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Dikasterion

(918 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
(δικαστήριον ; dikastḗrion). A. Athens [German version] 1. Court site There were two types of court sites, those at which homicidal crimes were judged (φονικά, phoniká) and those at which other public or private suits were negotiated. The former, of which there were five, were at the edge of the town for ritual reasons and had no roof to avoid being tarnished by the accused (Antiph. 5,11; Aristot. Ath. Pol. 57,4) while the latter were at the market or in its immediate vicinity. Except for the two largest ones, the Hēliaía (Ἡλιαία) and the site of the   ekklēsía (ἐκκλησία), they had a roof. The pho…

Pseudokleteias graphe

(260 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (ψευδοκλητείας γραφή; pseudoklēteías graphḗ). In Athens, the summons to a trial ( prósklēsis ) was conducted privately in the presence of summoning witnesses ( klētḗr ). Anyone who did not appear before the judicial magistrate on the scheduled date despite a properly witnessed summoning was convicted in absentia. If he was able to prove exculpatory reasons, a reopening of the matter ( anadikía ) was possible; if the plaintiff called in false klētḗres, any citizen (see graphḗ ) could prosecute them with PG. The thesmothétai were responsible, the…

Bebaiosis

(234 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (βεβαίωσις; bebaíōsis). In legal transactions involving the transfer of possession of an object, i.e. purchase contracts [4. 115f.], contracts governing transfer of use (μισθώσεις, misthṓseis [3. 141; 4. 122]) and arrhal contracts connected with παράδοσις ( parádosis), bebaiosis signifies the undertaking by the previous owner to the new owner not to interfere with the latter's acquired right of possession (in the papyri: μὴ ἐπελεύσεσθαι, mḕ epeleúsesthai), and to defend that right against third parties [1. 357, 360, 444]. In the event that t…

Despoteia

(167 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (Δεσποτεία; Despoteía). In Greek ‘rule’ (from δεσπότης, despótēs, lord) did not initially have a specific legal meaning. The expression referred to the relationship in which the lord ruled over his slaves based on tradition (Aristot. Pol. 1253b) or in the political sense to despotism (Pl. Leg. 698a). Despoteia first appeared in Ptolemaic papyrus documents as the power of disposal possessed by the owner (BGU 1187,32, 1st cent. BC), together with the term kyrieía already used in the Greek city states. It was only in Roman Egypt that despoteia became a permanent compon…

Eisangelia

(221 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (εἰσαγγελία; eisangelía). In Athens, eisangelia, in the technical sense, refers to a type of public complaint in criminal matters from Solon's times (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 8,4.). Eisangelia designates the statement of claim (Lycurg. 34,137) as well as the proceedings it institutes. The charges were submitted in writing and argued in detail. The proceedings went through a series of changes over the course of time. Originally, they were designed for criminal acts not covered by the laws. Later, the criminal act…

Epidikasia

(203 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (ἐπιδικασία; epidikasía). In Athens, the legitimate natural sons of the testator or those adopted during his lifetime (  eispoíēsis ) could claim their inheritance through the simple act of   embateúein , but outside heirs needed an epidikasia decree from the archon to do so ( Archontes [I]). This arrangement, similar to the granting of the Roman   bonorum possessio , authorised the applicant to come into the inheritance, but did not exclude the possibility of a later court decision regarding the right of succession of another pretender (  diadikasía ). Similarly, the   e…

Chresis

(76 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (xρῆσις; chrêsis). Literally ‘make use (of)’, but also ‘place (something) at (somebody's) disposal’, embracing the modern senses of loan (the meaning ‘oracle’ can be disregarded here). For loan transactions, already in Athens chresis alternates with the narrower, technical term   dáneion (Dem. Or. 49,6; 7; 17; 21; 44; 48). Chresis Thür, Gerhard (Graz) Bibliography H.-A. Rupprecht, Unt. zum Darlehen im Recht der graeco-ägypt. Papyri der Ptolemäerzeit 1967, 6ff. Id., Einführung in die Papyruskunde, 1994, 118.

Emporikoi nomoi

(85 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (ἐμπορικοὶ νόμοι; emporikoì nómoi). The Athenian laws on maritime trade, grouped systematically on the basis of their subject matter (not, as was customary, according to the jurisdiction of individual authorities) (Dem. Or. 35,3); in particular, they probably laid down strict provisions for the protection of the city's grain supplies. They covered aIso speedy judicial process ( Emporikai dikai) and the avoidance of frivolous complaints against traders and shipowners (Dem. Or. 58,10f.). Thür, Gerhard (Graz) Bibliography E. E. Cohen, Ancient Athenian Marit…

Moicheia

(330 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (μοιχεία; moicheía). In Greek law, clandestine sexual intercourse with a free, respectable woman against the will of her kýrios (II.). It was therefore not only a matter of “adultery” but of wounding of the family honour; the closest male relative of an unmarried woman was also insulted. Only the head of the household ( oíkos ) was meant to decide on a woman's sexual matters, family relationships and descendants. If a man invaded this relationship, he fell victim to private revenge. If he was caught in the act, (Lys. 1,30; 13,66), the kýrios or his closest male relative…

Hetaireseos graphe

(109 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (ἑταιρήσεως γραφή; hetairḗseōs graphḗ). In Athens, popular charge to be brought before the  Thesmothetai against men who held a public office or appeared before the council or the public assembly as orators, in spite of their willingness to engage in homosexual intercourse for money (Aristoph. Plut. 153; Dem. Or. 22,23.29; Aeschin. 1,19f.; 1,29; 1,51; 1,72; 1,87). The law (Dem. Or. 22,21) allots capital punishment and is also directed against a father or guardian who has prostituted his son or ward. Non-citizens were not subject to this rule.  Prostitution Thür, Gerh…

