Immagini della pagina

The most famous of these associations was the Delphian The Delphic amphictyony which came to be denoted by the general amphictyony. name of the Amphictyonic Council. Like the Calaurian The association, it was an intertribal or international union, Council

Amphictyonic inasmuch as it was composed of twelve kindred tribes or nationalities (@Ovn). There appears to be a lack of unanimity as to the names of these tribes, but, in all probability, they were the following: Thessalians, Dorians, Phocians, Locrians, Boeotians, Ionians, Perrhaebi, Magnetes, Oetaeans, Phthiotian Achaeans, Dolopes, and Malians. The very names point to the great antiquity of the Council. The names of several of these tribes scarcely ever appear in the historical period, and the fact that the Dorians assumed an equal position with the Malians and the Dolopes shows that the Council was in existence before the Dorian conquest of Peloponnesus. The association comprised also the colonies of these tribes. Although it is sometimes described as the common assemblage of the Greeks, το κοινόν των Ελλήνων συνέδριον, or, in Cicero's phrase, commune Graeciae concilium,': it was not a fully representative body, as some of the peoples of Hellas, such as the Arcadians, the Aetolians, the Dryopians, and probably the Achaeans of the Peloponnese were excluded, though they had the right to make use of the temple of Delphi.

The Council assembled twice annually, at Ther- Repre. mopylae in the spring, and at Delphi in the autumn. Each of the tribes possessed two votes, so that the maximum number of votes was twenty-four, and all were of equal force. The various towns belonging to each tribe must in some way have arranged amongst themselves as to what individuals were to be chosen



1 In regard to the list of the members, there are several discrepancies in the statements of Aeschines, Pausanias, and Harpocration.—Cf. Tittmann, op. cit. ss. 3-5. 2 Demosth. De coron, 155.

8 Cic. De invent, ii. 23. 4 Aeschin. De fals. ug. 16: και τούτων έδειξα έκαστον έθνος ισόψηφoν γινόμενον.





delegates. In some cases, it may be, a leading city may have been appointed either permanently or for a definite period to despatch deputies as representing the entire tribe ; in other cases, the towns may have fulfilled this function in rotation. In any event, there is no clear information on the point, which therefore remains purely conjectural. There were two kinds of representatives. The hieromnemones (iepounuoves),--sometimes described also as 'Αμφικτιόνων οι σύνεδροι-- and the pylagorae (πυλαγόραι), who were also called αγορατροί. It is not definitely known what their respective functions and positions were. From a passage of Aeschines it would appear that the hieromnemones constituted the official, authoritative assembly, and were alone empowered to transact the business and draw up the resolutions. And it was they also who determined the limits of the sacred territory (designated in an inscription 8 lepà xópa) relating to the common temples. Demosthenes, however, mentions a decree and speaks of the resolution relating thereto as having been passed by the pylagorae. Again, Harpocration regards both classes of officials as the deputies of the cities. There were also a secretary, or secretaries, and a herald, iepokúpuţ, who seems to have been a permanent official of the association. In addition to these, in cases of special emergency a general assembly of the votaries was held.

The objects and functions of the Delphic amphictyony

were, like those of all other amphictyonies, partly amphictyony. religious and partly political ; but, on the whole, the

1 Aeschin. c. Ctesiph. 113.

2 Aeschin. c. Cuiph. 124 : τέλος δε ψηφίζονται ήκειν τους ιερομνήμονας έχοντας δόγμα. ... 3 Corp. inscrip. Graec. 1171.

4 Demosth. De coron. 197. 55.. ιερομνήμονες: οι πεμπόμενοι εις το των 'Αμφικτυόνων συνέδριον εξ εκάστης πόλεως των του συνεδρίου μετεχουσών ούτω καλούνται Kadourta..... (Ed. G. Dindorf, Oxonii, 1853, vol. i. p. 159.) – Cf. 5.0, údai, ibid. p. 266.

6 Aeschin. C. Ctesiρή. 124 : εκκλησίαν γαρ ονομάζουσιν, όταν μη μόνον τους πυλαγόρους και τους ιερομνήμονας συγκαλέσωσιν, αλλά και τους συνθύοντας και χρωμένους τω θεώ.

Objects and functions of the Delphic


former kind predominated. In the first place, the temples concerned and their worship, together with the relative games and festivals, were to be preserved by it, and the sacred territory defended against aggression or pollution ; and secondly, it was to adjudge on disputed matters of international conduct, which could be readily decided by reference to the dictates of a common religion, and, more especially, to mitigate the extreme terrors and hardships of war when waged between any of the communities represented. As an example of its purely religious guardianship may be mentioned the case of Peloponnesian delegates (theoroi) who, proceeding to Delphi to consult the oracle, were maltreated by the inhabitants of Megara. The aggrieved parties having laid their complaints before it, the Council held, on the ground that a mission of theoroi was of a sacred character, ιεράς της θεωρίας ούσης,8 and their persons inviolable, that the accused were guilty of sacrilege ; and consequently some of the offenders were condemned to death, and others to banishment.

