Date of Award

1986

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

History

Supervisor

D.J. Geagan

Language

English

Abstract

The magistrates, priests and families attested between 167/6 B.C. and A.D. 13/4 belong to a governing class which may be regarded as a large civic class and several partly overlapping elites: a political elite, comprised of the members of the Areopagus; as well as a religious elite, a liturgical elite, a military (or ephebic elite) and a cultural-educational elite. The political elite is the most exclusive segment of the governing class. The other elites and the civic class form a descending hierarchy of peripheral families. In the course of seven chapters, the following conclusions are presented: (1) the governing class is in a constant state of flux as new families are recruited from below or through the admission of new citizens to Athens; (2) the analysis of the careers (or sequence of offices held by the members of the governing class) shows that certain types of offices are usually held at a particular age or point in an individual's public life, and changes in the number and type of offices available to an individual reflect changes in the nature of political life at Athens during this period; (3) during the generation following the acquisition of Delos in 167/6 B.C., pro-Roman families of the established aristocracy are predominant in the ranks of the governing class at both Athens and on Delos; (4) these families soon decline and the recruitment and composition of the governing class evolve during the transition to the second generation following c. 130 B.C.; (5) the revolution of 88/7 B.C. is an indirect consequence of demographic changes at Athens during the preceding generation; (6) during the Roman civil wars the governing class is found to be divided into competing factions; (7) finally, the emergence of a new and primarily hereditary governing elite may be documented during the reign of Augustus. An appendix tabulates all dated Athenian magistrates (and inscriptions) during this period. Other appendices discuss several chronological difficulties, the ephebic instructors and undated archons.

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