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 prytany rotated on each tenth of the year and was responsible for the daily operation of the city-state.’
- ‘The year was divided into ten parts, and one tenth of the council, the Prytany, would meet during each period.’
- 1.1 A period of five weeks for which each of the prytanies presided in turn.
- ‘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).’
- ‘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.’
From Greek prutaneia, from prutanis ‘prince, ruler’.
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