In the ancient Greece, the Périèques (in Greek old Περίοικοι / Períoikoi ) was the free inhabitants but not citizens of the Laconie and the Messénie. Their name means “those of the circumference” (of περί / perí , “around” and οἶκος / oikos , “dwelling, house”).
The origin of Périèques is not certain. An old thesis makes of Périèques old the Achaens invaded by the Doriens: where the Achaens of the plain would have become the Hilotes, those of the mountains would have become Périèques. The thesis is not very probable. It is more probable to imagine a colonization by Sparte of the neighborhoods, thesis already defended by Isocrate in its Panathénaïque . There are some exceptions to this theory, the Messénie for example. Moreover, it is difficult to believe that Sparte could with it only found the hundred périèques villages. There thus was certainly a mixture of conquest, colonization ex nihilo , and colonization of already existing sites.
Périèques are the inhabitants of the laconiennes cities and messéniennes, Sparte and Amyclées put aside. They belong to the State lacédémonien but are not citizens Spartans, and are subjected to the suzerainty of Sparte. If their free statute is not the subject of controversies, the situation is less clear concerning the precise nature of their subjection to Sparte, in particular in comparison with the allied cities and the foreigners. In the same way, their political organization and social is badly known.
Their territory, Περίοικις / Períoikis , formed part with whole share of the territory Spartan. Their cities are described like quoted ( poleis ) by Hérodote (VII, 234), Xénophon ( Helléniques , VI, 5,21) or by Thucydide (V, 54,1).
They have the right to have grounds, and belong to the civic army as well as the Equal ones: they are Hoplite S and in the navy, épibaste S. On the other hand, they cannot become magistrates nor to take part in the assembly. They are subjected to the éphore S. According to Isocrate (12, 181), those can make them carry out themselves, without passing by the Gérousie. Following the example allies, they must follow the foreign policy of Sparte, but they do not profit from the right to veto of the members of the Ligue of the Peloponnese.
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