Historia, Band 59/3 (2010

)
© Franz Steiner Verlag, Stuttgart
ATHENIAN ZEUGITAI AND THE SOLONIAN CENSUS CLASSES:
NEW REFLECTIONS AND PERSPECTIVES*
Introduction
It has recently been claimed that the Solonian zeugitai were, according to Lin Foxhall
(1997), moderately well-off farmers, or, in the opinion of Hans van Wees (2001; 2006),
landowners who were members of the Athenian leisured class (with at least 8 or 9
hectares excluding fallow land, or some 16 ha if land periodically left uncultivated is
included). This would mean that the zeugitai belonged to the wealthy elite that made up
approximately 15 or 20 % of the citizen population of the archaic and classical periods.
As a result, van Wees has directly called into question the very existence of a “middle
class” of farmers and suggested that the thetes regularly served in the Athenian army
as hoplites, but on a voluntary basis.
The principal arguments put forward by both Foxhall and van Wees rely on the
evidence of Aristotle’s Athenian Constitution (Ath. Pol. 7.4), reproduced by Plutarch
(Sol. 18.1–2) and possibly by Pollux (8.130) in a rather different version.
In this article we propose to reflect on the zeugitai of the archaic and classical periods
offering new arguments in favour of the hypothesis that supports their importance as a
broad group of middling peasants, who reached the level of hoplites, owned a yoke of
oxen and, according to modern calculations, possessed a certain level of income derived
from an average landholding of about 4–6 ha
1
.
We shall develop our argument on the basis of three fundamental questions. First,
we shall analyse the arguments that suggest that the great majority of the zeugitai in
the fifth century were a class of middling peasants that made up the bulk of the Athe-
nian hoplites. So they did not belong to a “leisured” class, and on occasions aligned
themselves with the thetes. Secondly, we shall look at the formation and consolidation
of this “class” of hoplite peasants in Athens during the archaic era. Finally, we shall
reflect on the conditions in the late fifth or fourth century that paved the way for the
situation described (and the measures) we find in Aristotle and Pollux associated with
Solon’s reforms.
* We would like to thank Professor Peter Rhodes who kindly read a draft version of this text, and
Professor Vincent Rosivach for sending us some texts not available in our libraries. We are also
grateful to the anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. Of course, any mistakes are entirely
our own. This research had the aid of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation, Projects
HAR2009-07819 and HAR2008-04897.
1 We use the term “peasant” regarding the zeugitai because we do not think that the peasant has to
be considered an exploited rural producer. On occasion we use “farmer” in a descriptive sense. See
Gallego 2001; 2007.
MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO 258
1. The Zeugitai of the Fifth Century as the Bulk of the Attic Peasantry

