Associations of hetairoi (‘comrades’). The hetaireiai best known to us are clubs in Athens, esp. of young, upper‐class men, which combined a social function with a political: the furtherance of the ambitions of their leading members, and mutual assistance in the lawcourts and at elections. They are sometimes called synōmosiai, ‘sworn groups’, from the oaths of loyalty which might be required. The mutilation of the herms in 415 bc was said to be the work of a hetaireia to which Andocides belonged; and the informal political activity which led to the oligarchic regimes of the Four Hundred in 411 and the Thirty Tyrants in 404 was conducted in part through the hetaireiai. In reaction against that, the revised law code of the 4th cent. included provisions against subversive hetaireiai. See also clubs, greek.
Subjects: Classical Studies.