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Last Updated on 24 Feb 2017

Author: Ilias Arnaoutoglou

CAPInv. GR-29: orgeones


i. Geographical area Attica with Salamis
ii. Region Attica
iii. Site Athens


i.a. Full reference (original language) ὀργεῶνες (Dig. 47.22.4 = Gaius, libro quarto ad legem duodecimo tabularum)
i.b. Full reference (transliterated) orgeones
ii. Reference context The term occurs in a passage of the Digesta, a 6th century AD compilation of opinions expressed by leading classical Roman jurists. The rule in Greek was apparently quoted by Gaius, a mid 2nd century AD jurist. It states that whatever orgeones agree between themselves is valid provided that it does not conflict with polis laws.


i. Date(s) Hell. - Imp.


i. Source(s) Dig. 47.22.4 = Gaius, libro quarto ad legem duodecimo tabularum (Hell. - Imp.)
Note Other publications: Ruschenbusch 1966: F77; Ruschenbusch and Bringmann 2010: F76a
Online Resources The text is found at this address: (copy and paste link in address bar)
i.a. Source type(s) Literary source(s)
i.b. Document(s) typology & language/script Passage from a commentary on the legislation of Twelve Tables: the passage is quoted in Greek.


i. Comments The reading orgeones is an emendation by Wilamowitz (1881, 278) in the place of the corrupt ms. reading ἱερῶν ὀργίων ἢ ναῦται, hieron orgion e nautai. For an updated app. cr. see Arnaoutoglou 2003: 44-8. I think it encapsulates, quite liberally it is true, the essence of the other emendations.
The date of the provision is highly disputed, since in the passage it is ascribed to Solon. Most scholars would follow the above date, e.g. Foucart (1873: 47), Beauchet (1897: 4.343), Radin (1910: 50), Pantazopoulos (1946: 259-61), Hatzopoulos (1980: 949-51), Leiwo (1997: 104), Jones (1999: 33-45, 313-6), Ustinova (2005: 183-5), Ismard (2007: 20-2). Busolt and Swoboda (1926: 252) and Davies (1996: 635) argued for a Cleisthenic date, while some others (Ferguson 1944: 64-6; Bravo 1980: 857; Whitehead 1986: 15) claimed that the regulation is a conflation of archaic elements with later ones; however, it has been argued that this is, at the earliest, a Hellenistic regulation, Arnaoutoglou (2003: 55-7) or a fifth-century BC re-edited law (Ismard 2010: 44-57).
iii. Bibliography Arnaoutoglou, I. (2003), Thusias heneka kai sunousias. Private religious associations in Hellenistic Athens. Athens.
Beauchet, L. (1897), Histoire du droit privé de la république athénienne. 4 vols. Paris.
Bravo, B. (1980), ‘Sylân. Représailles et justice privée contre des étrangers dans les cités grecques (Étude du vocabulaire et des institutions)’, ASNP 10.3: 857-987.
Busolt, G., and Swoboda, H. (1920-26), Griechische Staatskunde. 2 vols. München.
Davies, J. (1996), ‘Strutture e suddivisioni delle poleis archaiche: tribu, fratrie, ghene e ripartizioni minori: loro natura. I quadri istituzionali della vitta cittadina’, in S. Settis (ed.), I Greci. Storia, cultura, arte, societa. 2. Una storia greca I. Formazione. Torino: 599-652.
Ferguson, W. (1944), ‘The Attic orgeones’, HThR 37: 61-140.
Foucart, P. (1873), Les associations religieuses chez les Grecs. Thiases, éranes, orgèons. Paris.
Hatzopoulos, C. (1980), ‘Personae collectivae sto attikon dikaion’, Nomikon Bema 28: 949-51.
Ismard, P. (2007), ‘Les associations en Attique de Solon à Clisthène’, in J.-Chr. Couvenhes and Milanezi, S. (eds.), Individus, groupes et politique à Athènes de Solon à Mithridate (Actes du colloque international, Tours, 7 et 8 mars 2005). Tours: 17-34.
Ismard, P. (2010), La cité des réseaux. Athènes et ses associations VIe – Ier siècle av. J.-C.. Paris.
Jones, N. (1999), The associations of classical Athens. A response to democracy. New York.
Lambert, S. (1993), The phratries of Attica. Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Leiwo, M. (1997), ‘Religion, or other reasons? Private associations in Athens^, in J. Frosen (ed.), Early Hellenistic Athens. Symptoms of a change. Helsinki: 103-18.
Lipsius, J. (1905), Das attische Recht und Rechtsverfahren mit Benutzung des attischen Prozesses. Leipzig.
Pantazopoulos, N. (1946), Hai hellenikai koinoniai. Prolegomena eis to attikon somateiakon dikaion. Athens.
Pantazopoulos, N. (1948), ‘Orgeones’, Polemon 3: 97-128.
Radin, M. (1910), The legislation of Greeks and Romans on corporations. diss. University of Columbia.
Ruschenbusch, E. (1966), Solonos Nomoi. Die Fragmente des solonischen Gesetzeswerkes mit einer Text- und Überlieferungsgeschichte. Wiesbaden.
Ruschenbusch, E., and Bringmann, K. (2010), Solon: das Gesetzwerkes Fragmente. Stuttgart.
Ustinova, Y. (2005), ‘Lege et consuetudine: Voluntary cult associations in the Greek law’, in V. Dasen and M. Pierart (eds.), Idia kai demosia. Les cadres “prives” et “publics” de la religion grecque antique (Actes du IXe colloque du CIERGA tenu a Fribourg du 8 au 10 septembre 2003). Liege: 177-90.
Willamowitz-Moellendorf, U. (1881), Antigonos of Karystos. Berlin.


i. Private associations Probable
Note Despite the textual problem, the term orgeones cannot be associated with any public division of citizenry, pace Lambert (1993).
ii. Historical authenticity The authenticity of the text is not in dispute, despite a textual corruption.