In this section we shall analyse a collection of sources that enable us to consider the
fifth-century zeugitai as the greater part of the Athenian hoplites and, therefore, as a
broad group of middling peasants, most of whom worked their plots with their family
– and possibly slave(s) –, although they did not constitute a completely homogeneous
class. Hence they did not generally belong to the Athenian leisured class (except perhaps
for a minority).
1.1. As Geoffrey de Ste. Croix (2004: 13, 21) has pointed out in a recently published
study, it seems that in the fifth century the thetes as a census class
2
did not normally
fight as hoplites. A fragment of Aristophanes’ Daitaleis cited by Harpocration (s. v. thetes
kai thetikon) says that the thetes do not fight
3
. It is true that in the Aristophanic corpus
the verb strateuomai is not used to allude exclusively to the hoplite service, but to the
army in a general way
4
; and there is even a case in which Aristophanes (Th. 232) uses
strateuomai in connection with serving as a psilos. But Harpocration records another
quotation, this time from Antiphon’s Against Philinus, which states: “to make all the
thetes hoplites”
5
. Of course, this does not mean there were no thetes serving occasionally
as hoplites; but in general they would not accomplish that military role. In Thucydides
(6.43) the thetes are referred to as epibatai, that is, as hoplites on board ship that did not
appear on the list (ek katalogou)
6
but formed part of the fleet’s crews
7
. Another passage
by the same author (8.24.2) allows us to speculate that the normal hoplites on the list
did not serve in the fleet (as epibatai), although they may have been obliged to do so
in exceptional circumstances, as Thucydides demonstrates in this case. From this it can
be deduced that the thetes normally crewed the ships as epibatai, and were habitually
employed as oarsmen (together with foreigners, allies or slaves)
8
. According to Ste.
Croix (2004: 21), these epibatai or hoplites that served on board ship were usually armed
by the state, and during the Peloponnesian War there were usually 10 on each ship
9
.
Moreover, during the emergency of 428 (Th. 3.16.1) the ships were crewed by all the
Athenians (including metics) except those of the upper classes (pentakosiomedimnoi and
2 The term thetes has only two meanings: a census class or men who worked for wages. For instance,
Thucydides uses it in the first sense; cf. Ste. Croix 2004: 21.
3 Fr. 248 Kassel-Austin: o ti or ou x r otootru oyto ri onxr xoi ∆Aoiotooo ync r y Aoitoìru oiy.
4 See Ar. Ach. 1052, 1080; Nu. 692; V. 1117, 1124; Av. 1367; Lys. 1133.
5 Fr. 61 Thalheim = fr. 63 Sauppe: tr 0n toc o aoytoc o aìi toc aoin ooi.
6 On the katalogos of hoplites as ad hoc lists drawn up for each expedition, Christ 2001 (with bibli-
ography).
7 Th. 6.43: xoi tou tey ∆A0nyoi ey ur y ou te y n ooy arytoxo oioi ur y xoi ,i ìioi r x xotoìo you,
r atoxo oioi or 0n trc r aißo toi te y yre y.
8 On the composition of a ship’s crew, Morrison 1984; Gabrielsen 1994: 106–108.
9 See also Gomme, Andrewes & Dover 1970: 310; Hansen 1991: 45; Loomis 1998: 59. Contra, van
Wees 2006: 373. It is possible that some thetes would have been able to acquire hoplite weapons;
the epibatai for the ships could have been recruited from amongst them. If there were thetes with
hoplite weapons, they could have been enrolled as volunteers in the hoplite contingents. On this,
van Wees 2002: 67, who exaggerates their number.
Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 259
hippeis)
10
. Since the thetes were those who usually served on board, this suggests that
the Athenian zeugitai (who did so in this emergency) could be roughly identified with
the hoplites ek katalogou who did not normally serve in the fleet (cf. Th. 6.43; 8.24.2),
except in a crisis or through necessity.
Vincent Gabrielsen (2002a: 87, 92–93) considers the information given by Thucy-
dides (6.43) to be an exception, since it would be the only source which associates the
Solonian classes with military service (but he pays no attention to Th. 3.16.1). For Vincent
Rosivach (2002a: 41 n. 21; 2002b: 34), in Aristophanes’, Antiphon’s and Thucydides’
texts the word thetes would allude to the poor rural underclass, not to the Solonian class.
But considering the information gathered by Harpocration (s. v. thetes kai thetikon), the
lexicographer appears to refer to the census class. It is true that the evidence is weak,
but there seems to be no testimony explicitly attesting the opposite, namely that thetes
usually fought as hoplites. From all we have seen, it could be inferred that it was un-
common for the thetes to serve regularly as hoplites during the fifth century, and they
would therefore be excluded from the hoplite lists.
According to van Wees (2002: 67–69), the hoplites on the list came only from the
first three classes (consistent with his economically and socially restricted characterisa-
tion of the zeugitai). The members of these three classes were obliged to serve in the
army, while the thetes would only fight as hoplites voluntarily, although they would
form the bulk of the hoplite army. But this is contradicted by the information we have
seen here, such as that from Aristophanes, also mentioned by van Wees (2002: 67, n.
23; cf. 2001: 59–61)
11
.
Gabrielsen (2002a; cf. 2002b) criticises this theory and points out that everyone
was obliged to fight, which does not exclude the possibility of enlisting as a volunteer.
This author assumes that the thetes were also included on the hoplite lists, but this is
confronted to some extent by the sources, which state that the thetes did not normally
fight as hoplites. The reference made by Thucydides (8.24.2) concerning the hoplites
called up from the lists and compelled (anagkastoi) to serve as epibatai does not mean
that the thetes were on the list of hoplites, as Gabrielsen assumes (since it was the thetes
who normally served as epibatai), nor that positions of epibatai were occupied by vol-
unteers (at least not always), but that in the situation described by Thucydides hoplites
on the list were obliged to fight as epibatai, a role in which they did not normally serve.
But, unlike van Wees, we agree with Gabrielsen that the thetes or those who served
in the fleet were sometimes (or perhaps often) obliged to enlist and fight, and that there
may have been recruiting lists of thetes (drawn up from the demes, as Themistocles’
decree shows
12
), both as nautai (who also included metics and slaves
13
) and as epibatai
(hoplites) and toxotai (archers). The trierarch played a very important role in enlisting
10 Rosivach 2002a: 42 n. 22, discusses U. Kahrstedt’s suggestion (Staatsgebiet und Staatsangehörige
in Athen, Stuttgart – Berlin 1934, vol. I, 253, n. 5) on Th. 3.16.1, according to which, Rosivach says,
a “clever reader misunderstood a reference to the cavalry corps (hippeis) as a reference to a Solonic
class, and so added pentakosiomedimnoi to fill out the set”.
11 Cf. Hansen 1981; 1985: 83–89.
12 Cf. lin. 23–26; [Dem.] 50.6; Hammond 1982; 1986.
13 Morrison 1984.
MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO 260
crew
14
, and it may not have been difficult for him to find crew amongst the volunteers
for the wages they would receive (which the hoplites on the list also received, in a
similar proportion to marines
15
). But the state could also contribute by providing lists
of possible candidates for the ships
16
, and making this service obligatory if there was a
shortage of crew. In Thucydides (7.16.1), ek katalogou refers, as Gabrielsen assumes,
both to lists of hoplites and to members of the ships’ crews, nautai (at a time when more
hoplites and more ships were being sent)
17
.
Moreover, the fact that there were volunteers both amongst the hoplites and amongst
the ships’ crews does not mean that such service was not compulsory (at least on certain
occasions), but that citizens could enlist voluntarily for various reasons (for example,
wages). But those who had been volunteers could, on another occasion, be called up for
compulsory service (contrary to van Wees’ view with regard to the thetes). Finally, we
must consider Aristotle’s text (Pol. 1303a 8–10) which refers to the decrease of gnorimoi
in relation to the army recruitment ek katalogou
18
. But the philosopher says nothing
about the ships nor indicates whether service on them was compulsory or not
19
. Aristo-
tle (Ath. Pol. 26.1) also alludes to the list but in relation to the demos and the euporoi.
In our opinion, the thetes were not included on the list of hoplites, possibly drawn
up from the first three census classes. However, they were obliged to fight, at least on
occasions, such as the battle of Marathon and the expedition to Sicily, and perhaps on a
regular basis. There were probably lists (cf. [Dem.] 50.6; 50.16) of marines and seamen
recruited from the class of thetes for the ships (later assigned by lot, as in Themistocles’
decree, with the trierarchs playing an important role). And it can be assumed that the
lists of thetes could have been drawn up from the demes’ registers and this service could
have been made compulsory.
If the thetes did not normally fight as hoplites, with the exception of the epibatai, this
means that most, if not all, of the hoplites registered on a list would have come solely
from the three first census classes: pentakosiomedimnoi, hippeis and zeugitai. From the
evidence available it could be inferred that some 9,000 hoplites fought at Marathon
20
,
and on the eve of the Peloponnesian War some 13,000 hoplites would have been avail-
able (Th. 2.13.6–7; D.S. 12.40.3). According to most authors’ calculations, this figure
would imply that more men were hoplites or could have been listed as hoplites in 431
21
,
representing 40 % of the citizen population according to van Wees (2006: 374, n. 90),
14 Gabrielsen 1994: 108.
15 Cf. Loomis 1998: 32–61.
16 For example, in Sicily: Th. 6.31.3.
17 Christ 2001: 401, points out that as well as the lists of hoplites, there would also have been lists of
horsemen.
18 Cf. Gabrielsen 2002a: 89, 93–94.
19 On the recruitment of oarsmen, Gabrielsen 1994; Pagès 2000.
20 Nepos, Milt. 5.1; Paus. 10.20.2; Justin, 2.9.9; 8,000 hoplites in Platea, according to Hdt. 9.28.6;
Ste. Croix 2004: 48. According to van Wees 2004: 241–43, these 9,000 hoplites represent the same
proportion as the hoplites of 431.
21 Cf. Christ 2001: 401; Thomsen 1964: 162–163. Rhodes 1988: 274, calculates a total of between
21,000 and 29,000 hoplites for 431; Garnsey 1988: 92, between 18,000 and 25,000; van Wees 2001:
51, speaks of 18,000, but according to his calculation in van Wees 2006: 374 n. 90, there were 24,000.
Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 261
or 50 % in the calculations of Victor Hanson (1995: 114, 366, 478–79 n. 6)
22
. This does
not mean that all the hoplites were zeugitai
23
or that these were necessarily a military
category per se. But it would indicate that all the zeugitai were hoplites, and that they
made up the bulk of the Athenian infantry. They differed both from the pentakosiomed-
imnoi and from the hippeis in terms of the way they were treated by the state in various
recruiting situations, and from the thetes, who were not on the list but with whom the
zeugitai might serve on the triremes if needed
24
.
In principle, the zeugitai were a census class, that is, a group defined on the basis
of economic criteria based on property or income, but which had important implica-
tions in the political and military arenas. Consequently, they could have been broadly
identified with most of the hoplite class perhaps from the fifth century on
25
. This does
not mean that we accept the “military” etymology for the word zeugites instead of that
which relates it to the yoke of oxen
26
, since, as we shall see later, the demarcation of
the zeugite class in Solon’s times would have been done taking the ownership of oxen
into consideration.
1.2. There is another argument for rejecting the explanation put forward by van Wees,
who includes the zeugitai in the leisured class because he assumes they have at least 8
or 16 ha of land (depending on whether or not fallow land is considered). The decree for
the colony at Brea (446, approximately) refers to zeugitai and thetes as the beneficiaries
of the distribution of land in the new colony (IG I
3
46, 43–46)
27
. As Rosivach (2002a:
36–37) has pointed out, this would be a decision “to ensure that the new colony would
benefit those at the lower end of the social scale”. On his part, Ste. Croix (2004: 11)
22 For different calculations: Jones 1957: 8–9; Thomsen 1964: 162–166; Hansen 1981; 1982; 1985:
26–64; 1988; 1991: 93 f.; Rhodes 1988: 275.
23 Some hoplites belonged to the two upper classes, and there were also some metics and a few thetes.
24 Many pentakosiomedimnoi and hippeis would have been excluded from the lists of hoplites, either
because they belonged to the cavalry (1,000), or because they performed liturgies, or else through
string-pulling (by the strategoi who made the decisions), as can be surmised from Aristophanes (Eq.
1370 ff.). If so, it can be said that the bulk of hoplites would be made up of zeugitai, since the thetes
were not on the hoplite lists either.
25 Particularly if we assume that the qualification for being on a hoplite list was belonging to the zeugite
class or a higher one; cf. Hansen 1981: 24–29; 1988: 83–89.
26 For the identification of the Solonian census classes with military categories, Whitehead 1981, who
undertook an analysis in-depth of the etymology of zeugites in its military sense. Hansen 1991: 30,
43–46, 106–109, 329, prefers the etymology of “owner of a yoke of oxen” for zeugites, but he accepts
its use as the basis for recruiting in the fifth century. Rosivach 2002b rejects the military etymology.
On his part, van Wees 2006: 353–357, has now accepted and developed the etymology relating the
name zeugitai to the ownership of oxen, rejecting in this way his previous view; cf. van Wees 2001:
46. Various authors, finally, doubt the credibility of Aristotle’s account of the measures ascribed to
Solon’s classes and emphasise the author’s ignorance concerning the membership qualification for
each of them: cf. Gabrielsen 2002a: 96–97 (with bibliography).
27 A similar clause possibly exists in IG II
2
30 (387/6), a decree concerning Lemnos issued after the
King’s Peace on the cleruchies; Stroud 1971: 164 (lin. 12) and 171 ff. The decree uses the term penta-
kosiomedimnon and, by analogy with the decree of Brea, it has been suggested: [-aìn y i aar ey xo]i
arytoxooiouroi uyey (“[except the hippeis an]d the pentakosiomedimnoi”). Cf. Ste. Croix 2004: 11–12;
but see Rosivach 2002a: 43 n. 29.
MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO 262
had suggested that this decree did not exclude the first two census classes, but rather
that no citizen belonging to either of these classes would want to emigrate because of
the large estates they had in Attica. If the zeugitai consisted solely of those who owned
more than 8 ha of land, as van Wees claims, it would be difficult to understand why they
would have participated in the colonisation and moved to Brea. If, on the other hand,
our argument that in the fifth century the zeugite class included peasants with plots of
approximately 40 plethra (3.6 ha) is accepted, it is understandable that some of them
would have decided to move to the new colony (perhaps in the hope of obtaining larger
plots than those they held in Attica).
This would thus suggest that the zeugitai (or a large proportion of them) were not rich
and could have been aligned with the thetes in the distribution of land. On some occasions,
the alignment of these two classes defined by the Solonian census is what is meant by the
concept of demos as the “lower classes” of the citizenry, not the complete body politic
28
.
1.3. In the general levy of citizens for the fleet of 428 which we referred to earlier
(Th. 3.16, and schol. at 3.16.1), only the first two classes, the pentakosiomedimnoi
and the hippeis, were exempted, not the zeugitai, who had to man the ships with the
thetes. This situation once again demonstrates how the first two classes, on one side,
and the zeugitai and the thetes, on the other, could appear aligned at least in practi-
cal terms, even if ideologically, particularly in the fourth century, the zeugitai and the
hoplites were probably associated with the rich, as can be seen in Aristotle
29
. Unlike
the pentakosiomedimnoi and the hippeis, the bulk of the zeugitai would not have paid
the eisphora, the tax levied in times of war that was first collected in 428 (as far as the
Peloponnesian War is concerned)
30
. But, as we shall try to demonstrate later, from then
on the wealthiest zeugitai would have also begun to pay the eisphora together with the
first two Solonian census classes.
1.4. Furthermore, according to the Athenian Constitution (26.2) the zeugitai were only
included in the archonship a few years after Ephialtes’ reforms, which does not tally
with van Wees’ claim that the zeugitai belonged to the wealthy leisured class. The pas-
sage also hints at the way in which the zeugitai became eligible to join the archonship:
not all of them would participate, but a group of zeugitai would be previously elected
to take part in the selection of archons by lot. And on the first occasion only one of
the nine archons came from the zeugitai. In fact, they had previously held only minor
magistracies unless, Aristotle says, some clause in the law had been ignored. It is pos-
sible that this situation was precisely what happened after Solon’s reforms during the
crisis of Damasias of 580 (Ath. Pol. 13.2), with the exceptional election of ten archons,
of whom three came from the agroikoi and two from the demiourgoi.
28 Cf. Gallego 2003: 125–128.
29 For ideological distortions in Aristotle, see van Wees 2002; Gabrielsen 2002a.
30 Christ 2007: 54, also thinks the eisphora was established for the first time in 428. Although the pos-
sibility of eisphora before that date is recognised in two inscriptions: in the decree of the Athenian
cleruchies in Hystieia, IG I
2
42, 21–24 (446), and in Callias’ decree, IG I
3
52 (433). Cf. Meritt 1982;
Kallet-Marx 1989.
Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 263
1.5. Another of van Wees’ arguments (2006: 374) is that “the 5,000” of the oligarchic
revolution of 411 can be roughly identified with the first three classes, pentakosiomed-
imnoi, hippeis and zeugitai, together accounting for less than 16 % of a population of
30,000 citizens. Thucydides (8.97.1) refers to the 5,000 as those able to provide them-
selves with hoplite equipment; while Xenophon (Hell. 2.3.48) alludes to “those who
can serve the government with horses and shields”
31
. However, this figure of 5,000 is
too small to be the number eligible for inclusion on the hoplite lists
32
, even after the
expedition to Sicily when the population had gone down
33
. Consequently, we must as-
sume that it referred to the hoplite elite that, from our point of view, consisted of the
first two classes plus the upper echelons of the zeugitai.
In our opinion, if this figure had represented the first three classes, as van Wees
suggests, we should have expected Thucydides to mention it (since he refers to the
census classes in other contexts), indicating that the 5,000 automatically included the
first three classes, or perhaps that the thetes were excluded from the 5,000. But this is
not stated either by this author or by any other that discussed the subject (Lysias, Xeno-
phon or Aristotle). Furthermore, in the argument defended by van Wees membership
of this group would have been automatic, that is, based simply on being a member of
one of the first three census classes. However, according to Aristotle (Ath. Pol. 29.5),
ten representatives over the age of 40 from each of the tribes were elected to enlist
(katalexousi) the 5,000
34
.
Moreover, together with the criterion of arms, both Thucydides and Aristotle (who
perhaps follows the historian on this point) mention wealth as a precondition for belong-
ing to these 5,000. According to Thucydides (8.65.3), they would include “those who
were most able to serve by both their property (chremasi) and their persons (somasin)”
35
.
This comment is virtually repeated by Aristotle (Ath. Pol. 29.5) but using the revealing
verb leitourgein to refer to the services that the 5,000 citizens should be able to pro-
vide
36
. This financial criterion used to determine the group of the 5,000 probably refers
to a change that took place at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War, when a group
of citizens became prominent by using their wealth to finance the war. This would be
related not only to the trierarchy (which was perhaps performed by a smaller number,
between 1,000 and 2,000) but above all to the eisphora.
31 X. Hell. 2.3.48: ur0∆ i aaey xoi urt∆ o oai oey e orìri y oio tou tey tn y aoìitri oy.
32 In Th. 8.65.3, this figure is the maximum, but in Arist. Ath. Pol. 29.5, it seems to be a minimum; in
Lysias, 20.13, it even reached 9,000. From the time of the 5,000, perhaps the possibility of extending
citizen participation with a greater number of hoplites was contemplated; Rhodes 1981: 380–385.
33 If the figure of 24,000 men eligible to be hoplites in 431 (out of an approximate population of 50,000
citizens) is accepted, the losses due to war probably reduced this hoplite population by about 9,000
(see Jones 1957: 9; cf. Strauss 1986: 179), which means some 15,000 men still had hoplite status in
411 (not counting generational renewal), that is, three times more than the 5,000 who are granted
citizenship and that “possess arms”.
34 Cf. Rhodes 1981: 384–385. Even if membership was automatic, it would still have been necessary
to compile a list of the members.
35 Th. 8.65.3: xoi tou toic oi o y uo ìioto toi c tr ,on uooi xoi toi c oe uooiy e orìri y.
36 This reference to persons perhaps alluded, as well as to fighting in the war, to the importance of
certain individuals who served the city by undertaking the trierarchy or other liturgies. Cf. Rhodes
1981: 382–383.
MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO 264
The 5,000 would thus be the approximate proportion of citizens that had started to
pay the eisphora and had therefore begun to contribute to the cost of the war. It seems
unlikely that this number of citizens could be identified in Thucydides with the first
three census classes as a whole, at least around 411, since he does not mention them
in relation to the 5,000, while he does allude to several of the census classes in other
passages of his account. With this in mind, it is plausible that the upper echelons of
the zeugitai would have begun, perhaps during the war, to stand out as a group with its
own specific character because they had started paying the eisphora, and because they
were aligned with the two census classes above them in practical terms and also, it can
be surmised, in ideological terms.
The specific character of this group of zeugitai would derive from its association
with the pentakosiomedimnoi and the hippeis, brought about by its integration into the
eisphora system and confirmed to some extent with the configuration of the 5,000. But
it is also important to consider the contrast that already existed between these wealthy
zeugitai (who, because of their wealth, could effectively act as members of the leisured
class responsible for the liturgies) and the zeugitai that had to work their own land. In
various passages of the Politics Aristotle emphasises that the owners of a moderate-sized
farm could not be leisured and that they were related to what he considers the most
moderate type of democracy. And he even states that serving as a hoplite and farming
the land personally go hand in hand (Pol. 1291a 30–31: hopliteuein kai georgein)
37
.
So, a careful reading of Aristotle shows us that those who are entitled to bear arms
are generally identified with peasants
38
, that is, with the agricultural people who fight
(georgikos plethos, georgikos demos), but also with non-leisured owners who have to
work their own land in order to make a living
39
.
In any case, it seems that as a result of the situation generated by the Peloponnesian
War the better-off zeugitai (those who paid the eisphora) began to stand out or be more
clearly differentiated from the rest of the zeugitai. And they were possibly included
together with the upper classes in the 5,000 of the oligarchic revolution of 411 (or the
3,000 of 404). This situation could explain why some writings of the late fifth or early
fourth century used the term georgos in a partial and specific sense. Detail from the
so-called “Old Oligarch” could be interpreted in this light
40
. Aristophanes also uses
the word georgos to refer to the agriculturists aligned with the plousioi and against the
37 For more references, Gallego 2005a. On georgos/georgeo, Gallego 2009: 219–22, with further dis-
cussions.
38 Most of the time, Aristotle uses the term georgos and the derivatives of the verb georgein to refer to
peasants. Sometimes, he also uses the word agroikos but with more pejorative connotations (Arist.
Ath. Pol. 13.2).
39 For the “agricultural people”, see Arist. Pol. 1289b 32; 1317a 25; 1318b 9; 1319a 6 and 19; 1321a
5–6. Cf. Gallego 2005a: 235–40. In Pol. 1279a 37–b 4, Aristotle defines the politeia as the best re-
gime in which military virtue is associated with the multitude (plethos) who bears arms (ta hopla).
The philosopher also says that the best, first and oldest kind of democracy (which would approach
the politeia) is that based on the best people (demos), the agricultural people; although he recognises
that this kind of people can also be involved in a tyranny or an oligarchy (Pol. 1292b 25–34). We
should not overlook what Aristotle himself says in Pol. 1297b 22–25.
40 [X.] Resp. Ath. 2.14: oi yreoyou ytrc xoi oi aìou oioi. Cf. Marr & Rhodes 2008: 21, 122.
Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 265
penetes
41
. In effect, as the comedies of Aristophanes during the Peloponnesian War
seem to indicate (Ach., Eq., Pax), it is possible that some of the georgoi, especially the
better-off, began to align themselves ideologically with the plousioi, particularly in
order to try and achieve peace. But the ambiguity remains, since Aristophanes himself
sometimes uses the term agroikos to define the Athenian demos as a farming people
(Eq. 40–42), which appears to include both well-off farmers and middling or small
peasants. The poet prefers to imagine this group as a homogeneous whole (Pax 922; cf.
296) capable of aligning itself with the hippeis (Eq. 1111–50; cf. Ach. 7–8), but whose
specific interests would lie in preventing manipulation of conscription lists and ending
the war so that they could concentrate on farming their land (Pax 1127–90).
2. Solon’s Census Classes and the Sixth Century
2.1. It is difficult to analyse the situation of the Athenian peasantry in the sixth century
(and in general for the whole of the archaic period) because most of our sources, such
as Aristotle, date to the fourth century. Moreover, Attica is a region where practically
no land surveys have been carried out, apart from in the south and on the frontier with
Boeotia
42
. However, we can assume that a broad group of small and middling peasants
developed, many of whom may have started to arm themselves as hoplites in the course
of the sixth century, since we know that some 9,000 hoplites took part in the battle of
Marathon in 490
43
. This broad class of hoplite-farmers may well have increased its
ranks after Solon’s reforms and, in particular, under Pisistratus, who encouraged the
development of agriculture and helped many small peasants in Attica by providing
low-interest loans
44
.
2.2. On the other hand, a collection of literary, epigraphical and archaeological evidence
has led many scholars to consider that in ancient Greece the holdings of self-sufficient
peasants, which would form the bulk of the poleis, varied between 40 and 60 p lethra,
that is, between 3.6 and 5.4 ha
45
. A size close to the latter would be the minimum suit-
able for a hoplite farm. Alison Burford (1977/78: 168–72; 1993: 27–28, 67–72, 113–16)
41 Ar. Ec. 198: toi c aìouoi oic xoi yreoyoi c; but see Strauss 1986: 62–63. Cf. Gallego 2005b: 119–120.
42 Lohmann 1992: 56. Cf. Hansen 2004: 625–626; Gallego 2005b: 34–41; Forsdyke 2006.
43 This implies an even greater number considering the total of hoplites that could be mobilised, as in
the case of the 13,000 hoplites at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War, when the total would be
24,000.
44 On Solon’s law protecting property given in litigation: Ruschenbusch 1966: F 36a; Gagarin 2006:
264–265. On Solon’s law prohibiting grain exports: Plut. Sol. 24.1–2; this law has been interpreted
as favouring Attic peasants: Mele 1979: 41; Baccarin 1990. Solon did not share out the land in equal
plots, but probably permitted a distribution of marginal or public land, and land to be returned to
ancient debtors: Arist. Pol. 1266a–b; Plut. Sol. 13.6; Rosivach 1992; Isager & Skydsgaard 1992: 128.
On Solon’s law limiting the amount of land each person could acquire, Arist. Pol. 1266b 13–14. On
Pisistratus’ measures about agriculture: Arist. Ath. Pol. 16.2; Dio. Chrys. 25.3; Aelian, V.H. 9.25;
D.L. 1.53; Valdés 2003. On Athens as a society of small and middling peasants, Wood 1988; Gallego
2005b: 89–132; Valdés 2006; 2008: 47–87.
45 For a more complete analysis, Gallego 2009: 162–66 (with bibliography).
MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO 266
has associated this type of property with the hoplite or zeugite farm, highlighting the
importance of draught animal power for working the land and relating the term zeugites
with the farm worked with a yoke of oxen. With different emphasis and not always al-
luding to the zeugitai, many scholars have adopted this perspective
46
, except those who
argue there was a divergence between the “hoplite farm” and the “zeugite farm”, since
they suppose the latter to be larger than the former
47
. Even if the evidence quoted by
Burford is scarce and says nothing about either hoplites or zeugitai
48
, it is possible to
maintain her remarks on the basis of the following criteria.
First, according to modern estimates, using a yoke of oxen would need an average
area of about 5 ha for the work to be done properly
49
. Secondly, if the “yoke of oxen”
etymology for the word zeugites is accepted, then this implies that the zeugitai were
characterised due to the ownership of oxen. Thirdly, as we shall see later, the previous
point supposes to consider the specific conditions of the zeugitai not only with respect to
the pentakosiomedimnoi and the hippeis (who obviously owned oxen as well as horses
and other resources), but also with respect to the thetes (who did not own oxen). Fourthly,
according to our view in the first section, since the thetes were not normally included
on the hoplite lists, it is possible to assume that the zeugite census was the minimum
generally necessary to be enrolled as a hoplite ek katalogou, which does not exclude
that there may have been some hoplites recruited below this class. So, even if this does
not mean that owning a 5 ha plot was formally required for membership in the zeugite
class, possession of a yoke of oxen supposed this farm size, and then to be a zeugites
would be, in practical terms, the lowest requisite to serve as a hoplite.
Hence owning about 5 ha of land and using oxen would be the basic material condi-
tions both for a hoplite and for a zeugites
50
. The available data suggest that a class of
middling peasants developed during the archaic period, the Athenian version of which
was the zeugite class. Of course, this group would not be completely homogeneous and
property variations could imply differences between them. At the top of the zeugite class
some stood out by having more land, which meant that they did not have to work (the
46 Jameson 1977/78: 125 n. 13; 1992: 137, 142; 1994: 58; Hodkinson 1988: 39; Isager & Skydsgaard
1992: 78–79; Alcock, Cherry & Davis 1994: 148; Hanson 1995: 181–201; Bintliff 2006: 328; Nagle
2006: 71. For a critical view, Gabrielsen 2002b: 214 and n. 69.
47 Foxhall 1997: 130–132; van Wees 2001; 2006.
48 The evidence is that analysed by Andreyev 1974: 14 ff.: a third-century B.C. inscription from Pharsa-
los (IG IX.2.234) which indicates that “those who fought at our side”, i. e. beside the Pharsalians,
were given full citizenship and 60 plethra of arable land; archaeological information from the Kher-
sonesos Taurike on fourth-century and later farms averaging 43–55 plethra; the Athenian rationes
centesimarum dated by Lewis 1973 in the 320s; Th. 3.50.2 on the Lesbian cleruchy of 427, from
which Andreyev deduced a kleros of 40–60 plethra.
49 On the use of a yoke of oxen on plots of land averaging 5 ha, Halstead 1987: 84; Hodkinson 1988:
39–40. See the complete analysis by van Wees 2006: 382–385 (with bibliography and sources).
50 On the value of having oxen, Hes. Op. 405, 436-40; Ar. Ach. 1022-36; cf. Av. 581–85, 1500; Arist.
Pol. 1252b 10–12. Oxen could be a source of additional income when they were not used for ag-
riculture. In fact, hiring them to private citizens (misthosis) but more particularly for public works
is a well-attested fact. See Osborne 1987: 14–16, on the farming year and the possibility of using
oxen for building; Salmon 2001: 199–201, refers to income opportunities that public constructions
offered to Attic landowners with oxen; cf. Chandezon 2003: 281–284, 399–400.
Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 267
“leisured” zeugitai). But middling peasants were the bulk of the group with enough land
for a yoke of oxen and the occasional slave, who could also afford hoplite weapons.
In keeping with hoplite plots size in general, and those of the Attic zeugitai in
particular, we know plots dimensions allocated in various Greek colonial foundations.
The bibliography on the subject enables us to propose a situation that, without being
universal, was certainly very widespread
51
. This indicates that there was a certain no-
tion of how much land a citizen would need, and this in turn would be related to his
capacity to serve as a hoplite. Moreover, this model would be linked to what it meant
to be a metrios or mesos, a middling peasant who owned his land
52
, and would fulfil an
important role in terms of determining Greek egalitarianism, clearly visible according to
Eric Robinson (1997: 65–73)
53
in the foundation of colonies, which would demonstrate
the expansion of egalitarian principles
54
.
2.3. Aristotle and Plutarch appear to agree that Solon’s aim in establishing the census
classes was political, in order to organise participation, especially in certain magistracies,
on the basis of landowning, or rather, income in measures of cereals (medimnoi). In this
respect, the sources are concerned in particular with two offices that were essential at
this time, namely the archons and the tamiai. The office of tamiai, whose importance in
the sixth century can be deduced from inscriptions on the acropolis (relating to the Pana-
thenaic games)
55
, was only open to the pentakosiomedimnoi (Arist. Ath. Pol. 8.1), and
the archonship only to the pentakosiomedimnoi and the hippeis (Ath. Pol. 7.3; 26.2). So,
according to the Athenian Constitution
56
, both the zeugitai and the thetes were excluded
from the most important magistracies (tamiai and archons), although the former had
access to lesser offices such as the poletai, the eleven and the kolakretai (Ath. Pol. 7.3).
This political intention is particularly obvious in the case of the tamiai, as can be seen
in other laws enacted by Solon which specifically concern them (Ath. Pol. 8.1; 47.1).
Another purpose of the census classes may have been of a “fiscal” nature, although
the only direct source for this assertion is a report found in Pollux (8.130) that cannot
be applied to the economic situation of the sixth century; and therefore, if it refers to
a specific instance of levying taxes, should be placed at a later date. In any case, the
fact that Aristotle speaks of eisphora in Solon’s times (Ath. Pol. 8.3), the reference to
the naukraric fund, the presence of lesser magistracies such as the kolakretai
57
, the im-
51 Cf. Perčírka 1973: 142; Salviat & Vatin 1974; Andreyev 1974; Burford 1977/78; 1993: 67; Boyd &
Jameson 1981; Clavel-Lévêque 1982: 27; Graham 1982: 185; Saprykin 1994: 83–87.
52 Cf. Hanson 1995: 108–126, 181–219; Morris 1996: 24–36; 2000: 155–185; also Starr 1986: 94–95;
Raaflaub 1996: 150–153; 1997; 2006; Donlan 1997: 45–46; Edwards 2004: 25, 78, 125–126. Contra,
Foxhall 2002.
53 Cf. McInerney 2004.
54 On land distribution and the extent of egalitarianism, Gallego 2009: 144–147 (with bibliography).
55 The first dates from 550/49: IG I
2
3; Raubitschek 1949: nº 326–328, 330.
56 We shall see later the reason for the apparently contradictory information found in the Politics.
57 Arist. Ath. Pol. 8.3; Poll. 8.108; Hsch. s. v. nauklaroi; Androtion, FGrHist 324 F 36; Phot. s. v.
naukraria. Another indication could be the archaic formula of the dokimasia of the archons in which
reference is made to the payment of taxes (Arist. Ath. Pol. 55.3), although this point could have been
MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO 268
portance of the tamiai and the existence of a tax in the times of Pisistratus
58
, would all
suggest that even in Solon’s times a series of mechanisms for collecting taxes had been
organised, perhaps on the basis of belonging to the census classes. This hypothetical
collection of taxes, about which we know absolutely nothing more, could have coincided
with the Panathenaic games
59
.
How was membership of a census class determined in Solon’s times? The sources
talk about production (income), and perhaps it can also be inferred that it was based
solely on the output of land measured in medimnoi, as can be gathered from the name
used to designate the first class, the pentakosiomedimnoi
60
. However, both Aristotle –
followed by Plutarch – and Pollux
61
talk about liquid and dry “measures” (metra)
62
, not
of medimnoi. Perhaps this is a first adaptation
63
. Aristotle and Pollux talk about 500,
300 and 200 measures, and both raise the same doubt (which would be present in the
original source they both use) about the qualification of the second class, the hippeis,
membership of which seems to depend either on these 300 measures or owning horses.
Therefore, it is plausible that neither Aristotle nor Pollux had direct access to Solon’s
law, since in both cases there is an element of conjecture
64
.
2.4. According to van Wees (2001; 2006), the classes were defined on the basis of the
wealth obtained from agricultural production; based on calculations and estimates of
the yields obtained from Attic land, the author reaches the conclusion, correctly and
exhaustively argued, that those who produced 200 measures – that is, the zeugitai –
must have owned at least 8 or 9 hectares (16 ha including fallow land)
65
. Consistent
with these calculations, a zeugites would be a fairly well-off landowner belonging to
the leisured class, the Athenian elite, which accounted for 10, 15 or perhaps 20 % of
the citizen population.
introduced in 403. In Deinarchus’ Against Aristogiton (2.17–18), the payment of levies which he
investigates in the framework of the dokimasia is ultimately associated with payment of eisphora.
58 This tax could have been a tenth (Arist. Ath. Pol. 16.4–6) or a twentieth (Th. 6.54.5).
59 Harris 1995: 9–10. See also Descat 1990; Sancisi-Weerdenburg 1993.
60 Plato (Leg. 955d–e) discusses the possibilities of a tax system based both on timema (capital) and
on income. The amount could also refer to the medimnos as a unit of measurement or value, not of
production. See Arist. Ath. Pol. 10.2; Philoch. FGrHist 328 F 200; Poll. 9.60–61; Plut. Thes. 25.3;
Sol. 23.2–4. There was no coinage in Solon’s time, but unstamped silver or metal weights did exist;
Rhodes 2006: 256 (with bibliography).
61 He possibly used the same source as Aristotle (an early fourth-century Atthidographer); Thomsen
1964: 150.
62 Hansen 1991: 43.
63 Gabrielsen 2002a: 97.
64 See the arguments developed by Rosivach 2002a: 39–41, 46–47, and passim.
65 The arguments developed by van Wees are based on sound calculations made in documented recent
works. In van Wees 2001, less emphasis is given to biennial rotation, so on his hypothetical aver-
age only 1/5 of the total arable land producing cereals would be left fallow. Thus, the smallest farm
of a zeugites would be 8.7 ha. In van Wees 2006, the calculation appears simplified: to obtain 200
measures would require 8 ha, which is doubled because of biennial rotation with fallow, giving a
figure of 16 ha for the less wealthy zeugites.
Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 269
However, the weak point of van Wees’ argument is that he takes the figures provided
by Aristotle literally and applies them to the sixth century, minimising the fact that both
Aristotle and his source (as can be seen in Pollux) doubt the criteria for membership of the
class of hippeis. Aristotle also mentions the conversion of Solonian measures into those
of his own time (Ath. Pol. 7.4: “dry and liquid measures [metra] jointly”)
66
. Although
van Wees tries to claim that Pollux’s text is completely independent of Aristotle’s, it is
possible, as we said earlier, that they both took their information from the same source.
In addition to these measures, other sources talk about different proportions or
measures in relation to the census classes, in terms not of what they produced but the
fines to be paid for not attending the Council, according to the spurious constitution of
Draco (Arist. Ath. Pol. 4.3: 3 drachmae for the pentakosiomedimnoi, 2 drachmae for the
hippeis and 1 drachma for the zeugitai); or the amount to be paid to equip an epikleros
(500 drachmae, 300 drachmae and 150 drachmae, respectively), according to a law
that apparently dates back to Solon’s times
67
. On the basis of this, van Wees suggests
that the lower limit for being a zeugites may have been 150 medimnoi rather than 200
(although he thinks this unlikely). But, according to the author, landownership would
also have been important in this case, since it would imply a minimum of 12 ha if bien-
nial fallow is considered normal or 6 ha if it is assumed that this was not applied. Even
if biennial fallow was not used, these calculations assume that even the most modest
zeugites would have a farm whose size would be similar to that which is usually taken
as the upper limit for defining the members of the class of middling farmers.
The problem of the Solonian census measures is far from having been definitively
resolved. Rosivach (2002a: 39–41) has suggested that, except for the 500 measures
concerning the pentakosiomedimnoi, the amounts attributed by Aristotle to the hippeis
and the zeugitai were educated guesses, because the law of Solon would be lost by the
philosopher’s day. In this respect, we would like to emphasise here the proposal put
forward by Ste. Croix (2004: 48–49), who thinks that, except for the first measure (500
medimnoi), the other two (300 and 200) were inventions of Aristotle based on numbers
such as those which appear in the law of epikleroi (500, 300, 150). According to Ste.
Croix, in the sixth century the census had not been fixed in a definite, rigid or exact
form, while, on the other hand, the census classes would broadly coincide with mili-
tary categories. Peter Rhodes (2006: 253; cf. 251; 1981: 143) also maintains that Solon
would not have defined the measures in exact medimnoi (except for the first class), or
at least suggests that the law specifying the qualifications of each class would not have
survived to Aristotle’s times, which implies that the latter would have proposed the
measures on the basis of other indications. Rhodes believes that the hippeis, the zeugitai
and the thetes already existed as categories before Solon, who created a new top class of
pentakosiomedimnoi defined by produce; but otherwise Solon did not need to define the
classes, and the 300 and 200 medimnoi qualifications were invented later by analogy with
the top class (Rhodes 1997: 4). He also associates the classes with military categories.
66 Cf. Rhodes 1981: 141–142. On the problems with van Wees’ interpretation, Gabrielsen 2002a: 95–98.
67 Lysias, fr. 207 Sauppe = Harp. s. v. pentakosiomedimnon; Posidippus, fr. 38 Kassel-Austin = Harp.
s. v. thetes kai thetikon; [Dem.] 43.54. Solon’s law on epikleroi: D.S. 12.18.3.
MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO 270
2.5. In our opinion, Aristotle did not, in fact, know what the qualifications were for be-
longing to the various classes in Solon’s times. But this does not mean that he invented
the figures he gives, and it is therefore necessary to make sense of them. What appears
certain is that the pentakosiomedimnoi originally implied 500 medimnoi (or more), since
this is expressed by their name. This class was probably the only new class created by
Solon, or at least the only new designation
68
(the other ones would already exist: Arist.
Ath. Pol. 7.3)
69
.
On the basis of this picture and the class situation in the fourth century, established
in the legislation of 403 (we will return to this shortly), Aristotle attributes certain
measures (500, 300, 200) to each of Solon’s census classes. The hypothesis that the
author of the Athenian Constitution does not know with any certainty how much each
class produced in Solon’s times is consistent, as we have already said, with the fact that
in this work he expresses doubts about the class of hippeis, not knowing whether they
are defined by their condition as owners of horses or by producing 300 medimnoi. This
demonstrates that Aristotle did not have the measures of the original “law of Solon” to
hand (perhaps he had others). An additional indication that Solon’s laws were revised in
the legislation of 403 would be the law of epikleroi reproduced in Against Macartatus,
attributed to Demosthenes (43.51; 54), which states that illegitimate sons were debarred
from inheriting since the archonship of Euclides in 403.
What we said about the doubts of the author of the Athenian Constitution concerning
the hippeis is equally valid for Pollux (8.132) regarding the zeugitai. The lexicographer
also gives us a clue about the period to which this revision relates. In fact, shortly after
his account of the census classes in relation to the system of exacting taxes, the zeugite
class is referred to as those that “raise oxen”
70
. So, it is possible that in Solon’s times
the classes were defined as:
– Pentakosiomedimnoi: those who produce 500 medimnoi.
– Hippeis: those who can raise and feed horses (and obviously oxen).
– Zeugitai: those who can own a yoke of oxen (which would correspond with a land-
holding of about 5 ha); this coincides with Pollux’s definition (8.132).
– Thetes: the rest, that is, small peasants, day-labourers, hired workers, etc., that can-
not afford a yoke of oxen.
Owning a yoke of oxen could be the first step for distinguishing a farmer, indicating
perhaps that his farm was not one of the smallest. Thus we find that Aristotle takes up
Hesiod (Op. 405: “first an oikos, a wife and an ox to draw the plough”), saying that “the
ox is like a servant (oiketes) for the poor”
71
. While it is clear that owning an ox implied
a certain wealth, for Aristotle this did not separate the peasant from the rest of the poor.
68 Postulated by Rhodes 1981: 137; Hansen 1991: 30; Osborne 1996: 221.
69 Perhaps its purpose was to give those who acquired such wealth an important role in political life
in order to fill certain specific and important offices (such as the tamiai), by opening these offices
to those who were wealthy but not aristocrats.
70 Poll. 8.132: xoi cruyn oio y ti tr ìoc oi cruyotoooou ytrc r tr ìouy.
71 Arist. Pol. 1252b 12: o yo o ßou c o yt∆ oi xr tou toi c ar ynoi y r otiy.
Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 271
From all these arguments, it can be inferred that the zeugitai in Solon’s times would
be middling farmers who had a yoke of oxen and probably owned about 5 ha of land
(which did not exclude larger estates). This property was sufficient to make it viable to
use oxen, and would at the same time be a size that corresponded both to hoplite plots
and to land distributions known for various Greek colonies. Owning an appropriate farm
size to use draught animals distinguished these peasants from other rural workers, a
number of whom would have farms smaller than those of the zeugitai
72
, whereas others
would be landless poor
73
.
3. Solon’s Census Classes and the Eisphora System before 378
In this section, we will argue that the need for a tax system based on the eisphora during
the Peloponnesian War produced a form of taxation that was levied on the wealthiest
landowners. Starting from this eisphora system, the Solonian classes were remodelled
in the new legal code of 403–399 (before the restructuring of 378) for the purpose of
levying taxes, which established, on the basis of landownership, that those who produced
more than 500 measures would be included in the pentakosiomedimoi, those between
300 and 500 measures, in the hippeis, and those between 200 and 300 measures, in the
zeugitai.
First, we should try to know why Aristotle and Pollux referred to 300 and 200
measures for the hippeis and the zeugitai, respectively, or in what context these amounts
should be understood. We think it unlikely that they were a product of Aristotle’s or
Pollux’s imagination, or that they derived from other measures, as Ste. Croix assumes
by linking them to the dowries of the epikleroi. Perhaps the key can be found in Pollux
(8.130), who related the measures of production of the census classes (not the quantity
of medimnoi) to a tax system:
There were four census classes: pentakosiomedimnoi, hippeis, zeugitai and thetes.
Those so named for their production of five hundred dry and liquid measures con-
tributed one talent to the public fund. Those who belonged to the hippas appear
to have been named for their ability to raise horses; they produced three hundred
measures and contributed half a talent. Those who belonged to the zeugision were
registered starting from two hundred measures, and contributed ten minas. Those
of the thetikon did not hold any office and did not contribute anything.
Tiun uoto o∆ n y tr ttooo, arytoxooiouroi uyey i aar ey cruyite y 0nte y. oi ur y r x
tou arytoxo oio ur too cnoo xoi u yoo aoiri y xìn0r ytrc o yn ìioxoy o∆ ri c to onuo -
oioy to ìoytoy oi or tn y i aao oo trìou ytrc r x ur y tou ou yoo0oi tor oriy i aaouc
xrxìn o0oi ooxou oiy, r aoi ouy or ur too toioxo oio, o yn ìioxoy or n uito ìoytoy.
oi or to cruyn oioy trìou ytrc o ao oioxooi ey ur toey xotrìr yoyto, o yn ìioxoy
or uyo c or xo oi or to 0ntixo y ou orui oy o o,n y n o,oy, ou or o yn ìioxoy ou or y.
72 Burford 1977/78: 170; 2003: 67–68. Cf. Gallego 2005b: 98, 107; 2009: 163.
73 A thes or, in Attica, a hektemoros; Valdés 2006; forthcoming.
MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO 272
On the basis of this information, our proposal is that the measures were fixed in the new
legislation codified between 403 and 399 (wh ich included a revision of Solon’s laws)
74
,
in order to adapt the register of the census classes to the new tax system introduced
after 428 to levy the eisphora. On this occasion, the first two census classes together
with the richest of the zeugite class were taxed based on the produce of their land
75
. In
order to determine which of the zeugitai would be subject to the eisphora, it was then
established that they would be those who produced between 200 and 300 liquid and dry
measures, as Aristotle (Ath. Pol. 7.4) and Pollux (8.130) state
76
. As several scholars have
shown, these measures entailed the land plots of wealthy zeugitai to be larger than the
average farm size of 5 ha attributed to the middling peasants
77
. Pollux’s evidence would
thus imply that only the upper echelons of the zeugitai paid the eisphora. Indeed, the
fact that the zeugitai paying the tax were those who obtained 200–300 measures would
have involved soon after the remodelling of the zeugite class (which, up to that time,
included all the middling peasants capable of owning a yoke of oxen), to adapt it to the
new conditions. This re-definition of the zeugite class would then be an effect of the
implementation of the eisphora tax in a period prior to the reform of 378.
Whether Pollux’s text refers to a specific levy during the Peloponnesian War or to
a tax after this war (perhaps in relation to the eisphora in 403 to pay off the debt to the
Spartans
78
), i t would reflect the new definition of the zeugite class introduced at the end
of the fifth century (and perhaps the same occurred with the hippeis). The text, in fact,
74 Cf. Clinton 1982; Hansen 1990; Robertson 1990; Rhodes 1991. See also Parker 1996: 43 f.; Carawan
2002.
75 As we argued in the first section, after 428, and plausibly during the first part of the Peloponnesian
War, there were probably about 5,000 taxpayers (consistent with the 5,000 of the revolution of 411).
But it is possible that the number went down at a later date due to the decline in Athenian wealth
and in the number of wealthy people (Arist. Pol. 1303a 8–10, speaks of the decrease of the Athenian
gnorimoi during the war). Perhaps there would be some 3,000 in 403, of whom 1,000 would con-
tribute regularly not only to the eisphora but also to other liturgies such as the trierarchy. A group
of 1,000 is referred to by Lysias (fr. 54) and Isaeus (fr. 33), similar to the 1,200 of the subsequent
liturgical class. According to Davies 1971: xx–xxiv, participating in the liturgical class required at
least 4 talents. Gabrielsen 1994: 45 ff., questions this figure and assumes a lower one for performing
liturgies.
76 This volume of production was not very different, in practical terms, from the minimum assigned
to the second class, the hippeis, as is observed by van Wees 2001: 47, and Rosivach 2002a: 36–38.
77 Foxhall 1997: 129–130; van Wees 2001; 2006; Rosivach 2002a: 36–38.
78 If, for example, it relates to the levy of 428, the reference to the zeugitai – only defined as those
who produce between 200 and 300 measures (specifically for tax purposes) – is the result of an a
posteriori operation that takes the system fixed between 403 and 399 with the new definition of
Solon’s census classes back to the time before the late fifth-century legislation. It is possible how-
ever that Pollux referred to the eisphora collected to pay the debt with Sparta, which amounted to
100 talents. Demosthenes (20.12 [Leptines]) takes it as an example of the generosity of the demos,
as an argument for not abolishing the levying of taxes, and therefore we believe that his reference
to the payment by the demos as a whole should not be taken literally but as a rhetorical device; (cf.
Dem. 1.20; 2.31; 24.111; Christ 2007: 54). In fact, Isocrates (8.68) speaks of the people deciding to
pay the debt from the public treasury, not that they would be personally responsible for making the
payment.
Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 273
seems to allude to an eisphora system that most authors date to the period between 428
and 378, the last year being, as it would appear, when the symmoriai were established.
So, the eisphora system established in 428 and based on a certain land property
was applied to the group of wealthiest owners that would roughly coincide with the first
two census classes and the richest of the third one, but without a strict adequacy to the
Solonian classes. Since the eisphora proved to be effective when money was lacking,
during the revision of laws in 403–399 this form of tax collection would have been
institutionalized by adapting the Solonian classes to it. In effect, these classes still kept
on being the framework in which the Athenian citizens were economically defined and
distributed into several groups.
As a matter of fact, the Athenian eisphora system in the fourth century, known
fundamentally from 378 onwards, was based on the timema, that is, on capital, not in-
come, as Pollux’s text would seem to suggest. Both Rudi Thomsen (1964) and Patrice
Brun (1983) give the impression to accept that the system of census classes for raising
the eisphora was only used before 378, after which the eisphora became a percentage
(generally 1 %)
79
of the capital of a group of taxpayers from which the less wealthy
would be exempt
80
.
Thom sen argues that before 378 the census classes would have played a role in
determining collection of the eisphora, not in the sense that all the members of a class
had to pay the same – since the payment was made on the basis of declared capital (the
timema, as subsequently
81
) –, but in the sense that all the members of each class that
79 Most of the eisphorai of the fourth century were collected at 1 % and the normal rate was 1 or 2 %
(although it could sometimes be less, 0.5 %, or more, up to 8 %: cf. Dem. 14.27). In Aristophanes
(Ec. 823 ff.) a rate of 2.5 % is mentioned (schol. to Ec. 835, speaks of eisphora). See Ste. Croix 1953:
34–36, 47–53; Brun 1983: 61–62.
80 The number of citizens subject to the eisphora is disputed. While Thomsen 1964: 163, postulates
a very high number (22,000 in 428), other authors think the number was much lower based on the
information in Harpocration (s. v. symmoria). Ste. Croix 1953: 32, suggests that the general tone
shows that there was a large class of those who were exempt. Jones 1957: 28, thinks the number of
taxpayers after 378 was 6,000 (with a minimum capital of 25 minas). Before 378, it is possible the
number who paid tax was even lower. See Lysias, 22.13, in reference to the situation in 386. Cf.
Brun 1983: 21; Strauss 1986: 42–43; Hansen 1991: 112–113; Christ 2007: 54. With the system of
symmoriai of 378, there was possibly an increase in the number of taxpayers (whose timema would
now have reached a certain, unknown, threshold) and, furthermore, perhaps they were all taxed
equally, at the same percentage. This no doubt helped the Athenian wealthiest class who also had to
contribute to other liturgies such as the trierarchy (which also underwent a change in 358/7), some-
thing which is entirely consistent with fourth-century politics. Brun 1983: 19, has proposed that the
minimum valuation after 378 would be a timema of around 2,000 drachmae, a fact that is perhaps
reflected, at the end of the fourth century, in the exclusion from citizenship of those who had less
capital, for which reason there would only be 9,000 citizens (D.S. 18.18.5; Plut. Phoc. 28.7). Jones
1957: 28–29, speaks of 2,500 drachmae. See, however, Christ 2007: 54.
81 Thomsen 1964: 181–183. For an evaluation of capital (timema) in this time, and also for the period
after 378, all kinds of property were taken into account (not just immovable property or land).
However, Christ 2007 points out that the main difference in the eisphora before and after 378 is the
application of the timema as a criterion for paying it. He bases his account primarily on an argu-
mentum e silentio, but there is some evidence such as the procedure of antidosis, referred to by the
author himself (pp. 57–59), that might indicate the opposite.
MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO 274
paid tax had to pay a proportion of the eisphora to be collected, as Pollux suggests:
pentakosiomedimnoi, one talent; hippeis, half a talent; zeugitai, ten minas
82
. Perhaps the
distinction between census classes would also have served to establish the percentage
levied on each census class, which could vary according to the needs of the eisphora. So,
the pentakosiomedimnoi would pay a higher percentage on all their capital, as Thomsen
supposes, and not only on their land, while for the hippeis and the richest of the zeugitai
perhaps the percentage was smaller
83
.
It is possible that prior to 378, both taxation based on the timema and membership
of a census class were carried out by the demes (in the same way as the katalogoi)
84
.
In this respect, it can be said that Demosthenes (50.8–9) alludes to an extraordinary
eisphora levied in a later period (362), which was based solely on land and implemented
on the basis of information provided by the demes
85
. A similar procedure may well
have been operating before the creation of the symmoriai in 378. This could help us to
elucidate the figures given by Pollux (8.130), which are too low to be what each class
paid collectively but too high to be what each person paid individually. But Pollux does
not allow to deduce further information
86
.
In any case, Pollux’s text is of very little use beyond giving us an idea of the role
of the census classes in levying the eisphora before 378
87
, and perhaps also of a system
that differentiated Athenians subject to the charge according to the class to which they
82 According to Thomsen 1964: 176–177, one talent + half a talent + ten minas for each of the 100
symmoriai. The problem with his theory is that it seems clear that the symmoriai were not created
until 378 (cf. infra, n. 84).
83 The sources that mention levying the eisphora during the Peloponnesian War, but also in the period
prior to 378, allude to large sums (Lysias, 19.29: 10, 30, or even 40 minas; Lysias, 21.2–3, refers
to the payment, possibly of a pentakosiomedimos, of 30 minas in one eisphora and 40 in another).
This would not only reveal the existence of greater fortunes in Attica at that time than subsequently
(as is assumed by Brun 1983: 19), but would also demonstrate that the tax could be more than 1 %,
perhaps for the richest (as suggested by Ar. Ec. 823, where is mentioned a 2.5 %). Perhaps something
of this can be glimpsed in Isaios (7.39) which, although written in 354, could contain a recollection
of the payment based on census class. See, however, Ste. Croix 1953: 42.
84 Thomsen had suggested that the system of 100 symmoriai mentioned by Cleidemus (FGrHist 323
F 8) was introduced in Themistocles’ times, with the same fiscal functions as the naukrariai (of
which there were 50 from Cleisthenes onwards). So he had to assume that the eisphora collected
in 428 (Th. 3.19.1) was based on that institution (the pentakosiomedimoi of a symmoria paying one
talent). However, various authors have rejected the creation of the symmoriai in the fifth century,
since Philochorus (FGrHist 328 F 41) says that they were established for the first time during the
archonship of Nausinicus, in 378. Cf. Ste. Croix 1953: 56–62; Brun 1983: 29–32; Hansen 1991:
112–13; Christ 2007: 63 n. 49.
85 As is stated by Gabrielsen 1994: 57, the inhabitants of the demes were well aware of people’s wealth
in terms of land. An inscription originating in the deme of Piraeus (IG II
2
1214, 25–26; late fourth
or early third century) shows that a man from another deme was required to pay a charge in Piraeus
because he had property there. In the proeisphora of 362, it is said that Apollodoros, son of Pasion,
had properties in three different demes (Dem. 50.8). It is no coincidence that it was the members
of the demes who, together with the Council’s members, drew up the list. Cf. Ste. Croix 1953: 60;
Jones 1957: 28; Brun 1983: 37–38.
86 See e. g. the 200 talents for the eisphora in 428, according to Th. 3.19.1 (cf. supra, n. 83).
87 Several authors think that the text is corrupt or erroneous; cf. Ste. Croix 1953: 41 ff.; Brun 1983: 32.
Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 275
belonged
88
, in proportion not only to their individual wealth but also to the percentage
that could be applied in each case depending on their class, although it seems fairly
clear that after the reform of 378 the percentage applied was the same for all of them
89
.
The main point is that if only those landowners who produced more than 200
measures based on a minimum of 8 ha were subject to this tax after 428 (assuming that
fallow would be reduced as much as possible and production intensified to obtain the
200 measures), it is reasonable to assume that this system was introduced at the height
of the radical democracy (since most of the peasant-hoplites as well as the thetes were
excluded)
90
. It did not imply, moreover, any kind of political modification, which would
be introduced later. This situation may be associated with the first stage of the Pelopon-
nesian War and with the ascendancy of the more radical political line. So, when the “laws
of Solon” were revised in 403, not all the zeugitai but only those with a considerable
amount of land were taxed, which meant that the zeugite class was redefined as those
who produced 200 measures or more. This eisphora system would remain in force until
the reform of 378 because of the need for funds in the years when democracy was being
restored and, in particular, during the Corinthian War.
Hence, according to our view, in 403 the economic criterion for determining member-
ship of the zeugite class would have been redefined and raised by including in it only the
wealthiest part of the zeugite class (identified until then by the criterion of possessing a
yoke of oxen), that is, possibly a fairly small proportion of the sixth- and fifth-century
zeugitai. And perhaps the class of the hippeis was also remodelled and defined as that
whose members obtained between 300 and 500 measures. It could even be that some
“old” hippeis (until then identified by the criterion of owning horses) were from then
on included in the “new” zeugite class because they obtained less than 300 measures,
even if they probably raised some horses.
So, the wealthy zeugitai who had started paying the eisphora in 428 would consti-
tute a small proportion of the class, namely those who owned 8 ha or more of land and
produced 200 or more measures. Such properties would be almost double the average
plot size of 5 ha owned by middling zeugitai in sixth and fifth centuries. These “new”
zeugitai of the late fifth century could be the georgoi referred to in Aristophanes’ As-
sembly of Women (197–98), who appear to be aligned with the rich and against the poor
88 Also suggested by Aristotle’s Athenian Constitution (4.1) concerning the system of fines, attributed
to Draco, for not attending the Council.
89 Ste. Croix 1953: 56, does not accept a progressive eisphora, but he offers an interesting theory
(followed by Jones 1957: 25–26) for explaining the conflicting passages of Dem. Against Aphobus,
where a proportion of 1/5 is mentioned (cf. Dem. 21.157; 27.7–9; 28.4; 29.59). But see Thomsen
1964: 60 ff.; Brun 1983: 70 ff.
90 For instance, Socrates is depicted as a hoplite (Pl. Symp. 221a), but Xenophon (Oec. 2.3) says that
his possessions were only worth 5 minas, i. e. a member of the class of thetes (van Wees 2002: 68,
accepts this figure to say that the thetes fought as hoplites voluntarily). Xenophon (Oec. 2.6) implies
that Socrates did not pay eisphora, and also suggests that in the event of war the eisphora was applied
to the rich. For his part, Aristophanes (Eq. 923–26) seems to show that only the rich are registered to
pay the eisphora. These accounts conflict with that of Diodorus Siculus (13.64.4), but he is writing
a posteriori: perhaps Alcibiades’ intention was to relieve the constant burden of the eisphora on the
Athenian rich (since many fortunes would have been lost: Brun 1983: 26).
MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO 276
for ideological reasons. But these georgoi could also do so due to economic motives,
since the fact that they launched ships, which did not affect the poor economically, would
mean that the very rich landowners and the well-off farmers had to pay tax. It would be
precisely because of this situation that Aristophanes suggested there was a rift between
these two sections of the citizen population.
Plausibly, the owners of 4–5 ha land plots and even more who were zeugitai during
the sixth and fifth centuries would have become members of the class of thetes. In this
respect, the legislation adopted in 403 (enacted by the nomothetai, not by the assembly)
might have caused certain troubling political consequences. But the effects were far from
serious for most of the “old” zeugitai. The political line that originated during the war
and the climate of the restoration of democracy in 403, in which the moderates played an
important role, should be considered in this context. It should also be remembered that the
bulk of the “old” zeugitai had been exempted from paying the tax and that landownership
would be an important criterion in that restoration, as may be inferred from the attempt
by Phormisios to exclude 5,000 landless Athenians from citizenship, even if it failed
91
.
Moreover, particularly after 378, the zeugitai gradually lost their political, fiscal and
military role completely, as also happened with the other classes, since membership to a
census class in order to participate in political life began to be systematically ignored
92

