The term Archon can be traced back to the rise of the city-states of ancient Greece during the “Great Awakening” which followed the “Dark Ages” (circa 800 B.C.). Hundreds of these city-states were distributed over the Greek country side, each presiding over a number of villages. Most of these city-states had an assembly, a council, and a number of elected officials who dealt with the daily issues of governance. As the city-states became larger and the issues more complex, a ruling group emerged.
Often this group included war leaders, generals, those entrusted with religious observances, judges and civil authorities. The Athenians titled the nine chief magistrates who were chosen to rule their city-state … the Archons. Much of the influence and success achieved by Athens during the “Classical Period” was directly due to the leadership provided by this ruling group. These officials wielded great power and authority, yet they were chosen to lead for short periods, often less than a year. The group originally perpetuated itself by selecting the succeeding Archons from its own membership. However, as the theory of democracy grew more and more into practice in Athenian society, even the prestigious Archons were chosen by a more open election process.
The ancient Archons have been described as prestigious, powerful, rulers, magistrates, and leaders! Modern Archons seek the same distinction!