One en pistei

(293 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (ὠνὴ ἐν πίστει/ ōnḕ en pístei, literally 'purchase on trust') in Graeco-Egyptian law describes a real security corresponding to 'assignment by way of security' (beside enéchyron, pawning, hypothḗkē and hypállagma ). In papyri, OEP dogmatically corresponds to ancient Greek prā́sis epì lýsei . The seller (= loantaker) sells to the buyer (= loangiver) a thing at a price which corresponds to the size of the debt. The object purchased serves as security for the debt, on the payment of which, ownership ( kyrieía, see Kýrios II.) reverts to the seller. This is the conse…

Atimia

(192 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (ἀτιμία; atimía). Dishonour in the sense of abrogation of rights of citizenship; it had to be declared in court in order to have legal effect. Atimia may be the set punishment for certain types of offence (desertion, corruption of officials, a third instance of bearing false witness, abuse of parents et al.), or declared in the course of   dokimasía (personal examination) prior to the appointment of officials, when ἐπιτιμία ( epitimía, citizenship) is examined. Epitimia may be annulled in the case of mental illness, profligacy or prostitution. Infringeme…

Mnemones

(264 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (μνήμονες/ mnḗmones). Literally ‘memorizers’; the term goes back to the pre-literary era (from c. 700 BC) and refers to the keeper of the archive of a Greek polis, usually called γραφεύς/ grapheús, ‘writer’. (In a sacral context Aristot. Pol. 1321 b 34 lists hieromnḗmones as well). The term κατάκοοι/ katákooi, ‘‘listener’’ [2. 218], goes back to the pre-literary era as well, whereas the term ποινικαστάς/ poinikastás, ‘‘someone who knows the Phoenician letters’’ [1. 180 f.], attests to a nascent literacy. Since the 5th and 4th cents. BC, mnḗmones have been docu…

Time

(218 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (τιμή/ timḗ, literally 'honour', 'esteem'), is used in Attic law in two aspects. (1) In the Archaic period a killer could stave off the victim's relatives' right of revenge by paying weregeld ( time, fine) in accordance with an agreement of conciliation ( Aídesis ). However, somebody killed lawfully, in self-defence or retribution for an unlawful act, or for breaching a ban, would remain 'unavenged' (ἄτιμος/ átimos), and their relatives could not claim a time [3. 101; 2. 99]. In later atimía , deprivation of civic rights, the idea of payin…

Legal pluralism

(394 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] After the conquest of Egypt by Alexander [4] the Great (331 BC), the native population continued to live with its traditional legal concepts as they are preserved in documents ( Demotic law) and perhaps laws ( Codex Hermopolis). The elite of Ptolemaic Egypt, which originated from Greek mercenaries and immigrants, regulated its private affairs according to its own concepts that had merged into a legal koine. Only the Greek towns of Naucratis, Alexandria [1] and Ptolemais [3] ha…

Prytaneia

(170 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (πρυτανεῖα/ p rytaneîa). At Athens (also at Miletus and Ilium), the court fees to be paid in advance by both parties to an action, but which the loser then forfeited to the winning party, were called prytaneîa. Prytaneîa were to be paid in most private cases (however, in inheritance cases, the parakatabolḗ was prescribed); in public cases, generally the παράστασις ( parástasis). The prytaneîa ran 3 drachmai for a contested value between 100 and 1,000 drachmai, 30 drachmai above that threshold, with no prytaneîa paid below the 100 drachmai threshold. It is uncertain wh…

Prostiman

(91 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (προστιμᾶν/ prostimân), 'additional penalty' available to the plaintiff. In Athens in cases of theft (Klope) courts had the option of imposing loss of honour in addition to a fine. The thief would be locked in the stocks for five days and nights and placed in the pillory (Lys. 10,15; Dem. Or. 24,114 and 146). Presumably prostimân happened in a third vote, after the jurors had voted on guilt and the fine. Thür, Gerhard (Graz) Bibliography A.R.W. Harrison, The Law of Athens, vol. 2, 1971, 177  D. Cohen, Theft in Athenian Law, 1983, 62.

Datetae

(140 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (Δατηταί; Datētaí). ‘Dividers’, i.e. private arbiters in Athens, chosen by the parties, who presided over disputes amongst joint heirs. The procedure was initiated by private litigation for a division into shares, δίκη εἰς δατητῶν αἵρεσιν (Aristot. Ath.Pol. 56,6), against a joint heir who objected to a compromise. Usually, the archon was responsible for accepting the litigation while the Polemarch was responsible in exceptional cases if the litigation was directed against a metic (…

Eispraxis

(45 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (εἴσπραξις; eíspraxis). ‘Collection’ in the largest sense; in Athens, for instance, it was the collection of tribute payments for the naval alliance (IG II2 1273, 24), in Egypt that of all taxes, but also of private debts ( Praxis). Thür, Gerhard (Graz)

Eisagogeus

(138 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (εἰσαγωγεύς; eisagōgeús). Every office holder who was entitled to preside over a court in Athens ( Archontes) was responsible for introducing (εἰσάγειν , eiságein) his subjudice cases into a law court (  dikastḗrion ) and, concerning this act, was also referred to as eisagogeus. In a narrower, technical sense, the eisagogeus was part of a five-member collegium which was entitled to preside over certain urgent legal affairs (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 52,2). In Ptolemaic Egypt, the eisagogeus was a permanent official of Greek nationality and nominated by the kin…
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