and was no longer relevant for election to office
93
. The redefinition of the zeugite class
could even have helped to accelerate the process by which the census classes lost their
political role, since the “old” zeugitai who would have been included in the thetic class
at the beginning of the fourth century, did not lose the capacity of being chosen to hold
the offices. And from then on, the formal restrictions against the thetes in the election
for upper magistracies such as the archonship became obsolete
94
.
It is on the basis of the situation of the “new” fourth-century zeugitai that in Politics
Aristotle can say that Solon “appointed all the officials from the notables (gnorimoi)
and the well-to-do (euporoi): the pentakosiomedimnoi, the zeugitai and the third class
called hippas”
95
. The zeugitai of the fourth century would be the richest of the “old”
Solonian zeugite class, which had originally included all those who owned a moderate
landholding and a yoke of oxen, i. e. all the middling peasants possibly identified with
91 Lys. 34.4; Dion. Hal. Lys. 32.
92 Hansen 1991: 88; Rosivach 2002a: 45; cf. Ste. Croix 1953: 41 ff. It should be pointed out, in this
respect, that the last reference to a census class in an inscription is that of the year 387/6 (cf. supra,
n. 27).
93 This may well have been one of the factors that led to the change of the conscription system, if the
census classes were involved in that system before the change, as assumed by Hansen 1991: 115–16.
Although the prerequisites for inclusion on the hoplite list are not known, perhaps in the fifth century
these were membership of the zeugite class and family property known to the demarchs. Hansen
1991: 108–109, thinks that changes in the army (with the creation of the ephebeia) were introduced
at the beginning of the fourth century, eliminating the differences between hippeis, zeugitai and
thetes by recruiting everyone equally. Perhaps this was the direct consequence of the rise of the new
zeugite class after 403 including those with 200 measures of produce. However, see Christ 2001,
who postulates that the change occurred after the Corinthian War.
94 Cf. Rosivach 2002a: 45–46.
95 Arist. Pol. 1274a 18–21: to c o∆ o o,o c r x te y yyeoi uey xoi te y ru ao oey xotr otnor ao ooc, r x
te y arytoxooiouroi uyey xoi cruyite y xoi toi tou tr ìouc tn c xoìouur ync i aao ooc.
Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 277
those able to afford hoplite armour. The philosopher perhaps wanted to indicate that
only the richest landowners (those with leisure) could devote themselves to politics, and
that this had been the case in Solon’s times. This picture, however, appears to be refuted
by the Athenian Constitution (26.2) where the zeugitai can only hold minor offices and
were not eligible for the archonship until 457.
Consequently, in the second half of the fourth century Aristotle brings together the
measures possibly defined in the legislation of 403 (500, 300, 200), no longer used in
his own time, and projects them back to Solon. Even so, particularly in the Athenian
Constitution and in Pollux, something of the fundamental characteristics that defined
the classes at an earlier time was retained: raising horses in the case of the hippeis and
possessing a yoke of oxen in the case of the zeugitai, which obviously implied owning
at least a certain amount of land.
Much remains unknown and cannot be clarified due to lack of sources, in particular
whether Solon established a fixed minimum output (or amount of land) for each class
and not just for the pentakosiomedimnoi
96
, and whether this remained the same in the
fifth century. We do not know, but membership of a census class was probably deter-
mined on the basis of an element indicating status, such as owning horses or a yoke of
oxen, that also doubtless entailed the possession of a minimum quantity of land known
or acknowledged by everyone.
Conclusions
Our main conclusion is that in Athens during the sixth and fifth centuries there was
a broad class of middling peasants that were politically recognised and formed the
Solonian zeugite class. Aristotle’s distortion of the composition of this class arises
from his projection back to the sixth century of measures of production drawn up in a
special situation, the first stage of the Peloponnesian War, when a system of eisphora
was established. This was confirmed with the restoration of democracy and led to the
legislation of 403 redefining the Solonian classes to adapt them to this system. Prob-
ably, the political consequences of the new legislation concerning the census classes
with regard to the election of magistrates was not particularly important, since during
the fourth century membership of the census classes was not taken into account in the
election of officials to the magistracies and to perform other duties.
The idea that a fundamental part of the Athenian zeugitai of the sixth and fifth cen-
turies consisted of middling peasants cannot be rejected based solely on the measures
given by Aristotle and later by Pollux, who possibly worked from the same source as
Aristotle. Up to a point, this group would be equivalent to, or at least coincide with, most
of the hoplites. The restoration of democracy in 403, when the new legislation revising
the “laws of Solon” came into effect, is plausibly the most likely time for dating the
changes to the census classes (still on the basis of land) in order to adapt them to the tax
96 See Rosivach 2005, who argues that the pentakosiomedimnos’ five hundred medimnoi per year
would not imply a concrete amount of produce but a valuation of the land’s worth, including plots
cultivated by his tenants.
MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO 278
needs of eisphora at that time. From then onwards, and particularly with the reorganisa-
tion of the eisphora in 378, the Athenian census classes completely lost their political,
military and fiscal role. Aristotle would, therefore, have projected back to Solon’s times,
without complete certainty, measures that were part of the fiscal organisation adopted
by Athens at the beginning of the fourth century.
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Miriam Valdés Guía
Julián Gallego

