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A small district around a village in Attica. Some were older than Athens. Herodotus wrote that there were 100 in the time of Kleisthenes.

Since ancient Athenians had only one name, there was a problem identifying individuals. They attempted to resolve the ambiguity by referring, when necessary, to someone as "X son of Y of the deme Z".

Deme (?), n. [Gr. .]

1. Gr. Antiq.

A territorial subdivision of Attica (also of modern Greece), corresponding to a township.

Jowett (Thucyd).

2. Biol.

An undifferentiated aggregate of cells or plastids.


© Webster 1913.

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