By Jessica Paga
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Additional info for Deme Theaters in Attica and the Trittys System
The presence of theatral areas distributed according to trittyes implies a use of the trittys as this type of intermediate networking site, a means through which the men within a common trittys could forge connections above and beyond, or at least in addition to, the service they rendered together during their time in prytany. As further evidence that the trittyes performed an important and communicative political function during the 5th and 4th centuries, we might consider Ath. Pol. 110 In the absence of evidence for deme dikasteria, or local law courts, it is even possible that the theatral areas themselves served as makeshift courts, allowing the trittys judge to remain in a single deme to oversee the cases of his assigned trittys, rather than traveling to all of the demes in turn within the trittys.
The ancient reference to the τριττὺν τῶν πρυτάνεων is Ath. Pol. 1. 97. Two doctoral students in the political science department at Stanford University, Tomer Perry and Ariel T. Mendez, have demonstrated statistically that the distribution postulated herein is not random (results unpublished). They analyzed the data, postulating four different hypotheses of random distribution, and were able to reject all of them at a 95% or greater assurance level. I thank them for their interest in this project and their willingness to work on the problem with me.
For discussion of the term ἐκλήρωσεν and its implications for the interpretation of this passage, see Eliot 1968. 100. Bradeen (1955) discusses the role of the trittyes in the “mixing up” of the populace, although his focus is specifically on the breaking up of traditional, that is to say, aristocratic, power holdings. See also Pritchard 2004, for an examination of the practical logistics of this “mixing up” via an investigation of dithyrambic contests. Among others, Stanton (1984, 1994a) takes a different approach, arguing that the trittyes within a phyle helped support particular elite families and traditional power bases.