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1. The Zeugitai of the Fifth Century as the Bulk of the Attic Peasantry In this section we shall analyse a collection of sources that enable us to consider the fifth-century zeugitai as the greater part of the Athenian hoplites and, therefore, as a broad group of middling peasants, most of whom worked their plots with their family – and possibly slave(s) –, although they did not constitute a completely homogeneous class. Hence they did not generally belong to the Athenian leisured class (except perhaps for a minority). 1.1. As Geoffrey de Ste. Croix (2004: 13, 21) has pointed out in a recently published study, it seems that in the fifth century the thetes as a census class2 did not normally fight as hoplites. A fragment of Aristophanes’ Daitaleis cited by Harpocration (s. v. thetes kai thetikon) says that the thetes do not fight3. It is true that in the Aristophanic corpus the verb strateuomai is not used to allude exclusively to the hoplite service, but to the army in a general way4; and there is even a case in which Aristophanes (Th. 232) uses strateuomai in connection with serving as a psilos. But Harpocration records another quotation, this time from Antiphon’s Against Philinus, which states: “to make all the thetes hoplites”5. Of course, this does not mean there were no thetes serving occasionally as hoplites; but in general they would not accomplish that military role. In Thucydides (6.43) the thetes are referred to as epibatai, that is, as hoplites on board ship that did not appear on the list (ek katalogou)6 but formed part of the fleet’s crews7. Another passage by the same author (8.24.2) allows us to speculate that the normal hoplites on the list did not serve in the fleet (as epibatai), although they may have been obliged to do so in exceptional circumstances, as Thucydides demonstrates in this case. From this it can be deduced that the thetes normally crewed the ships as epibatai, and were habitually employed as oarsmen (together with foreigners, allies or slaves)8. According to Ste. Croix (2004: 21), these epibatai or hoplites that served on board ship were usually armed by the state, and during the Peloponnesian War there were usually 10 on each ship9. Moreover, during the emergency of 428 (Th. 3.16.1) the ships were crewed by all the Athenians (including metics) except those of the upper classes (pentakosiomedimnoi and

