Ancient Greece: A Political, Social, and Cultural History

By Sarah B. Pomeroy; Stanley M. Burstein et al. | Go to book overview

GLOSSARY

Academy --The school founded by Plato at Athens during the 380s BC in the groves sacred to the hero Academus. Its most famous pupil was Aristotle. The Academy continued to function until the Christian emperor Justinian ordered it closed, along with other pagan schools, in 529 AD.

acropolis --Literally, the "upper city," the citadel of a city or town. Many citadel hills had been the sites of Mycenaean palaces and remained as special places in polis life. The most famous is the Acropolis of Athens, the religious center of the city, which was magnificently adorned with temples in the fifth century.

agora --In Homer, the term for the "place of gathering," the assembly of the people. In the city-state period it denoted the public space of a city or town, being both the marketplace and civic center. Lingering in the agora was the best way to inform oneself about public affairs, make business contacts, and collect gossip.

Amphictyonic Council --The governing body of an ancient league of Delphi's neighbors, the Delphic Amphictyony, that administered the oracle. The Amphictyony also conducted the Pythian games and dealt with transgressions against the oracle and its territory. The members were ethnē, of which the most important were the Thessalians, Phocians, Boeotians, Dorians, and Ionians. Votes were unequally divided among the members, so that Philip II's acquisition of the twelve Thessalian and two Phocian votes gave him a majority of the council's twenty-two votes and control of the Amphictyony.

archon --A common title (meaning "leader") for the highest ranking magistrate in the early city-states. During the Classical period, even when the stratēgoi had become the most important officials in Athens, nine archons continued to be chosen (by lot) to serve judicial and administrative functions. The archontate was used in larger contexts as well; for example, as the title of the civil and military head of the Thessalian League. This archon was elected by the League assembly and served for life.

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