Comment: Ancient Athens, Greece Used Slaves for Watchman Police.

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Ancient Athens, Greece Used Slaves for Watchman Police.

Scythian Archers policed ancient Athens, Greece. A ‘police-force’ of Scythian archers, armed with ropes dipped in red paint, would try to herd those citizens present in the city to the Pnyx for the meetings. The late-comers tainted with red paint lost their right to payment.

In ancient Athens the so-called “Scythian Archers,” who may or may not have been from Scythia and many may have been archers, served as a police force, keeping order in public gatherings (the Council, the Assembly, and the Agora) and perhaps authorized to use force against citizens under certain circumstances.

They were public slaves (δημόσιοι) who served as guards (φύλακες) or watchmen (ὕποπτοι) in the city. Evidence is from either the 5th century comedy of Aristophanes — which is difficult evidence to interpret — or from ancient scholarship from many centuries later.

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