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

The term thetes has only two meanings: a census class or men who worked for wages. For instance, Thucydides uses it in the first sense; cf. Ste. Croix 2004: 21. Fr. 248 Kassel-Austin: o{ti de; oujk ejstrateuvonto ei[rhke kai; ∆Aristofavnh~ ejn Daitaleu'sin. See Ar. Ach. 1052, 1080; Nu. 692; V. 1117, 1124; Av. 1367; Lys. 1133. Fr. 61 Thalheim = fr. 63 Sauppe: te qh'ta~ a{panta~ oJplivta~ poih'sai. On the katalogos of hoplites as ad hoc lists drawn up for each expedition, Christ 2001 (with bibliography). Th. 6.43: kai; touvtwn ∆Aqhnaivwn me;n aujtw'n h\san pentakovsioi me;n kai; civlioi ejk katalovgou, eJptakovsioi de; qh'te~ ejpibavtai tw'n new'n. On the composition of a ship’s crew, Morrison 1984; Gabrielsen 1994: 106–108. See also Gomme, Andrewes & Dover 1970: 310; Hansen 1991: 45; Loomis 1998: 59. Contra, van Wees 2006: 373. It is possible that some thetes would have been able to acquire hoplite weapons; the epibatai for the ships could have been recruited from amongst them. If there were thetes with hoplite weapons, they could have been enrolled as volunteers in the hoplite contingents. On this, van Wees 2002: 67, who exaggerates their number.

1986.24. 2001: 59–61)11.16. but this is confronted to some extent by the sources. 23. n. But this is contradicted by the information we have seen here.2) concerning the hoplites called up from the lists and compelled (anagkastoi) to serve as epibatai does not mean that the thetes were on the list of hoplites. Stuttgart – Berlin 1934. v.1. . 21. and that there may have been recruiting lists of thetes (drawn up from the demes. I. a role in which they did not normally serve.43) to be an exception. 8. as Themistocles’ decree shows12). cf. but that in the situation described by Thucydides hoplites on the list were obliged to fight as epibatai. Kahrstedt’s suggestion (Staatsgebiet und Staatsangehörige in Athen. unlike van Wees. Since the thetes were those who usually served on board. Vincent Gabrielsen (2002a: 87. Gabrielsen (2002a. 22. 253. 2002b: 34). The trierarch played a very important role in enlisting 10 Rosivach 2002a: 42 n. [Dem. lin. According to van Wees (2002: 67–69). The reference made by Thucydides (8. and so added pentakosiomedimnoi to fill out the set”. For Vincent Rosivach (2002a: 41 n. in Aristophanes’.16. such as that from Aristophanes. This author assumes that the thetes were also included on the hoplite lists. the lexicographer appears to refer to the census class. nor that positions of epibatai were occupied by volunteers (at least not always). 12 Cf. 3. since it would be the only source which associates the Solonian classes with military service (but he pays no attention to Th. and they would therefore be excluded from the hoplite lists. according to which. 92–93) considers the information given by Thucydides (6. which does not exclude the possibility of enlisting as a volunteer. but there seems to be no testimony explicitly attesting the opposite. 13 Morrison 1984.43. 1985: 83–89.6. although they would form the bulk of the hoplite army. thetes kai thetikon). not to the Solonian class. the hoplites on the list came only from the first three classes (consistent with his economically and socially restricted characterisation of the zeugitai). n. also mentioned by van Wees (2002: 67. we agree with Gabrielsen that the thetes or those who served in the fleet were sometimes (or perhaps often) obliged to enlist and fight. this suggests that the Athenian zeugitai (who did so in this emergency) could be roughly identified with the hoplites ek katalogou who did not normally serve in the fleet (cf. namely that thetes usually fought as hoplites.24. Th. Hansen 1981. But considering the information gathered by Harpocration (s. a “clever reader misunderstood a reference to the cavalry corps (hippeis) as a reference to a Solonic class. 2002b) criticises this theory and points out that everyone was obliged to fight. 3.1). The members of these three classes were obliged to serve in the army.2). discusses U. Hammond 1982. 5) on Th. It is true that the evidence is weak. vol. 23–26. which state that the thetes did not normally fight as hoplites. except in a crisis or through necessity. 11 Cf. But. it could be inferred that it was uncommon for the thetes to serve regularly as hoplites during the fifth century. Rosivach says.Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 259 hippeis)10. Antiphon’s and Thucydides’ texts the word thetes would allude to the poor rural underclass. while the thetes would only fight as hoplites voluntarily. 6. as Gabrielsen assumes (since it was the thetes who normally served as epibatai).] 50. From all we have seen. both as nautai (who also included metics and slaves13) and as epibatai (hoplites) and toxotai (archers). cf.

with the exception of the epibatai. we must consider Aristotle’s text (Pol.6–7.000 hoplites fought at Marathon20.000. Aristotle (Ath. 90. van Wees 2001: 51. Christ 2001: 401. But the state could also contribute by providing lists of possible candidates for the ships16. they were obliged to fight. Nepos. Pol. but that citizens could enlist voluntarily for various reasons (for example. and making this service obligatory if there was a shortage of crew. Finally. Cf. In Thucydides (7. 2. as in Themistocles’ decree.2. 12. representing 40 % of the citizen population according to van Wees (2006: 374. On the recruitment of oarsmen.1. 10.000. 90).] 50.3. [Dem. these 9. and on the eve of the Peloponnesian War some 13. Pagès 2000. n.1) also alludes to the list but in relation to the demos and the euporoi.28. Moreover.000 and 29. nautai (at a time when more hoplites and more ships were being sent)17.9.9. as Gabrielsen assumes. with the trierarchs playing an important role). D. and it may not have been difficult for him to find crew amongst the volunteers for the wages they would receive (which the hoplites on the list also received.6.20. 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 Gabrielsen 1994: 108. on another occasion.000 hoplites would have been available (Th. speaks of 18. this means that most. between 18. But those who had been volunteers could. wages). of the hoplites registered on a list would have come solely from the three first census classes: pentakosiomedimnoi. Rhodes 1988: 274. Gabrielsen 2002a: 89. in a similar proportion to marines15).6. possibly drawn up from the first three census classes. and perhaps on a regular basis. From the evidence available it could be inferred that some 9. Garnsey 1988: 92. For example. In our opinion. If the thetes did not normally fight as hoplites. 9. but according to his calculation in van Wees 2006: 374 n. 2. the thetes were not included on the list of hoplites. Ste. ek katalogou refers.000 hoplites in Platea. 26.40. in Sicily: Th. there were 24. such as the battle of Marathon and the expedition to Sicily. 5. According to van Wees 2004: 241–43. there would also have been lists of horsemen. points out that as well as the lists of hoplites. 50.16. However.260 MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO crew14. According to most authors’ calculations. at least on occasions.000 hoplites for 431. Milt. Justin. Loomis 1998: 32–61.000 and 25. 6. 8.13. according to Hdt. 93–94. There were probably lists (cf. 1303a 8–10) which refers to the decrease of gnorimoi in relation to the army recruitment ek katalogou18.000. Paus. And it can be assumed that the lists of thetes could have been drawn up from the demes’ registers and this service could have been made compulsory.1). Christ 2001: 401. Cf. if not all. Thomsen 1964: 162–163. Croix 2004: 48. Cf. But the philosopher says nothing about the ships nor indicates whether service on them was compulsory or not19.000 hoplites represent the same proportion as the hoplites of 431. both to lists of hoplites and to members of the ships’ crews. the fact that there were volunteers both amongst the hoplites and amongst the ships’ crews does not mean that such service was not compulsory (at least on certain occasions). calculates a total of between 21.3). . be called up for compulsory service (contrary to van Wees’ view with regard to the thetes).31.16) of marines and seamen recruited from the class of thetes for the ships (later assigned by lot. this figure would imply that more men were hoplites or could have been listed as hoplites in 43121.S. Gabrielsen 1994. hippeis and zeugitai.

23 Some hoplites belonged to the two upper classes. approximately) refers to zeugitai and thetes as the beneficiaries of the distribution of land in the new colony (IG I3 46. it can be said that the bulk of hoplites would be made up of zeugitai. Whitehead 1981. 329.000). cf. On his part. Rosivach 2002b rejects the military etymology. They differed both from the pentakosiomedimnoi and from the hippeis in terms of the way they were treated by the state in various recruiting situations. the demarcation of the zeugite class in Solon’s times would have been done taking the ownership of oxen into consideration. rejecting in this way his previous view. van Wees 2001: 46. Hansen 1981. but which had important implications in the political and military arenas. a decree concerning Lemnos issued after the King’s Peace on the cleruchies. Ste. There is another argument for rejecting the explanation put forward by van Wees. Croix (2004: 11) 22 For different calculations: Jones 1957: 8–9. since the thetes were not on the hoplite lists either. . 24 Many pentakosiomedimnoi and hippeis would have been excluded from the lists of hoplites. 6)22.).. 1985: 26–64. 27 A similar clause possibly exists in IG II2 30 (387/6). this would be a decision “to ensure that the new colony would benefit those at the lower end of the social scale”. and there were also some metics and a few thetes. as can be surmised from Aristophanes (Eq. or else through string-pulling (by the strategoi who made the decisions). the zeugitai were a census class. 1370 ff. 25 Particularly if we assume that the qualification for being on a hoplite list was belonging to the zeugite class or a higher one. cf. and that they made up the bulk of the Athenian infantry. Cf. Croix 2004: 11–12. who were not on the list but with whom the zeugitai might serve on the triremes if needed24. This does not mean that we accept the “military” etymology for the word zeugites instead of that which relates it to the yoke of oxen26. The decree uses the term pentakosiomedimnon and. by analogy with the decree of Brea. prefers the etymology of “owner of a yoke of oxen” for zeugites. 43–46. The decree for the colony at Brea (446. has now accepted and developed the etymology relating the name zeugitai to the ownership of oxen. Hansen 1991: 30. If so. 43–46)27. as we shall see later. Stroud 1971: 164 (lin.n iJppevwn ka]i. Rhodes 1988: 275.2. but see Rosivach 2002a: 43 n. who undertook an analysis in-depth of the etymology of zeugites in its military sense. doubt the credibility of Aristotle’s account of the measures ascribed to Solon’s classes and emphasise the author’s ignorance concerning the membership qualification for each of them: cf. who includes the zeugitai in the leisured class because he assumes they have at least 8 or 16 ha of land (depending on whether or not fallow land is considered). 1991: 93 f. But it would indicate that all the zeugitai were hoplites. 366. a group defined on the basis of economic criteria based on property or income. As Rosivach (2002a: 36–37) has pointed out. This does not mean that all the hoplites were zeugitai23 or that these were necessarily a military category per se. and from the thetes. or because they performed liturgies. In principle. but he accepts its use as the basis for recruiting in the fifth century. 106–109. On his part. pentakosiomedivmnwn (“[except the hippeis an]d the pentakosiomedimnoi”). Hansen 1981: 24–29. finally. 1988. 1. Ste. Thomsen 1964: 162–166.Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 261 or 50 % in the calculations of Victor Hanson (1995: 114. 12) and 171 ff. 1982. Various authors. Gabrielsen 2002a: 96–97 (with bibliography). 478–79 n. it has been suggested: [-plh. 29. since. Consequently. either because they belonged to the cavalry (1. 1988: 83–89. van Wees 2006: 353–357. they could have been broadly identified with most of the hoplite class perhaps from the fifth century on25. that is. 26 For the identification of the Solonian census classes with military categories.

and the zeugitai and the thetes. This would thus suggest that the zeugitai (or a large proportion of them) were not rich and could have been aligned with the thetes in the distribution of land.16. were exempted. Unlike the pentakosiomedimnoi and the hippeis. And on the first occasion only one of the nine archons came from the zeugitai. Meritt 1982. not the zeugitai.2). 28 Cf. It is possible that this situation was precisely what happened after Solon’s reforms during the crisis of Damasias of 580 (Ath.3. If. on the other hand. who had to man the ships with the thetes. In fact. In the general levy of citizens for the fleet of 428 which we referred to earlier (Th. particularly in the fourth century. Kallet-Marx 1989. also thinks the eisphora was established for the first time in 428. Gallego 2003: 125–128. but a group of zeugitai would be previously elected to take part in the selection of archons by lot. only the first two classes. according to the Athenian Constitution (26. 29 For ideological distortions in Aristotle. with the exceptional election of ten archons. If the zeugitai consisted solely of those who owned more than 8 ha of land. and schol. 1. But. . Aristotle says. On some occasions. from then on the wealthiest zeugitai would have also begun to pay the eisphora together with the first two Solonian census classes. our argument that in the fifth century the zeugite class included peasants with plots of approximately 40 plethra (3. as can be seen in Aristotle29.1). as we shall try to demonstrate later. Gabrielsen 2002a. see van Wees 2002.16.262 MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO had suggested that this decree did not exclude the first two census classes. on one side. 13. which does not tally with van Wees’ claim that the zeugitai belonged to the wealthy leisured class. Cf. not the complete body politic28. The passage also hints at the way in which the zeugitai became eligible to join the archonship: not all of them would participate. even if ideologically.4. the alignment of these two classes defined by the Solonian census is what is meant by the concept of demos as the “lower classes” of the citizenry.2) the zeugitai were only included in the archonship a few years after Ephialtes’ reforms. Although the possibility of eisphora before that date is recognised in two inscriptions: in the decree of the Athenian cleruchies in Hystieia. IG I3 52 (433). IG I2 42. could appear aligned at least in practical terms. the pentakosiomedimnoi and the hippeis. it would be difficult to understand why they would have participated in the colonisation and moved to Brea. Pol. and in Callias’ decree. they had previously held only minor magistracies unless. on the other. This situation once again demonstrates how the first two classes. Furthermore. 3. 21–24 (446). 30 Christ 2007: 54. the tax levied in times of war that was first collected in 428 (as far as the Peloponnesian War is concerned)30. of whom three came from the agroikoi and two from the demiourgoi. 1. some clause in the law had been ignored. the zeugitai and the hoplites were probably associated with the rich. but rather that no citizen belonging to either of these classes would want to emigrate because of the large estates they had in Attica.6 ha) is accepted. it is understandable that some of them would have decided to move to the new colony (perhaps in the hope of obtaining larger plots than those they held in Attica). the bulk of the zeugitai would not have paid the eisphora. as van Wees claims. at 3.

