One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1(in ancient Greece) each of the ten divisions of the Athenian Council of Five Hundred.
- ‘The year was divided into ten parts, and one tenth of the council, the Prytany, would meet during each period.’
- ‘The prytany rotated on each tenth of the year and was responsible for the daily operation of the city-state.’
- 1.1 A period of five weeks for which each of the prytanies presided in turn.
- ‘In the 4th century, the boule scheduled 4 meetings during each prytany. Since a prytany was about 1/10 of a year, this means there were 40 Assembly meetings.’
- ‘In the 4th century, there were 40 regularly scheduled meetings of the Assembly each year, four in each prytany (each prytany was one tenth of the year).’
From Greek prutaneia, from prutanis ‘prince, ruler’.
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