Zeugitai


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Zeugitai

 

(from Greek zéugos, a paired team of oxen), in ancient Athens, the third census group (after the pentacosiomedimni and the knights [hippēs]), as defined by the reforms of Solon in 594–593 B.C.

The zeugitai were those citizens who obtained an annual harvest ranging from 200 to 300 medimni (1 medimnus equaling between 41 and 52 liters). During the sixth and first half of the fifth century B.C. the zeugitai evidently formed the overwhelming majority of the citizens of Attica and were primarily medium and small landowners. In wartime they served in the army as hoplites. At first they could only be elected to the lowest offices, but under Cleisthenes (end of the sixth century B.C.) they gained the right to be elected strategoi; in 457 B.C. they became eligible for the archonship.

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Gschnitzer, 1987: 109-11 y Dominguez Monedero, 2001: 56) y, finalmente, permitieron su integracion plena a la ciudad como hoplitas dentro de la clase de los zeugitai a la que se le otorgaron importantes competencias en la administracion de la polis y en la toma de decisiones (Arist.
Sirva de ejemplo citar el pago de un salario a los miembros de los tribunales, misthos dikastikos; la disminucion de las atribuciones del Consejo del Areopago que hace Efialtes; la apertura del arcontado a la tercera clase censitaria, zeugitai, en el 457/6 a.
Both Lynette Mitchell and Lin Foxhall contribute arguments for not overestimating the difference Solon made, the latter making a particularly striking case for believing that the zeugitai enfranchised by his legislation were quite a small group of very well-off farmers, even the poorest of whom owned three or four times as much land as a modern Greek subsistence farmer (129-32).