In our opinion. that is. This comment is virtually repeated by Aristotle (Ath. However. which means some 15. However. Pol.000.3: kai.000 and 2. if this figure had represented the first three classes. 29. Moreover. 31 X.Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 263 1.5) but using the revealing verb leitourgein to refer to the services that the 5.000” of the oligarchic revolution of 411 can be roughly identified with the first three classes. it even reached 9.000 who are granted citizenship and that “possess arms”.5).3. Xenophon or Aristotle). Rhodes 1981: 384–385. in the argument defended by van Wees membership of this group would have been automatic. together with the criterion of arms.65. 32 In Th. three times more than the 5. it seems to be a minimum.5. 20.000. Strauss 1986: 179). 36 This reference to persons perhaps alluded. met∆ ajspivdwn wjfelei'n dia.000 (see Jones 1957: 9. Consequently.00034.000 probably refers to a change that took place at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. perhaps the possibility of extending citizen participation with a greater number of hoplites was contemplated. Even if membership was automatic. as well as to fighting in the war. based simply on being a member of one of the first three census classes. touvtwn th. 29. According to Thucydides (8. we must assume that it referred to the hoplite elite that. this figure is the maximum. that is. between 1. Pol.65.000 men eligible to be hoplites in 431 (out of an approximate population of 50. Hell. together accounting for less than 16 % of a population of 30. Rhodes 1981: 380–385.5.000 automatically included the first three classes.13.000 as those able to provide themselves with hoplite equipment. pentakosiomedimnoi. Ath. to the importance of certain individuals who served the city by undertaking the trierarchy or other liturgies. both Thucydides and Aristotle (who perhaps follows the historian on this point) mention wealth as a precondition for belonging to these 5. touvtoi~ oi} a]n mavlista toi'~ te crhvmasi kai.000 citizens.65.97. this figure of 5. Pol. From the time of the 5. But this is not stated either by this author or by any other that discussed the subject (Lysias. ten representatives over the age of 40 from each of the tribes were elected to enlist (katalexousi) the 5.3.3.3). 2. 29. it would still have been necessary to compile a list of the members. hippeis and zeugitai. in Lysias. we should have expected Thucydides to mention it (since he refers to the census classes in other contexts). when a group of citizens became prominent by using their wealth to finance the war.1) refers to the 5. 2.000. while Xenophon (Hell. indicating that the 5.000 is too small to be the number eligible for inclusion on the hoplite lists32. . Rhodes 1981: 382–383.000 citizens) is accepted. Thucydides (8. Another of van Wees’ arguments (2006: 374) is that “the 5. consisted of the first two classes plus the upper echelons of the zeugitai. Furthermore. 35 Th. 8. Cf. 8.000 men still had hoplite status in 411 (not counting generational renewal). according to Aristotle (Ath. or perhaps that the thetes were excluded from the 5. cf. This financial criterion used to determine the group of the 5.48) alludes to “those who can serve the government with horses and shields”31. 34 Cf. from our point of view. 33 If the figure of 24. toi'~ swvmasin wjfelei'n. the losses due to war probably reduced this hoplite population by about 9. as van Wees suggests. This would be related not only to the trierarchy (which was perhaps performed by a smaller number. but in Arist.000.000 citizens should be able to provide36.n politeivan. they would include “those who were most able to serve by both their property (chremasi) and their persons (somasin)”35.48: meq∆ i{ppwn kai. even after the expedition to Sicily when the population had gone down33.000) but above all to the eisphora.

We should not overlook what Aristotle himself says in Pol. . Sometimes. On georgos/georgeo. the agricultural people. Pol. And they were possibly included together with the upper classes in the 5. In various passages of the Politics Aristotle emphasises that the owners of a moderate-sized farm could not be leisured and that they were related to what he considers the most moderate type of democracy. 13. in ideological terms.] Resp. perhaps during the war. So. In Pol. 1291a 30–31: hopliteuein kai georgein)37. Aristophanes also uses the word georgos to refer to the agriculturists aligned with the plousioi and against the 37 For more references. it is plausible that the upper echelons of the zeugitai would have begun. although he recognises that this kind of people can also be involved in a tyranny or an oligarchy (Pol. In any case. could effectively act as members of the leisured class responsible for the liturgies) and the zeugitai that had to work their own land. because of their wealth. And he even states that serving as a hoplite and farming the land personally go hand in hand (Pol. 1289b 32. it seems that as a result of the situation generated by the Peloponnesian War the better-off zeugitai (those who paid the eisphora) began to stand out or be more clearly differentiated from the rest of the zeugitai. that is. 2. The specific character of this group of zeugitai would derive from its association with the pentakosiomedimnoi and the hippeis. Cf. Ath. 1318b 9. Gallego 2005a.14: oiJ gewrgou'nte~ kai. 1292b 25–34). 39 For the “agricultural people”. The philosopher also says that the best. Detail from the so-called “Old Oligarch” could be interpreted in this light40. 1297b 22–25. Gallego 2009: 219–22. 1317a 25. with further discussions. Aristotle defines the politeia as the best regime in which military virtue is associated with the multitude (plethos) who bears arms (ta hopla). but also with non-leisured owners who have to work their own land in order to make a living39. with the agricultural people who fight (georgikos plethos. since he does not mention them in relation to the 5. to stand out as a group with its own specific character because they had started paying the eisphora. it can be surmised. see Arist. oiJ plouvsioi. This situation could explain why some writings of the late fifth or early fourth century used the term georgos in a partial and specific sense. But it is also important to consider the contrast that already existed between these wealthy zeugitai (who. he also uses the word agroikos but with more pejorative connotations (Arist.000 of the oligarchic revolution of 411 (or the 3. Marr & Rhodes 2008: 21. and because they were aligned with the two census classes above them in practical terms and also. Pol. 122.264 MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO The 5. 1279a 37–b 4. first and oldest kind of democracy (which would approach the politeia) is that based on the best people (demos).000. a careful reading of Aristotle shows us that those who are entitled to bear arms are generally identified with peasants38. Ath. Gallego 2005a: 235–40. brought about by its integration into the eisphora system and confirmed to some extent with the configuration of the 5.000 would thus be the approximate proportion of citizens that had started to pay the eisphora and had therefore begun to contribute to the cost of the war. at least around 411.2). With this in mind. 38 Most of the time.000 of 404). 1321a 5–6. georgikos demos). Aristotle uses the term georgos and the derivatives of the verb georgein to refer to peasants. Cf.000. 1319a 6 and 19. while he does allude to several of the census classes in other passages of his account. 40 [X. It seems unlikely that this number of citizens could be identified in Thucydides with the first three census classes as a whole.

L. cf. began to align themselves ideologically with the plousioi. 25. 40–42). Chrys. 1993: 27–28. cf. Moreover. Ath. this law has been interpreted as favouring Attic peasants: Mele 1979: 41. as in the case of the 13.2. particularly in order to try and achieve peace. Valdés 2003. This broad class of hoplite-farmers may well have increased its ranks after Solon’s reforms and. between 3. as the comedies of Aristophanes during the Peloponnesian War seem to indicate (Ach. Alison Burford (1977/78: 168–72. which appears to include both well-off farmers and middling or small peasants. Solon did not share out the land in equal plots. 198: toi'~ plousivoi~ kai. a collection of literary. Aelian. However.25. 2. Cf.H. 1111–50.6. 43 This implies an even greater number considering the total of hoplites that could be mobilised. .53. 296) capable of aligning itself with the hippeis (Eq. Gallego 2005b: 34–41.. But the ambiguity remains. V. 67–72. 16. Forsdyke 2006. many of whom may have started to arm themselves as hoplites in the course of the sixth century. A size close to the latter would be the minimum suitable for a hoplite farm. in particular. especially the better-off.000. 1. Pol. Hansen 2004: 625–626. 113–16) 41 Ar. such as Aristotle. Gallego 2005b: 89–132. 2008: 47–87. since Aristophanes himself sometimes uses the term agroikos to define the Athenian demos as a farming people (Eq. which would form the bulk of the poleis. Cf. Plut. 9. apart from in the south and on the frontier with Boeotia42. Ec. Solon’s Census Classes and the Sixth Century 2. gewrgoi'~.4 ha45. On Solon’s law prohibiting grain exports: Plut.Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 265 penetes41. 13. On Solon’s law limiting the amount of land each person could acquire. we can assume that a broad group of small and middling peasants developed. It is difficult to analyse the situation of the Athenian peasantry in the sixth century (and in general for the whole of the archaic period) because most of our sources. Sol. On the other hand.1. but whose specific interests would lie in preventing manipulation of conscription lists and ending the war so that they could concentrate on farming their land (Pax 1127–90).6 and 5. who encouraged the development of agriculture and helped many small peasants in Attica by providing low-interest loans44. Sol. date to the fourth century. Attica is a region where practically no land surveys have been carried out. In effect. 42 Lohmann 1992: 56.000 hoplites at the beginning of the Peloponnesian War. 45 For a more complete analysis. Valdés 2006. Rosivach 1992. but see Strauss 1986: 62–63. that is. Ach. 44 On Solon’s law protecting property given in litigation: Ruschenbusch 1966: F 36a. Gagarin 2006: 264–265. Baccarin 1990. varied between 40 and 60 plethra. under Pisistratus. On Athens as a society of small and middling peasants. Isager & Skydsgaard 1992: 128. and land to be returned to ancient debtors: Arist.3. D.. since we know that some 9. 1266b 13–14. Gallego 2005b: 119–120. Eq. The poet prefers to imagine this group as a homogeneous whole (Pax 922.000 hoplites took part in the battle of Marathon in 49043. Arist. Pol. On Pisistratus’ measures about agriculture: Arist. Wood 1988. when the total would be 24.2. 1266a–b. Pol. 2. 7–8). but probably permitted a distribution of marginal or public land. it is possible that some of the georgoi. Dio. Pax).1–2. epigraphical and archaeological evidence has led many scholars to consider that in ancient Greece the holdings of self-sufficient peasants. Gallego 2009: 162–66 (with bibliography). 24.

the Athenian rationes centesimarum dated by Lewis 1973 in the 320s. 399–400. Hence owning about 5 ha of land and using oxen would be the basic material conditions both for a hoplite and for a zeugites50. since they suppose the latter to be larger than the former47. van Wees 2001. using a yoke of oxen would need an average area of about 5 ha for the work to be done properly49. See the complete analysis by van Wees 2006: 382–385 (with bibliography and sources). inscription from Pharsalos (IG IX. At the top of the zeugite class some stood out by having more land. even if this does not mean that owning a 5 ha plot was formally required for membership in the zeugite class. See Osborne 1987: 14–16. e.234) which indicates that “those who fought at our side”. which does not exclude that there may have been some hoplites recruited below this class. then this implies that the zeugitai were characterised due to the ownership of oxen. this group would not be completely homogeneous and property variations could imply differences between them. 1500. i. Hodkinson 1988: 39. With different emphasis and not always alluding to the zeugitai. Alcock. but also with respect to the thetes (who did not own oxen). archaeological information from the Khersonesos Taurike on fourth-century and later farms averaging 43–55 plethra. 69. 50 On the value of having oxen. according to modern estimates. 142.2. 1992: 137. 3. Secondly. cf. So. Nagle 2006: 71. since the thetes were not normally included on the hoplite lists. Isager & Skydsgaard 1992: 78–79. Hes. in practical terms. Even if the evidence quoted by Burford is scarce and says nothing about either hoplites or zeugitai48. refers to income opportunities that public constructions offered to Attic landowners with oxen. the lowest requisite to serve as a hoplite.: a third-century B. Bintliff 2006: 328. the Athenian version of which was the zeugite class. Pol. . Cherry & Davis 1994: 148. Gabrielsen 2002b: 214 and n. Chandezon 2003: 281–284. which meant that they did not have to work (the 46 Jameson 1977/78: 125 n. as we shall see later.50. it is possible to maintain her remarks on the basis of the following criteria. Salmon 2001: 199–201. 13. many scholars have adopted this perspective46. Oxen could be a source of additional income when they were not used for agriculture. 49 On the use of a yoke of oxen on plots of land averaging 5 ha. Av. 1994: 58. cf. 48 The evidence is that analysed by Andreyev 1974: 14 ff.266 MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO has associated this type of property with the hoplite or zeugite farm. The available data suggest that a class of middling peasants developed during the archaic period. Halstead 1987: 84. Hanson 1995: 181–201. hiring them to private citizens (misthosis) but more particularly for public works is a well-attested fact. 1252b 10–12. Ach. highlighting the importance of draught animal power for working the land and relating the term zeugites with the farm worked with a yoke of oxen. 436-40. on the farming year and the possibility of using oxen for building. except those who argue there was a divergence between the “hoplite farm” and the “zeugite farm”. beside the Pharsalians. according to our view in the first section. 1022-36. from which Andreyev deduced a kleros of 40–60 plethra. In fact. Ar.C. Th. were given full citizenship and 60 plethra of arable land. if the “yoke of oxen” etymology for the word zeugites is accepted. Hodkinson 1988: 39–40. 581–85. Of course.2 on the Lesbian cleruchy of 427. Arist. it is possible to assume that the zeugite census was the minimum generally necessary to be enrolled as a hoplite ek katalogou. possession of a yoke of oxen supposed this farm size. 47 Foxhall 1997: 130–132. 2006. Thirdly. Fourthly. For a critical view. the previous point supposes to consider the specific conditions of the zeugitai not only with respect to the pentakosiomedimnoi and the hippeis (who obviously owned oxen as well as horses and other resources). Op. 405. and then to be a zeugites would be. First.

