken from Journal of Hellenic Studies 1918 p. 183. According to Boeckh on C.I.G. 2855 and 3064 whom Hicks follows there were originally the four old Ionian tribes at Miletus and Teos. Two were added at Miletus.