The Archontat is the period during which a Archonte was in load. With Athens, the archontat was initially a transformation of the royalty, surrounded by legendary details. In 683, is instituted an annual college of nine archontes, of which the three first shared the old prerogatives of the royalty. The Archonte éponyme (giving its name to the year) was the guard of the widows and the orphans, the guard of the rights of the families. The Archonte-king , in charge of the religious functions, judged the crimes of impiété and homicide. The Polémarque ordered the army, and judged between the citizens and the foreigners. The last six, the Thesmothète S , dealt with all the other causes.
All were originally selected among the eupatrides or the noble ones. But Solon made archontat the privilege of the first class of the citizens, richest. Towards 487, Aristide made it available to all. The archontes were drawn with the fate (one by tribe), and their person was crowned; their crown of Myrte made them recognize. To their exit of load, they entered to the Aréopage. The archontat lost of its importance towards the end of, but remained a long time, and of the archontes are mentioned until our era.
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