52 Cf. In any case. Hanson 1995: 108–126. Hsch. 26. nauklaroi. In keeping with hoplite plots size in general.1). according to the Athenian Constitution56. This indicates that there was a certain notion of how much land a citizen would need. Pol. Contra. s. especially in certain magistracies.1).3. 8. 1993: 67. 1997. was only open to the pentakosiomedimnoi (Arist. although this point could have been . Raubitschek 1949: nº 326–328. Clavel-Lévêque 1982: 27. Androtion. the reference to the naukraric fund. Edwards 2004: 25.3). Graham 1982: 185. and this in turn would be related to his capacity to serve as a hoplite. the sources are concerned in particular with two offices that were essential at this time.108. without being universal. 7. FGrHist 324 F 36. Burford 1977/78. as can be seen in other laws enacted by Solon which specifically concern them (Ath. 53 Cf. and would fulfil an important role in terms of determining Greek egalitarianism. Raaflaub 1996: 150–153. on the basis of landowning. the presence of lesser magistracies such as the kolakretai57. 78. Pol. The bibliography on the subject enables us to propose a situation that. if it refers to a specific instance of levying taxes. Pol. 125–126. was certainly very widespread51. Perčírka 1973: 142. 2006. Moreover. Phot. although the former had access to lesser offices such as the poletai.Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 267 “leisured” zeugitai). v.3). this model would be linked to what it meant to be a metrios or mesos. a middling peasant who owned his land52. 8. whose importance in the sixth century can be deduced from inscriptions on the acropolis (relating to the Panathenaic games)55. Donlan 1997: 45–46. But middling peasants were the bulk of the group with enough land for a yoke of oxen and the occasional slave. in order to organise participation. Foxhall 2002.1. Gallego 2009: 144–147 (with bibliography). clearly visible according to Eric Robinson (1997: 65–73)53 in the foundation of colonies. 2000: 155–185. Ath. also Starr 1986: 94–95. Another purpose of the census classes may have been of a “fiscal” nature. 55. 8. namely the archons and the tamiai. 2. naukraria. Saprykin 1994: 83–87. 56 We shall see later the reason for the apparently contradictory information found in the Politics. 330. In this respect. Boyd & Jameson 1981. So. and the archonship only to the pentakosiomedimnoi and the hippeis (Ath. 54 On land distribution and the extent of egalitarianism. 8. Andreyev 1974. 47. the im- 51 Cf. Salviat & Vatin 1974. 55 The first dates from 550/49: IG I2 3. Ath. should be placed at a later date. 7. the eleven and the kolakretai (Ath. or rather. who could also afford hoplite weapons. Pol. 57 Arist. Pol. 8.2).130) that cannot be applied to the economic situation of the sixth century. although the only direct source for this assertion is a report found in Pollux (8. Another indication could be the archaic formula of the dokimasia of the archons in which reference is made to the payment of taxes (Arist. s. we know plots dimensions allocated in various Greek colonial foundations. both the zeugitai and the thetes were excluded from the most important magistracies (tamiai and archons). Poll.3. Ath. Morris 1996: 24–36. 181–219. The office of tamiai. Pol.3). v. income in measures of cereals (medimnoi). Pol.3. This political intention is particularly obvious in the case of the tamiai. McInerney 2004. Aristotle and Plutarch appear to agree that Solon’s aim in establishing the census classes was political. and therefore. which would demonstrate the expansion of egalitarian principles54. the fact that Aristotle speaks of eisphora in Solon’s times (Ath. and those of the Attic zeugitai in particular.

Pol. but unstamped silver or metal weights did exist. 955d–e) discusses the possibilities of a tax system based both on timema (capital) and on income. the zeugitai – must have owned at least 8 or 9 hectares (16 ha including fallow land)65. The arguments developed by van Wees are based on sound calculations made in documented recent works. Thes. it is plausible that neither Aristotle nor Pollux had direct access to Solon’s law. the Athenian elite. However. 10. the payment of levies which he investigates in the framework of the dokimasia is ultimately associated with payment of eisphora.4–6) or a twentieth (Th. Sancisi-Weerdenburg 1993. See also Descat 1990. 9. 6.7 ha. and passim. which accounted for 10.5). In Deinarchus’ Against Aristogiton (2.4. See the arguments developed by Rosivach 2002a: 39–41. 300 and 200 measures. Rhodes 2006: 256 (with bibliography). Thus. giving a figure of 16 ha for the less wealthy zeugites. According to van Wees (2001. 2006). about which we know absolutely nothing more. Thomsen 1964: 150. less emphasis is given to biennial rotation. Pol. 2. perhaps on the basis of belonging to the census classes. 16. 46–47. so on his hypothetical average only 1/5 of the total arable land producing cereals would be left fallow. correctly and exhaustively argued. the pentakosiomedimnoi60. based on calculations and estimates of the yields obtained from Attic land. membership of which seems to depend either on these 300 measures or owning horses. Ath. and perhaps it can also be inferred that it was based solely on the output of land measured in medimnoi. as can be gathered from the name used to designate the first class. Sol. Therefore. Plato (Leg. could have coincided with the Panathenaic games59.60–61. FGrHist 328 F 200. Philoch.2. which is doubled because of biennial rotation with fallow. the hippeis.54. not of production. This tax could have been a tenth (Arist. and both raise the same doubt (which would be present in the original source they both use) about the qualification of the second class. Poll. See Arist. Harris 1995: 9–10. Perhaps this is a first adaptation63. 25. How was membership of a census class determined in Solon’s times? The sources talk about production (income). Consistent with these calculations.2–4. 15 or perhaps 20 % of the citizen population. In van Wees 2006. Gabrielsen 2002a: 97.268 MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO portance of the tamiai and the existence of a tax in the times of Pisistratus58. not of medimnoi. . There was no coinage in Solon’s time. Ath. The amount could also refer to the medimnos as a unit of measurement or value. a zeugites would be a fairly well-off landowner belonging to the leisured class. 23. that those who produced 200 measures – that is. Hansen 1991: 43. since in both cases there is an element of conjecture64. the calculation appears simplified: to obtain 200 measures would require 8 ha. would all suggest that even in Solon’s times a series of mechanisms for collecting taxes had been organised. Aristotle and Pollux talk about 500. He possibly used the same source as Aristotle (an early fourth-century Atthidographer). the classes were defined on the basis of the wealth obtained from agricultural production. In van Wees 2001. Plut. This hypothetical collection of taxes. both Aristotle – followed by Plutarch – and Pollux61 talk about liquid and dry “measures” (metra)62.17–18). 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 introduced in 403. the author reaches the conclusion.3. the smallest farm of a zeugites would be 8.

The problem of the Solonian census measures is far from having been definitively resolved. Peter Rhodes (2006: 253.Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 269 However. Pol. s. 300 drachmae and 150 drachmae. Aristotle also mentions the conversion of Solonian measures into those of his own time (Ath. Croix. pentakosiomedimnon.18. these calculations assume that even the most modest zeugites would have a farm whose size would be similar to that which is usually taken as the upper limit for defining the members of the class of middling farmers. since it would imply a minimum of 12 ha if biennial fallow is considered normal or 6 ha if it is assumed that this was not applied. 300. landownership would also have been important in this case. v.3: 3 drachmae for the pentakosiomedimnoi. Ath. the amounts attributed by Aristotle to the hippeis and the zeugitai were educated guesses. On the problems with van Wees’ interpretation. the zeugitai and the thetes already existed as categories before Solon. 38 Kassel-Austin = Harp. the census classes would broadly coincide with military categories. Solon’s law on epikleroi: D. On the basis of this. Pol.S. except for the 500 measures concerning the pentakosiomedimnoi. but otherwise Solon did not need to define the classes. cf. According to Ste. according to a law that apparently dates back to Solon’s times67. according to the author.54. on the other hand. thetes kai thetikon. s. in terms not of what they produced but the fines to be paid for not attending the Council. which implies that the latter would have proposed the measures on the basis of other indications. Posidippus. 2 drachmae for the hippeis and 1 drachma for the zeugitai). respectively). Croix (2004: 48–49). 66 Cf. who created a new top class of pentakosiomedimnoi defined by produce. the weak point of van Wees’ argument is that he takes the figures provided by Aristotle literally and applies them to the sixth century. . the other two (300 and 200) were inventions of Aristotle based on numbers such as those which appear in the law of epikleroi (500. in the sixth century the census had not been fixed in a definite. Rosivach (2002a: 39–41) has suggested that. who thinks that. In this respect. Rhodes 1981: 141–142. 207 Sauppe = Harp. 67 Lysias. Gabrielsen 2002a: 95–98.3.] 43. according to the spurious constitution of Draco (Arist.4: “dry and liquid measures [metra] jointly”)66. we would like to emphasise here the proposal put forward by Ste. fr. In addition to these measures. But. fr. [Dem. rigid or exact form. minimising the fact that both Aristotle and his source (as can be seen in Pollux) doubt the criteria for membership of the class of hippeis. Even if biennial fallow was not used. that they both took their information from the same source. as we said earlier. 251. because the law of Solon would be lost by the philosopher’s day. 12. other sources talk about different proportions or measures in relation to the census classes. van Wees suggests that the lower limit for being a zeugites may have been 150 medimnoi rather than 200 (although he thinks this unlikely). Rhodes believes that the hippeis. 1981: 143) also maintains that Solon would not have defined the measures in exact medimnoi (except for the first class). it is possible. while. and the 300 and 200 medimnoi qualifications were invented later by analogy with the top class (Rhodes 1997: 4). 4. 7. v. except for the first measure (500 medimnoi). or the amount to be paid to equip an epikleros (500 drachmae. Although van Wees tries to claim that Pollux’s text is completely independent of Aristotle’s. 150). He also associates the classes with military categories. or at least suggests that the law specifying the qualifications of each class would not have survived to Aristotle’s times.

or at least the only new designation68 (the other ones would already exist: Arist. not knowing whether they are defined by their condition as owners of horses or by producing 300 medimnoi. The lexicographer also gives us a clue about the period to which this revision relates. in fact. But this does not mean that he invented the figures he gives. While it is clear that owning an ox implied a certain wealth. by opening these offices to those who were wealthy but not aristocrats. An additional indication that Solon’s laws were revised in the legislation of 403 would be the law of epikleroi reproduced in Against Macartatus.270 MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO 2. shortly after his account of the census classes in relation to the system of exacting taxes. What we said about the doubts of the author of the Athenian Constitution concerning the hippeis is equally valid for Pollux (8. The hypothesis that the author of the Athenian Constitution does not know with any certainty how much each class produced in Solon’s times is consistent. etc. a wife and an ox to draw the plough”). Aristotle attributes certain measures (500..3)69. that cannot afford a yoke of oxen. . since this is expressed by their name. 7. with the fact that in this work he expresses doubts about the class of hippeis. 68 Postulated by Rhodes 1981: 137. for Aristotle this did not separate the peasant from the rest of the poor. Hippeis: those who can raise and feed horses (and obviously oxen). 1252b 12: oJ ga. Thus we find that Aristotle takes up Hesiod (Op. Aristotle did not. attributed to Demosthenes (43.132).5. This class was probably the only new class created by Solon. 8. know what the qualifications were for belonging to the various classes in Solon’s times. that is. So. 300. which states that illegitimate sons were debarred from inheriting since the archonship of Euclides in 403. Owning a yoke of oxen could be the first step for distinguishing a farmer. as we have already said. Zeugitai: those who can own a yoke of oxen (which would correspond with a landholding of about 5 ha). small peasants. established in the legislation of 403 (we will return to this shortly). it is possible that in Solon’s times the classes were defined as: – – – – Pentakosiomedimnoi: those who produce 500 medimnoi. Ath. the zeugite class is referred to as those that “raise oxen”70. What appears certain is that the pentakosiomedimnoi originally implied 500 medimnoi (or more). In our opinion. This demonstrates that Aristotle did not have the measures of the original “law of Solon” to hand (perhaps he had others). Osborne 1996: 221.r bou'~ ajnt∆ oijkevtou toi'~ pevnhsivn ejstin. day-labourers. 71 Arist. In fact. and it is therefore necessary to make sense of them. Pol. hired workers. 200) to each of Solon’s census classes.132) regarding the zeugitai. On the basis of this picture and the class situation in the fourth century. saying that “the ox is like a servant (oiketes) for the poor”71. Hansen 1991: 30. 69 Perhaps its purpose was to give those who acquired such wealth an important role in political life in order to fill certain specific and important offices (such as the tamiai). Thetes: the rest. this coincides with Pollux’s definition (8. zeughvsiovn ti tevlo~ oiJ zeugotrofou'nte~ ejtevloun.132: kai. 54). Pol. 405: “first an oikos. indicating perhaps that his farm was not one of the smallest.51. 70 Poll.

it can be inferred that the zeugitai in Solon’s times would be middling farmers who had a yoke of oxen and probably owned about 5 ha of land (which did not exclude larger estates). as Ste. ejpoivoun de. respectively. Those so named for their production of five hundred dry and liquid measures contributed one talent to the public fund. dhmovsion tavlanton: oiJ de. kai. diakosivwn mevtrwn katelevgonto. to. First. in the zeugitai.n tou' duvnasqai trevfein i{ppou~ keklh'sqai dokou'sin. hJmitavlanton. Croix assumes by linking them to the dowries of the epikleroi. they produced three hundred measures and contributed half a talent. 107. This property was sufficient to make it viable to use oxen. 72 Burford 1977/78: 170.n oujdemivan ajrch. or in what context these amounts should be understood. Those who belonged to the zeugision were registered starting from two hundred measures. Cf. qhtiko. th. Perhaps the key can be found in Pollux (8.n ejk tou' pentakovsia mevtra xhra. in Attica. . zeughvsion telou'nte~ ajpo. those between 300 and 500 measures. mna'~ devka: oiJ de. Valdés 2006. we will argue that the need for a tax system based on the eisphora during the Peloponnesian War produced a form of taxation that was levied on the wealthiest landowners.n h\rcon. pentakosiomedivmnwn iJppevwn zeugitw'n qhtw'n. on the basis of landownership. in the hippeis. whereas others would be landless poor73. Timhvmata d∆ h\n tevttara. oiJ me. that those who produced more than 500 measures would be included in the pentakosiomedimoi. Those who belonged to the hippas appear to have been named for their ability to raise horses. Solon’s Census Classes and the Eisphora System before 378 In this section. oujde. ajnhvliskon oujdevn. 2009: 163. poiei'n klhqevnte~: ajnhvliskon d∆ eij~ to. Starting from this eisphora system. the Solonian classes were remodelled in the new legal code of 403–399 (before the restructuring of 378) for the purpose of levying taxes. 3. zeugitai and thetes.Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 271 From all these arguments. Owning an appropriate farm size to use draught animals distinguished these peasants from other rural workers.130). hippeis. a hektemoros. 2003: 67–68. ajnhvliskon de. we should try to know why Aristotle and Pollux referred to 300 and 200 measures for the hippeis and the zeugitai. oiJ de. ajnhvliskon de. or that they derived from other measures.n iJppavda telou'nte~ ejk me. which established. forthcoming. We think it unlikely that they were a product of Aristotle’s or Pollux’s imagination. and contributed ten minas. 73 A thes or. Gallego 2005b: 98. Those of the thetikon did not hold any office and did not contribute anything. who related the measures of production of the census classes (not the quantity of medimnoi) to a tax system: There were four census classes: pentakosiomedimnoi. and would at the same time be a size that corresponded both to hoplite plots and to land distributions known for various Greek colonies. to. mevtra triakovsia. a number of whom would have farms smaller than those of the zeugitai72. uJgra. and those between 200 and 300 measures.

1303a 8–10. According to Davies 1971: xx–xxiv. and plausibly during the first part of the Peloponnesian War. . 24. Rhodes 1991. as is observed by van Wees 2001: 47. On this occasion. van Wees 2001. not that they would be personally responsible for making the payment. included all the middling peasants capable of owning a yoke of oxen). speaks of the decrease of the Athenian gnorimoi during the war).200 of the subsequent liturgical class.111. Hansen 1990. As several scholars have shown. and therefore we believe that his reference to the payment by the demos as a whole should not be taken literally but as a rhetorical device. Clinton 1982. to adapt it to the new conditions. as Aristotle (Ath.000 is referred to by Lysias (fr. up to that time. our proposal is that the measures were fixed in the new legislation codified between 403 and 399 (which included a revision of Solon’s laws)74. 1. 7.12 [Leptines]) takes it as an example of the generosity of the demos.68) speaks of the people deciding to pay the debt from the public treasury. Whether Pollux’s text refers to a specific levy during the Peloponnesian War or to a tax after this war (perhaps in relation to the eisphora in 403 to pay off the debt to the Spartans78).000 would contribute regularly not only to the eisphora but also to other liturgies such as the trierarchy. Carawan 2002. it relates to the levy of 428. of whom 1. 2. Dem. the first two census classes together with the richest of the zeugite class were taxed based on the produce of their land75. Demosthenes (20.. Robertson 1990. as an argument for not abolishing the levying of taxes. which amounted to 100 talents. In fact. Isocrates (8.000 taxpayers (consistent with the 5. the fact that the zeugitai paying the tax were those who obtained 200–300 measures would have involved soon after the remodelling of the zeugite class (which. the hippeis. there were probably about 5. 2006. Pollux’s evidence would thus imply that only the upper echelons of the zeugitai paid the eisphora.31. 33). the reference to the zeugitai – only defined as those who produce between 200 and 300 measures (specifically for tax purposes) – is the result of an a posteriori operation that takes the system fixed between 403 and 399 with the new definition of Solon’s census classes back to the time before the late fifth-century legislation. (cf. in order to adapt the register of the census classes to the new tax system introduced after 428 to levy the eisphora. for example. similar to the 1. Pol.20. in practical terms.000 in 403.130) state76. 77 Foxhall 1997: 129–130. In order to determine which of the zeugitai would be subject to the eisphora. 75 As we argued in the first section. 74 Cf.000 of the revolution of 411). Indeed. Perhaps there would be some 3. it would reflect the new definition of the zeugite class introduced at the end of the fifth century (and perhaps the same occurred with the hippeis).4) and Pollux (8. and Rosivach 2002a: 36–38. But it is possible that the number went down at a later date due to the decline in Athenian wealth and in the number of wealthy people (Arist. after 428. Christ 2007: 54).. from the minimum assigned to the second class. 78 If. participating in the liturgical class required at least 4 talents. Gabrielsen 1994: 45 ff. it was then established that they would be those who produced between 200 and 300 liquid and dry measures. It is possible however that Pollux referred to the eisphora collected to pay the debt with Sparta. This re-definition of the zeugite class would then be an effect of the implementation of the eisphora tax in a period prior to the reform of 378. The text. in fact.272 MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO On the basis of this information. A group of 1. questions this figure and assumes a lower one for performing liturgies. See also Parker 1996: 43 f. Pol. Rosivach 2002a: 36–38. 54) and Isaeus (fr. 76 This volume of production was not very different. these measures entailed the land plots of wealthy zeugitai to be larger than the average farm size of 5 ha attributed to the middling peasants77.

