Glossary item Definition
adyton the innermost part of a sanctuary, literally “not to be entered”.
agonothetes literally, “the one who sets up a contest”; an official or private patron responsible for providing for one or more athletic, musical or other contests in a community; the individual could also be responsible for the administration and management of the contest(s).
aisymnetes a term of debated etymology designating a prominent ruler or official in several Greek cities; the title is common notably at Miletos.
apometra priestly emoluments, literally “measured out”.
architheoros head of a state embassy; see also theoria, theoros.
archontes the presiding magistrates of a city.
athlothesia literally, the “setting up of a contest"; the term could be used to designate the tenure of the office of athlothetes, an official responsible for judging contests and awarding prizes.
basileus a chief religious magistrate; in Athens, one of the nine archontes, magistrate in command of religious matters.
chiliastys a civic subdivision found in many Greek communities.
choinix a dry measure of capacity, ca. 1.1 l.
chous a liquid measure of capacity, ca. 3.3 l.
demarchos the chief official of a people (demos) or deme.
demiourgoi major officials of a city, most often found in Dorian states.
epimeletes a supervisor or caretaker, usually appointed for a specific task, whether as an annual official or ad hoc.
epimenioi officials temporarily appointed for a year or a specific occasion (literally “monthly officials”).
epistates the president of a board or assembly; in Athens chosen daily by lot from the prytaneis.
euthyna a public examination of the conduct of officials
euthynos a public examiner overseeing the examination of accounts which every public official rendered when going out of office; see also logistai.
genos a set of families or individuals who identified themselves as a group; such a group additionally had a specific plural name denoting kinship, whether of a geographical character or implying descent from a common ancestor.
gymnasiarchos the official in charge of a gymnasium.
gynaikonomos the supervisor of women.
hekteus a dry measure of capacity, a sixth part of the medimnos, ca. 8.7 l.
hieromnemones religious officials whose functions varied widely, whether as record-keepers or managers of sacred matters.
hieronomos a temple-warden; see also neokoros.
hieropoios an overseer of temples and performer of sacred rites.
hierothytai literally ‘sacred sacrificers’, probably analogous in function to the hieropoios.
horistai officials appointed to supervise boundaries and to settle related disputes.
hydrophoros literally, a “water-carrier”; this normally designated a religious function and was the title of an important female priestly official at Didyma.
kolakretai Athenian officials in charge of the state treasury.
kosmetes in Athens, this official was responsible for training the ephebes over the course of two years; kosmetai are found in other Greek cities, sometimes in a liturgical capacity.
kotyle a liquid or dry measure of capacity, ca. 272.8 ml.
logistai auditors, responsible for the accounts of magistrates going out of office; see also euthyna, euthynos.
mantis a seer or diviner, working privately or for a sanctuary; the term promantis was more specifically reserved for women or men who spoke oracles on behalf of gods, e.g. at Delphi; compare the term prophet.
mastros a financial official, important in some cities.
medimnos a dry measure of capacity, ca. 52.4 l.
megaron (megara) pits sacred to Demeter and Persephone for making offerings (such as of piglets during the Thesmophoria).
metoikos a “metic” or foreign resident in Greek cities, who did not have the full status of a citizen.
mina/mna a unit of weight which varied at different times in Greek history; the Attic and Aeginetan standards were usually ca. 436.6 grams; the mina/mna was also a monetary value, equivalent in the Athenian standard to 1/60 of a talent or 100 drachmae.
monarchos title of the principal official on the island of Kos, literally "monarch" or "sole ruler".
neokoros an official custodian or caretaker, in charge of a sanctuary’s infrastructure.
neopoios an official, literally “in charge of constructing a temple”, but often having very varied administrative and sacred functions; see also hieropoios.
oikos a household or a (occasionally cultic) building.
oxybathon a liquid or dry measure of capacity, ca. 68.2 ml.
paidonomos literally, a “guardian of boys”, this state or gymnasion official supervised the education of children up to the age of ephebes and sometimes including that age category.
paraphylax see phylax.
patra a familial group; see also genos.
pentekostys literally a military body of fifty people or a ‘fiftieth’ division, also employed as a term for a subvision of a city or deme.
perioikoi people neighbouring a city, but typically non-citizens.
phatra/phatria a group or subcivic community; literally, “a brotherhood”.
phylax a watcher or guard, with varying degrees of status.
phyle a tribe, one of the main subdivisions of a city or other group.
poletai officials who farmed out taxes and other revenues, sold confiscated property, and entered into contracts for public works.
praktor an official whose particular tasks were to recover claims and to exact fines; in Athens, each year, ten praktores were chosen by lot, who would keep a register of debtors to the state; officials with the same name existed in many other Greek communities.
proedria the privilege of receiving a front seat at public games, in theatres, and in public assemblies.
promantis see mantis.
prospermia a form of ritual sprinkling with grain.
prostates the president or presiding officer of a body.
prytanis a president of the Boule, the civic council, usually serving alongside fellow prytaneis; in Athens, these were a group of fifty men chosen by lot from each of the ten phylai, and each group served as prytanis for one-tenth of the year.
stephanephoroi the title of certain magistrates who had the right to wear crowns when in office, often priests who served as eponymous officials of the city.
strategos the leader or commander of an army, a general.
theokolos i.e. a kind of priest, literally “the servant of a god”.
theoria the sending of a state and sacred embassy to an oracle or to games.
theorodokos an individual who receives and hosts theoroi.
theoroi sacred ambassadors sent by a city as its representatives, for instance to consult a distant oracle, to attend major festivals or to offer sacrifices at a distant shrine.
theoxenia the ritual of entertaining a god or gods by setting out a meal; for this purpose, a table was spread and a banqueting couch laid out for the divine guests; the meal would eventually be shared by the priest and/or worshippers.
thiasos a group of worshippers in a cult.
timouchos the name of a magistrate in certain Greek cities.
triakas an association of thirty persons (or families) as a part of a deme.
trittoia / trittua the sacrifice of three animals, often an ox followed by pig and a sheep.
trittys in Athens, a body comprising a third of the phyle.
zakoros an attendant in a temple; see neokoros.