Miletos: the bouleuterion

miletos_16

Bouleuterion, Miletos © David Gill

The bouleuterion at Miletos lies behind a small open courtyard. Access to the seating was via two stairways. The capacity seems to have been four approximately 1500 citizens. It was originally roofer with four internal supporting columns.

A dedicatory inscription shows that it was a benefaction of king Antiochos Epiphanes, and therefore dated to the late 170s or early 160s BC.

Priene: Bouleuterion

priene_9-edit

Bouleuterion, Priene © David Gill

The bouleuterion at Priene in western Turkey is particularly well preserved. It dates to c. 150 BC. There are 16 rows of seats on the north side, and 10 each on the west and east side. The building was designed to hold approximately 640 individuals, suggesting its role as the space for the council or boule.

An altar decorated with boukrania stands in the centre of the space.

The archaeology of ostracism

kerameik_1223-edit

Ostraka from the Eridanos in the Kerameikos © David Gill

German excavations in the Kerameikos, in the bed of the river Eridanos, revealed major deposits of pot sherds or ostraka with the incised names of individuals. They include:

  • Aristeides Lysimachou, candidate in the 480s
  • Kallias Kratiou, candidate in the 480s
  • Megakles Hippokratous, candidate in the 480s [or later]
  • Themistokles Neokleous, candidate in the 480s [or later]
  • Kimon Miltiadou, candidate in the mid 5th century

Although in some cases the date of the (successful) ostracism is known, the individual could have been a candidate in earlier voting.

These ostraka were used in the process of ostracism in the Athenian democracy to restrict the power of a person who had been seen as becoming too powerful. If sufficient votes were cast against an individual they were forced to go into exile.

Note that some of these ostraka come from the same pot.

Reference

Lewis, D. (1974). The Kerameikos Ostraka. Zeitschrift Für Papyrologie Und Epigraphik, 14, 1-4. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/20180644

See also:

Lang, M. (1990). Ostraka. The Athenian Agora, 25, Iii-188. doi:10.2307/3601999

The Tholos at Athens

agora_1259-edit

The tholos in the Athenian Agora © David Gill

The tholos is located at the southern end of a line of buildings linked to the Athenian democracy. These are positioned on the west side of the Agora, tucked into the Kolonos Agoraios.

The tholos was constructed in the 460s BC, and served as the headquarters of executive of the council (boule) that was situated in an adjacent building.

agora_1287-edit

The Athenian Agora and Akropolis © David Gill

Further details and reconstruction from the American School of Classical Studies at Athens [ASCSA].