The Political Organization of Attica: A Study of the Demes, Trittyes, and Phylai, and Their Representation in the Athenian Council

by John S. Traill

Hesperia Supplement 14
150 pp, 15 tables, 3 maps (1 in color)
8.5" x 11"
Paper, ISBN: 978-0-87661-514-0
Publication Date: Nov 1975
Status: Out of Print


Using inscriptions recording council membership recovered by excavations in the Athenian Agora, the author presents a detailed reconstruction of the political geography of Attica. The reforms of the 6th-century B.C. politician Cleisthenes organized Athenian citizens into ten tribes (phylai), divided into thirty “thirds” (trittyes) and 139 local units (demes). The author shows how this visionary arrangement was maintained almost unchanged until at least 200 B.C. and provided the basis for the whole representative system at the center of ancient democracy. Charts and tables document the evidence in great detail, but the whole arrangement is made easier to understand by the inclusion of a color map, the basis for almost all scholarship on Athenian politics since this book was first published.