Dēmos · Classical Athenian Democracy · a Stoa Publication
→ Demoi of demes.
Amy C. Smith, edition of January 18 2003
page 9 of 26
Discussion: The earliest extant image of Demos may be a young, unbearded youth on a relief decorating a document from Eleusis, the “Rhetoi Bridge Decree” . In this relief the youthful male figure, dressed in a himation, stands with the Eleusinian divinities, Demeter and Persephone, and the city goddess, Athena. If the male figure was meant to represents Demos, as originally suggested by Olga Alexandri-Tzachou (in LIMC 3, 378-79 s.v. “Demos” no. 42), he would not represent the Athenian Demos, for his appearance is far too youthful, but rather the Demos of the deme of Eleusis, invented for this particular purpose. The illustration of the youthful Demos of Eleusis might have been intended to indicate that the deme of Eleusis was relatively young, as were the demoi of Roman cities such as Aphrodisias (see LIMC 3, 376 nos. 1-2, pl. 271). Since Eleusis and Athens were joined before the
A labelled Demos is shown on a the relief of a decree probably from the deme Aixone , and it is thought that he must then represent the Demos of Aixone. The Demos of Acharnai is conjectured to be represented on . In these reliefs the Demoi, whose forms are similar to that of the Demos of Athens on decree reliefs, represent the political assembly of the local deme, and serve the same representative function as the Demos of Athens on the Panathenian honorary decrees.
A relief (in the Church of St. Lydakis, Athens) found at Menidi, Attica, from an honorary deme decree, probably from Acharnai,
page 9 of 26