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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the hereditary landowning aristocracy of Athens in ancient Greece.

The eupatridae were one of three groups of the free population (the other two being the geomoroi, who were small landowners, and the demiurgi, artisans), which, according to tradition, were formed under Theseus around the 13th century B.C. Between the eighth and sixth centuries B.C., as social stratification proceeded along property lines, the eupatridae gained possession of the best lands, reduced the sharecroppers working these lands to subservience, and concentrated political power in their own hands, they alone being eligible for the office of archon and for membership in the Areopagus. The eupatridae lost their privileges as a result of the democratic reforms of Solon in 594–593 B.C. and of Cleisthenes at the end of the sixth century B.C.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.