In ancient Greece, a country district or village, as distinct from a polis. In the democratic reforms (508–507 BC) promoted by Cleisthenes, the demes of Attica (the area around Athens) gained a voice in local and state government. The Attic demes had their own police powers, cults, and officials. Males aged 18 years became registered members of the deme. Members decided deme matters and kept property records for taxation. Each deme sent representatives to the Athenian boule in proportion to its size. The term continued to be applied to local districts in Hellenistic and Roman times.