ARCHON, communal officer for the independent Jewish community (kehillah) in the Greek and Roman period. The archons of the community constituted the executive committee of the council of elders (gerusia ). Josephus mentions "the leaders of the council of elders" of Alexandria (Wars, 7:412), evidently the archons of the council who acted as its representatives vis-à-vis the people. The number of archons varied, probably relative to the size of the community. Thus an inscription from Berenice in Cyrenaica, records nine archons. In Rome there was at least one archon for each congregation. The archon was generally chosen for one year, and could be reelected for a second term, or even more. A passage in a Christian homily attributed to John Chrysostom, the Church Father, indicates that elections for the archons were held in the month of Tishri, i.e., at the beginning of the Jewish year. At this time the outgoing archons, or perhaps those assuming office, apparently participated in ceremonials which took place during the Feast of Tabernacles, such as one recorded in the Berenice inscription. Some inscriptions use the form dis archon, and sometimes dia biou (διἁ βίου; also dia viu in Latin inscriptions), evidently merely as an honorific title, indicating that the person so designated had been chosen as archon for life, although in practice he might only fulfill this function once or twice. This title probably was given to the archons held in highest esteem. The title occasionally appears to have been given to children, referred to as "the child archon,"   evidently children of notables. This may indicate that the office passed by inheritance in certain aristocratic families. The form μελλάρχων (future archon?) is also found, and may have designated younger members of distinguished and wealthy families of the community. The Talmud and Midrash frequently use the title "archon" although its implications are far from clear. The sources show that there were archons in all the communities of the Diaspora, both East and West, including Syria, Egypt, Asia Minor and Greece, Italy, and Cyrenaica. The archon in Antioch, Syria, is mentioned by Josephus (Wars, 7:47). Archons in Alexandria are referred to by philo (Against Flaccus, 14:10). The above-mentioned inscription of Berenice (CIG, 5361) commemorates the Roman, Marcus Titius, son of Sextus of the Aemilia tribus, when he was honored on the Feast of Tabernacles in the year 55 according to the local calendar. This calendar apparently commenced in 67 B.C.E., so that the inscription dates from 13 B.C.E. In Rome there is an inscription mentioning the archon of the synagogue in the Suburra quarter (CIG, 6447). Other references to archons in Rome are to be found in the Garucchi collection of inscriptions from the Jewish cemetery in Vigna Randanini (pub. 1862, and in a supplement, 1865). The Roman inscriptions have been collected by Frey. For other parts of Italy, archons are recorded in Porto near Rome (Kaibel, Inscriptiones Graeciae, Siciliae et Italiae, no. 949), and Capua (T. Mommsen, Inscriptiones Regni Neapolitani Latinae, no. 3657; CIL, 10, pt. 1 (1883), 392, no. 3905). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: R. Garrucci, Cimitero degli antichi Ebrei scoperto recentemente in Vigna Randanini (1862); idem, Dissertazioni archeologiche de vario argomento, 2 (1865), 150–92; Schuerer, Gesch, 3 (19094), 85 ff.; idem, Die Gemeindeverfassung der Juden in Rom (1879), 19 ff.; N. Mueller, Die Inschriften der juedischen Katakombe am Monteverde zu Rom (1919), index; idem, Die juedische Katakombe am Monteverde zu Rom (1912), 10 ff.; Frey, Corpus, 1 (1936), LXVIIFF., S.V. (Abraham Schalit)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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  • Archon — (auch Archont, pl. Archonten; gr. ἄρχω archo „der Erste sein“) bezeichnet: einen Amtsträger in der griechischsprachigen oder griechisch beeinflussten Antike und im Mittelalter, siehe Archon (Amt) einen Regierungsbeamten im antiken Athen, siehe… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Archon — ? Archon Arch …   Википедия

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  • Archon — Ar chon, n. [L. archon, Gr. ?, ?, ruler, chief magistrate, p. pr. of ? to be first, to rule.] (Antiq.) One of the chief magistrates in ancient Athens, especially, by pre[ e]minence, the first of the nine chief magistrates. {Ar*chon tic}, a. [1913 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • archon — [är′kän΄, är′kən] n. [Gr archōn < archein: see ARCH ] 1. one of the chief magistrates of ancient Athens 2. a ruler or chief officer …   English World dictionary

  • Archon [1] — Archon (gr., Mehrzahl Archontes), 1) Herrscher, Anführer; 2) die obersten Staatsbeamten in Athen, nach dem Tode des Königs Kodros 1068 v. Chr. gewählt; über die jedesmalige Anzahl derselben, ihre Amtsdauer u. ihren Wirkungskreis (A. Basileus, A.… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Archon [2] — Archon (v. gr., Anat.), so v.w. Archos …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Archon — Archon, eigentlich Herrscher, in Athen die ersten obrigkeitlichen Personen (s. Athen), später byzantinischer Amtstitel …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • ARCHON — e Ducibus Alexandri Magni, cui post eius excessum, in divisione Provinciarum, Babylonia est attributa. Diodor: Sic. l. 18. p. 628. f …   Hofmann J. Lexicon universale

  • archon — (n.) one of the nine chief magistrates of ancient Athens, 1650s, from Gk. arkhon ruler, noun use of prp. of arkhein to rule, from PIE *arkhein to begin, rule, command, a Gk. verb of unknown origin, but showing archaic Indo European features ...… …   Etymology dictionary

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