Under the kings of Athens it must have closely resembled the Boule of elders described by Homer; and there can be no doubt that it was the chief factor in the work of transforming the kingship into an aristocracy, in which it was to be supreme.
In internal government the cleruchs adopted the Boule and Assembly system of Athens itself; so we read of Polemarchs, Archons Eponymi, Agoranomi, Strategi, in various places.
It was found that the government by Boule and Ecclesia did not mean popular control in the full sense; it meant government by the leisured classes, inasmuch as the industrious farmer or herdsman could not leave his work to give his vote at the Ecclesia, or do his duty as a councillor.
In Athens in the sixth prytany of each year the representatives of the Boule asked the Ecclesia whether it was for the welfare of the state that ostracism should take place.
The cities appear equally Hellenic in their political organs and functions with boule and demos and popularly elected magistrates.
By making effective the powers of the Ecclesia (Popular Assembly) the Boule (Council) and Heliaea, Cleisthenes became the true founder of Athenian democracy.
Each division was represented by two elective assessment commissioners (ra?crai), who assisted the Boule at Athens in the quadrennial division of the tribute.
The new constitution provided for a boule whose members were to be recruited by lot from all citizens above thirty; the functions of this body to be exercised by four sections succeeding one another by yearly rotation and serving without pay; all high officials to be chosen by it out of its own members.
It is at the lastnamed spot that the various pharmaceutical preparations are now manufactured for which they are famous (though sold only since about 1840) - the Elixir, the Boule d'acier (a mineral paste or salve), and the celebrated liqueur.
For the Prytaneis of the Boule and of the Naucraries, see B Oule and Naucrary.