Frequently the main principles which the Council Oath and undertook to enforce were explicitly formulated and imprecation of ratified by a formal oath. The use of the oath and of the imprecation in connection with the entering into alliances, and the establishment of other contractual obligations has already been considered. In the case of the Delphic amphictyony the formula adopted by the confederates has been preserved by Aeschines, and is one of the very earliest documents relating to alliances between western peoples. The members swore they would not destroy any town belonging to the Amphictyonic association, nor cut it off from running water, whether in time of war or of peace; that they

1 Strabo, ix. 3. 7 (p. 643 Α): ... περί τε των κοινών βουλευσόμενον και του ιερού την επιμέλειαν έξον κοινοτέραν....

2 Dion. Hal. iv. 25: νόμους καταστησάμενος έξω των ιδίων, ών εκάστη πόλις είχε, τους κοινούς άπασιν.

3 Plut. Quaest. Graec. 59. 4 See vol. i. pp. 118 seq., 386, 388 seq.,

394, 406.


would declare war against people violating this law, and
would destroy their cities ; that they would punish by
every means in their power all who plundered the
property of the god or those who were a party thereto.

In another oration? Aeschines gives the formula of
imprecation pronounced by the Amphictyons in the
time of Solon. It served as a conclusion to the oath,
and reinforced the religious sanction. In actual practice
the jurisdiction of the Council was often exercised to a
wider extent than was ostensibly prescribed by the
content of the oath. Thus the first sacred war (596-
586 B.c.) was waged apparently for the narrower
object of defending the rights and dignity of the temple
of Delphi, but in reality it was undertaken on account
of wider issues. The Phocian town of Crissa, situated
on the heights of Mount Parnassus near the Delphic
sanctuary, possessed a strip of territory extending to the
Corinthian Gulf, where it had the port of Cirrha. Here
most of the inhabitants of foreign States landed who
came to consult the oracle ; and the Cirrhaeans took
advantage of their position to impose exorbitant tolls
upon the pilgrims, and to maltreat them in other

ways. The Council of the Amphictyons therefore made war on the offenders, captured their city, razed it to the ground, consecrated its territory to the god, and ordained that it should lie waste for ever. Similarly the second sacred war (357-346 B.c.) involved larger matters than the mere protection of the privileges of the Delphian temple.

On account of certain differences between Phocis and Thebes, the refusal of the Phocians to aid Epaminondas in his campaign in


1 Aeschin. De fals. eg. Ι15 : ... μηδεμίαν πόλιν των 'Αμφικτυονίδων ανάστατον ποιήσειν μηδ' υδάτων ναματιαίων είρξειν μήτ' εν πολέμω μήτ' εν ειρήνη, εάν δέ τις ταύτα παραβή, στρατεύσειν επί τούτον και τας πόλεις αναστήσειν, και εάν τις ή συλα τα του θεού ή συνειδη τι ή βουλεύση τι κατά των ιερών, τιμωρήσεις και χειρι και Todi kai pwvý kai táoy duvápel.—Cf. Barbeyrac, Hist. des anciens traités, no. 1.

2 Aeschin. c. Ctesiph. 109-113. For this see vol. i. p. 388.

the Peloponnese, and hostilities against Boeotia after that general's death, the Thebans prevailed upon the Amphictyonic Council to inflict a heavy fine on the Phocians, because they had cultivated a part of the Cirrhaean plain, contrary to the ordinance. The Phocians remonstrating, the fine was doubled by the Amphictyons, who also threatened to reduce them to slavery if they still refused to pay it. Driven to desperation, the Phocians seized the Delphic temple, defeated the Locrians who came to its rescue, destroyed the records containing the sentence of the Council, enlisted the sympathy of Athens and Sparta, defeated the Thebans and Thessalians, and were themselves afterwards vanquished. Philip then intervened, posing as the champion of the Delphic god, and became master of Thessaly. Demosthenes' appeal for the establishment of a confederacy to expel the invader failed. Subsequently Philip compelled the Phocians to surrender, took Delphi, and convoked the Amphictyons to pronounce sentence on those who had been concerned in the sacrilege committed there. The Council decreed that the Phocian cities should be destroyed, and their inhabitants dispersed into villages, each containing not more than fifty houses, and that they should restore the treasures of the temple by annual payments. Sparta's privileges in the Amphictyonic proceedings were revoked, and the two votes of the Phocians were transferred to Philip, who was also to share with the Thebans and the Thessalians the honour of presiding at the Pythian games, so that Macedon thus became at this time the leading power in Greece.

Hence we see how various political matters were Not exclusively necessarily, interwoven with the seemingly exclusive religious. religious jurisdiction of the Amphictyonic Council. Beginning with the practice of pronouncing on charges as to infractions of interstatal or international rights of a sacred description, the Council gradually assumed competence in regard to divers non-religious questions, and occasionally exercised control in political matters of

« IndietroContinua »