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Trittys ( Greek  τριττύς , plural τριττύες Trittyes , German also singular: Trittye and plural: Trittyen ), actually translated "third", denotes an ancient administrative unit in the Ionian settlement area as a subdivision of a phyle . The Trittyen served the political, but above all the military organization. There is an extensive literary and inscription tradition, particularly about her role in ancient Athens .

According to this, in the early gentile period of Athens, the original four phyls were divided into twelve treads, each treading in turn was formed from four naucraria . According to legend, the Trittyen went back to the Attic League of twelve cities, which is said to have existed in the time before Theseus . Each of these cities originally had its own town halls and officials, until the Synoikismos carried out by Theseus is said to have made their necessity superfluous. The eleven names of these first Attic Trittyen handed down by Philochoros were: Kekropia , Tetrapolis , Epakria , Dekeleia , Eleusis , Aphidna , Thorikos , Brauron , Kytheros , Sphettos and Kephisia . Since most of the names continue to appear after the Kleisthenic Reform and Kleisthenes was known for clinging to traditional things with such things, this catalog of names is considered credible.

With the 508/507 BC The reform of the political structure and the political system in Athens, carried out by Kleisthenes in BC, increased the number of Trittyen to thirty. There were now ten urban tritty (Asty-Trittyes), inland tritty (Mesogeia-Trittyes) and coastal tritty (Paralia-Trittyes). Each of these settlement zones was consequently divided into ten administrative areas and depending on the size of the population, one or more demes were assigned to a Trittye. By lot, the affiliation of each of these treads to one of the ten kleisthenic phyls was determined, so that a city, a country and a coastal tread always formed a phyle, whereby the goal was, through the given geographical separation of the treads in one Phyle to achieve a political mix of the population. But since the lot decided, it happened that neighboring Trittyen were also united in a phyle. This was accepted so that a real mixture and the desired balance between the different interests of the “landscapes” was not necessarily achieved or enforced. The names of the Trittyen and their assignment to the phyls is partially secured by inscriptions.

The Trittyen as a unit were mainly involved in equipping and manning the Athenian ships, which was already the case for the pre-Kleisthenian Trittyen with their division into naukraria. One Trittye was responsible for ten ships and the shipyard area of ​​the Piraeus was divided into individual places that were used for the assembly of the ship's crews of a Trittye. In addition, the Trittyen also had financial policy tasks, such as making money transfers. The Trittyen were led by elected Trittyarchs. The office was coveted and was viewed as a replacement and alternative to the office of strategist .

There were also Trittyen on Delos , twelve in number, of which only two are known by name: the Thyestathai and the Okynidai .


  • Hans Volkmann : Trittyes. In: The Little Pauly (KlP). Volume 5, Stuttgart 1975, column 970 f.
  • Peter Siewert : The Trittyen Attica and the army reform of Kleisthenes (= Vestigia. Vol. 33). Beck, Munich 1982, ISBN 3-406-08063-4 (also: Saarbrücken, Universität, habilitation paper, 1980).
  • John S. Traill: Demos andickets. Epigraphical and topographical studies in the organization of Attica. Athenians Victoria College, Toronto 1986.

Individual evidence

  1. Philochorus Fragment 94.
  2. Anders: Hermann Bengtson : Greek History. From the beginnings to the Roman Empire (= Handbook of Classical Studies . Dept. 3, Part 4). Unchanged reprint of the 5th, revised and supplemented edition from 1977. Beck, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-406-06660-7 , p. 144 with note 3.