referred to by the author himself (pp. on capital. and also for the period after 378. Christ 2007 points out that the main difference in the eisphora before and after 378 is the application of the timema as a criterion for paying it.500 drachmae.5 %. there was possibly an increase in the number of taxpayers (whose timema would now have reached a certain. symmoria). 57–59).000 citizens (D.000 drachmae. the last year being.S. See. up to 8 %: cf. or more. Dem. known fundamentally from 378 onwards. furthermore. suggests that the general tone shows that there was a large class of those who were exempt.27). a fact that is perhaps reflected. Thomsen argues that before 378 the census classes would have played a role in determining collection of the eisphora. For an evaluation of capital (timema) in this time. has proposed that the minimum valuation after 378 would be a timema of around 2. threshold) and. While Thomsen 1964: 163. all kinds of property were taken into account (not just immovable property or land). Jones 1957: 28–29. not in the sense that all the members of a class had to pay the same – since the payment was made on the basis of declared capital (the timema. something which is entirely consistent with fourth-century politics. See Lysias. Before 378. the eisphora system established in 428 and based on a certain land property was applied to the group of wealthiest owners that would roughly coincide with the first two census classes and the richest of the third one. Plut. unknown. as subsequently81) –. speaks of 2. This no doubt helped the Athenian wealthiest class who also had to contribute to other liturgies such as the trierarchy (which also underwent a change in 358/7). postulates a very high number (22. Jones 1957: 28. was based on the timema. 18. these classes still kept on being the framework in which the Athenian citizens were economically defined and distributed into several groups. So. See Ste. Since the eisphora proved to be effective when money was lacking.18. speaks of eisphora). 0. Christ 2007: 54. thinks the number of taxpayers after 378 was 6. it is possible the number who paid tax was even lower. but there is some evidence such as the procedure of antidosis. that might indicate the opposite. as it would appear. but in the sense that all the members of each class that 79 Most of the eisphorai of the fourth century were collected at 1 % and the normal rate was 1 or 2 % (although it could sometimes be less. in the exclusion from citizenship of those who had less capital. 28. Hansen 1991: 112–113. perhaps they were all taxed equally. Brun 1983: 19.Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 273 seems to allude to an eisphora system that most authors date to the period between 428 and 378. As a matter of fact. the Athenian eisphora system in the fourth century. 14.000 (with a minimum capital of 25 minas). . Both Rudi Thomsen (1964) and Patrice Brun (1983) give the impression to accept that the system of census classes for raising the eisphora was only used before 378. Christ 2007: 54. during the revision of laws in 403–399 this form of tax collection would have been institutionalized by adapting the Solonian classes to it. Croix 1953: 34–36. when the symmoriai were established. In effect. 80 The number of citizens subject to the eisphora is disputed. With the system of symmoriai of 378. for which reason there would only be 9. 81 Thomsen 1964: 181–183.13.5 % is mentioned (schol. 22. as Pollux’s text would seem to suggest. 823 ff. 47–53. He bases his account primarily on an argumentum e silentio. Croix 1953: 32. but without a strict adequacy to the Solonian classes. Cf. In Aristophanes (Ec. at the same percentage. However. Strauss 1986: 42–43.) a rate of 2. Brun 1983: 21. after which the eisphora became a percentage (generally 1 %)79 of the capital of a group of taxpayers from which the less wealthy would be exempt80.000 in 428). however. at the end of the fourth century. other authors think the number was much lower based on the information in Harpocration (s. 835. not income. Ste. to Ec. Brun 1983: 61–62. Phoc.5. that is.7). in reference to the situation in 386. v.

21. Brun 1983: 37–38. n. Ste. It is possible that prior to 378. Ste. Jones 1957: 28. and perhaps also of a system that differentiated Athenians subject to the charge according to the class to which they 82 According to Thomsen 1964: 176–177.2–3. half a talent. cf. So he had to assume that the eisphora collected in 428 (Th. Brun 1983: 29–32. since Philochorus (FGrHist 328 F 41) says that they were established for the first time during the archonship of Nausinicus. Pollux’s text is of very little use beyond giving us an idea of the role of the census classes in levying the eisphora before 37887. possibly of a pentakosiomedimos. But Pollux does not allow to deduce further information86. 85 As is stated by Gabrielsen 1994: 57. 84 Thomsen had suggested that the system of 100 symmoriai mentioned by Cleidemus (FGrHist 323 F 8) was introduced in Themistocles’ times.5 %). in 378. 87 Several authors think that the text is corrupt or erroneous. both taxation based on the timema and membership of a census class were carried out by the demes (in the same way as the katalogoi)84.19.1) was based on that institution (the pentakosiomedimoi of a symmoria paying one talent). late fourth or early third century) shows that a man from another deme was required to pay a charge in Piraeus because he had property there. together with the Council’s members. Ste. hippeis. zeugitai. 25–26. 86 See e. while for the hippeis and the richest of the zeugitai perhaps the percentage was smaller83. An inscription originating in the deme of Piraeus (IG II2 1214. which was based solely on land and implemented on the basis of information provided by the demes85. of 30 minas in one eisphora and 40 in another). however. according to Th. or even 40 minas. it is said that Apollodoros. 84). . infra. However. 3. had properties in three different demes (Dem. 83). It is no coincidence that it was the members of the demes who. This would not only reveal the existence of greater fortunes in Attica at that time than subsequently (as is assumed by Brun 1983: 19). Hansen 1991: 112–13. drew up the list. the pentakosiomedimnoi would pay a higher percentage on all their capital. Ste. See. In any case. perhaps for the richest (as suggested by Ar. it can be said that Demosthenes (50. and not only on their land. where is mentioned a 2. which are too low to be what each class paid collectively but too high to be what each person paid individually. Croix 1953: 42.39) which. but also in the period prior to 378..19. with the same fiscal functions as the naukrariai (of which there were 50 from Cleisthenes onwards). n. Brun 1983: 32.29: 10. 50. the 200 talents for the eisphora in 428. although written in 354. 823. various authors have rejected the creation of the symmoriai in the fifth century. Lysias. Croix 1953: 60. In this respect. the inhabitants of the demes were well aware of people’s wealth in terms of land. 30. So. as Pollux suggests: pentakosiomedimnoi. 49.8). allude to large sums (Lysias. one talent + half a talent + ten minas for each of the 100 symmoriai. 19. but would also demonstrate that the tax could be more than 1 %. Cf. A similar procedure may well have been operating before the creation of the symmoriai in 378. supra.1 (cf. In the proeisphora of 362.274 MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO paid tax had to pay a proportion of the eisphora to be collected. g. refers to the payment. Cf. could contain a recollection of the payment based on census class.8–9) alludes to an extraordinary eisphora levied in a later period (362). son of Pasion. 3. This could help us to elucidate the figures given by Pollux (8. 83 The sources that mention levying the eisphora during the Peloponnesian War. ten minas82. The problem with his theory is that it seems clear that the symmoriai were not created until 378 (cf. Croix 1953: 41 ff. as Thomsen supposes. Ec. one talent. Croix 1953: 56–62. Perhaps the distinction between census classes would also have served to establish the percentage levied on each census class. which could vary according to the needs of the eisphora. Perhaps something of this can be glimpsed in Isaios (7. Christ 2007: 63 n.130).

and also suggests that in the event of war the eisphora was applied to the rich.7–9. But see Thomsen 1964: 60 ff. So. does not accept a progressive eisphora.157.Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 275 belonged88. in particular. e. So. possibly a fairly small proportion of the sixth. but Xenophon (Oec. Aristophanes (Eq. that is. 21. Hence.59). i. . 2. 29. Brun 1983: 70 ff. attributed to Draco. The main point is that if only those landowners who produced more than 200 measures based on a minimum of 8 ha were subject to this tax after 428 (assuming that fallow would be reduced as much as possible and production intensified to obtain the 200 measures). in proportion not only to their individual wealth but also to the percentage that could be applied in each case depending on their class.. Socrates is depicted as a hoplite (Pl. These “new” zeugitai of the late fifth century could be the georgoi referred to in Aristophanes’ Assembly of Women (197–98). Such properties would be almost double the average plot size of 5 ha owned by middling zeugitai in sixth and fifth centuries. 90 For instance. Xenophon (Oec. when the “laws of Solon” were revised in 403. 28. 221a). but he is writing a posteriori: perhaps Alcibiades’ intention was to relieve the constant burden of the eisphora on the Athenian rich (since many fortunes would have been lost: Brun 1983: 26).4). which meant that the zeugite class was redefined as those who produced 200 measures or more. where a proportion of 1/5 is mentioned (cf.and fifth-century zeugitai. Symp. not all the zeugitai but only those with a considerable amount of land were taxed. moreover. Croix 1953: 56. namely those who owned 8 ha or more of land and produced 200 or more measures. Against Aphobus. Dem. although it seems fairly clear that after the reform of 378 the percentage applied was the same for all of them89. any kind of political modification. This eisphora system would remain in force until the reform of 378 because of the need for funds in the years when democracy was being restored and. It did not imply.4. but he offers an interesting theory (followed by Jones 1957: 25–26) for explaining the conflicting passages of Dem. a member of the class of thetes (van Wees 2002: 68.3) says that his possessions were only worth 5 minas. And perhaps the class of the hippeis was also remodelled and defined as that whose members obtained between 300 and 500 measures. 27. This situation may be associated with the first stage of the Peloponnesian War and with the ascendancy of the more radical political line. according to our view.6) implies that Socrates did not pay eisphora. These accounts conflict with that of Diodorus Siculus (13. 2. 923–26) seems to show that only the rich are registered to pay the eisphora. the wealthy zeugitai who had started paying the eisphora in 428 would constitute a small proportion of the class. it is reasonable to assume that this system was introduced at the height of the radical democracy (since most of the peasant-hoplites as well as the thetes were excluded)90. for not attending the Council. 89 Ste. accepts this figure to say that the thetes fought as hoplites voluntarily). during the Corinthian War. even if they probably raised some horses. who appear to be aligned with the rich and against the poor 88 Also suggested by Aristotle’s Athenian Constitution (4. in 403 the economic criterion for determining membership of the zeugite class would have been redefined and raised by including in it only the wealthiest part of the zeugite class (identified until then by the criterion of possessing a yoke of oxen).1) concerning the system of fines. which would be introduced later.64. For his part. It could even be that some “old” hippeis (until then identified by the criterion of owning horses) were from then on included in the “new” zeugite class because they obtained less than 300 measures.

fiscal and military role completely. zeugitw'n kai. thinks that changes in the army (with the creation of the ephebeia) were introduced at the beginning of the fourth century. It should also be remembered that the bulk of the “old” zeugitai had been exempted from paying the tax and that landownership would be an important criterion in that restoration. the legislation adopted in 403 (enacted by the nomothetai. Dion. However. 27). Rosivach 2002a: 45–46. But these georgoi could also do so due to economic motives. Rosivach 2002a: 45. Croix 1953: 41 ff. all the middling peasants possibly identified with 91 Lys.4. as also happened with the other classes. And from then on. i. since the “old” zeugitai who would have been included in the thetic class at the beginning of the fourth century. eliminating the differences between hippeis. Perhaps this was the direct consequence of the rise of the new zeugite class after 403 including those with 200 measures of produce. not by the assembly) might have caused certain troubling political consequences. 34. Hansen 1991: 108–109. 92 Hansen 1991: 88. 32. 94 Cf. Ste. . zeugitai and thetes by recruiting everyone equally. Lys. particularly after 378. as may be inferred from the attempt by Phormisios to exclude 5.276 MIRIAM VALDÉS GUÍA / JULIÁN GALLEGO for ideological reasons. The zeugitai of the fourth century would be the richest of the “old” Solonian zeugite class. supra. since the fact that they launched ships. Although the prerequisites for inclusion on the hoplite list are not known. since membership to a census class in order to participate in political life began to be systematically ignored92 and was no longer relevant for election to office93. cf. who postulates that the change occurred after the Corinthian War. trivtou tevlou~ th'~ kaloumevnh~ iJppavdo~. which had originally included all those who owned a moderate landholding and a yoke of oxen. the zeugitai and the third class called hippas”95.~ d∆ ajrca. tw'n eujpovrwn katevsthse pavsa~. even if it failed91. the zeugitai gradually lost their political. see Christ 2001.~ ejk tw'n gnwrivmwn kai. The political line that originated during the war and the climate of the restoration of democracy in 403. But the effects were far from serious for most of the “old” zeugitai. Moreover. Pol. It should be pointed out. 93 This may well have been one of the factors that led to the change of the conscription system. It would be precisely because of this situation that Aristophanes suggested there was a rift between these two sections of the citizen population. as assumed by Hansen 1991: 115–16. Plausibly. did not lose the capacity of being chosen to hold the offices. the owners of 4–5 ha land plots and even more who were zeugitai during the sixth and fifth centuries would have become members of the class of thetes. Hal. The redefinition of the zeugite class could even have helped to accelerate the process by which the census classes lost their political role. 1274a 18–21: ta. e. in this respect. n. perhaps in the fifth century these were membership of the zeugite class and family property known to the demarchs. should be considered in this context. in which the moderates played an important role. In this respect. that the last reference to a census class in an inscription is that of the year 387/6 (cf.000 landless Athenians from citizenship. the formal restrictions against the thetes in the election for upper magistracies such as the archonship became obsolete94. if the census classes were involved in that system before the change. 95 Arist. It is on the basis of the situation of the “new” fourth-century zeugitai that in Politics Aristotle can say that Solon “appointed all the officials from the notables (gnorimoi) and the well-to-do (euporoi): the pentakosiomedimnoi. ejk tw'n pentakosiomedivmnwn kai. would mean that the very rich landowners and the well-off farmers had to pay tax. which did not affect the poor economically.

no longer used in his own time. when the new legislation revising the “laws of Solon” came into effect. who argues that the pentakosiomedimnos’ five hundred medimnoi per year would not imply a concrete amount of produce but a valuation of the land’s worth. this group would be equivalent to. . Consequently. The restoration of democracy in 403. Up to a point. Even so. however. that also doubtless entailed the possession of a minimum quantity of land known or acknowledged by everyone. including plots cultivated by his tenants. or at least coincide with. most of the hoplites. since during the fourth century membership of the census classes was not taken into account in the election of officials to the magistracies and to perform other duties. particularly in the Athenian Constitution and in Pollux. when a system of eisphora was established. which obviously implied owning at least a certain amount of land. Probably. and whether this remained the same in the fifth century. the political consequences of the new legislation concerning the census classes with regard to the election of magistrates was not particularly important. appears to be refuted by the Athenian Constitution (26. The philosopher perhaps wanted to indicate that only the richest landowners (those with leisure) could devote themselves to politics. Conclusions Our main conclusion is that in Athens during the sixth and fifth centuries there was a broad class of middling peasants that were politically recognised and formed the Solonian zeugite class. who possibly worked from the same source as Aristotle. Much remains unknown and cannot be clarified due to lack of sources. We do not know. such as owning horses or a yoke of oxen. This was confirmed with the restoration of democracy and led to the legislation of 403 redefining the Solonian classes to adapt them to this system. Aristotle’s distortion of the composition of this class arises from his projection back to the sixth century of measures of production drawn up in a special situation. something of the fundamental characteristics that defined the classes at an earlier time was retained: raising horses in the case of the hippeis and possessing a yoke of oxen in the case of the zeugitai. 200). This picture.Athenian Zeugitai and the Solonian Census Classes: New Reflections and Perspectives 277 those able to afford hoplite armour.2) where the zeugitai can only hold minor offices and were not eligible for the archonship until 457. and projects them back to Solon. is plausibly the most likely time for dating the changes to the census classes (still on the basis of land) in order to adapt them to the tax 96 See Rosivach 2005. The idea that a fundamental part of the Athenian zeugitai of the sixth and fifth centuries consisted of middling peasants cannot be rejected based solely on the measures given by Aristotle and later by Pollux. in particular whether Solon established a fixed minimum output (or amount of land) for each class and not just for the pentakosiomedimnoi96. 300. the first stage of the Peloponnesian War. and that this had been the case in Solon’s times. but membership of a census class was probably determined on the basis of an element indicating status. in the second half of the fourth century Aristotle brings together the measures possibly defined in the legislation of 403 (500.

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