Frank William Walbank and P. J. Rhodes

in Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Classics

Published online December 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780199381135 | DOI:

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Dēmiourgoi, ‘public workers’, are in *Homer such independent craftsmen as metalworkers, potters, and masons, and also seers, doctors, bards, and heralds. *Plato (1) and *Xenophon (1) use the word thus. More generally in Classical Greece the word is used sometimes in that sense, sometimes as the title of major officials in a state; though perhaps of greatest antiquity in *Elis and *Achaea, they are most often found in Dorian states. In the *Achaean Confederacy they formed a council of ten, who assisted the *stratēgos; the *Arcadian League imitated this organization, based originally on local representation. Outside mainland Greece, dēmiourgoi are found in *Crete and several Aegean islands, and in the Roman period in *Asia Minor. In Athens there are references to a division of the citizen body into *eupatridai, farmers, and dēmiourgoi, and to the involvement of those classes in the appointment of the archons after 580 bce (Ath.

Article.  259 words. 

Subjects: Economic History ; Greek and Roman Archaeology

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