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Diaitetai

(279 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
(διαιτηταί; diaitētaí). [German version] [1] Private arbitrator In Greek law, diaitetai was the general term used for ‘private’ arbitrators, appointed with the agreement of both parties; empowered either to mediate or to settle the dispute in a binding and final decision (Dem. Or. 27,1; 59,47). Frequently, each party nominated an arbitrator assured of their confidence, and these then agreed on the appointment of a third, so that the arbitration was accomplished by a total of three diaitetai. Thür, Gerhard (Graz) [German version] [2] Athenian board for preliminary proceedings …

Diatheke

(1,504 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
(διαθήκη; diathḗkē). [German version] A. Meaning and essence The diatheke represents Greek law's central instrument for testate succession. The word is derived from διατίθεσθαι ( diatíthesthai): the ‘putting aside’ of items of personal possession by the testator for persons who did not belong to the family household (οἶκος, oîkos) and thus could not be legal heirs. Diatheke, somewhat fuzzily translated as ‘testament’, describes the act of disposal itself as well as the associated document. Its purpose was to order the proprietary and family affairs a…

Kakosis

(229 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (κάκωσις; kákōsis), literally ‘bad treatment’ of people requiring special assistance. In Athens there were three such groups: 1. parents, 2. orphans, 3. heiresses ( epikleros ), Aristot. Ath. Pol. 56,5. Since the persons affected were not able to defend themselves on their own, every citizen had the opportunity to call the offender to account through graphe , eisangelia or phasis without themselves risking a lawsuit. Whoever refused to support and to house their parents or grandparents (including adoptive parents), stru…

Aidesis

(89 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (αἴδεσις; aídesis). At the time of Draco (before 600 BC) a contract concluded between the dependants of an intentionally or unintentionally killed person and the person responsible for the death, probably affirmed by an oath, on ending the dispute by paying the wergild (IG I3 104.13; Demosth. 43,57), in the 4th cent. the ex parte pardon granted by the dependants of the person killed by unintentional homicide. Thür, Gerhard (Graz) Bibliography D. M. MacDowell, Athenian Homicide Law, 1963, 123 ff. A. R. W. Harrison, The Law of Athens II, 1971, 78.

Succession, laws of

(1,791 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz) | Manthe, Ulrich (Passau) | Ego, Beate (Osnabrück)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East see Cuneiform, legal texts in Thür, Gerhard (Graz) [German version] II. Greek Succession laws in Greece primarily followed the concept of family succession. Greek law therefore contained several provisions to secure succession within the family group even where there were no legitimate sons ( gnesioi). For example, eispoíēsis allowed the nomination of a non-testamentary heir, a process akin to adoption. Where such a replacement heir was also absent, the inheritance ( klḗros ) either passed to lateral kin ( anchisteía ) o…

Desmoterion

(438 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (δεσμωτήριον; desmōtḗrion). In Athens at the market (on location [1]) there was a prison (Dem. Or. 24,208f.) that owed its name to the fetters, δεσμά ( desmá) that were put on the prisoners usually in the form of chains and shackles. The places of detention were not safe from breakouts in other cities either. The supervisory authority, in Athens the Eleven, decided the nature of custody (in chains, permission for visits). Prisoners were always held with others and imprisonment was not imposed as punishment but to secure the accused, condemned and state debtors. The desmote…

Dikastes

(179 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (δικαστής; dikastḗs). In the Greek city states lay persons rather than professional judges were appointed to the   dikastḗrion . Dikastes is therefore best translated as ‘juror’. Any male citizen of more than 30 years of age and of blameless reputation could register in Athens as a dikastes. As an ‘identification’ he was given a small tablet that bore his name and each year he had to swear the ‘Heliastic oath’ that he would vote according to the law (Dem. Or. 24, 149-151). The dikastes was paid for the day that he was in court (  dikastikòs misthós ). Whoeve…

Enepiskepsis

(102 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (ἐνεπίσκηψις; Enepískēpsis). In Athens, when property was confiscated (  dḗmeusis ,   dēmióprata ) a third party was able to claim that a particular part of the assets belonged to him or was mortgaged to him. If he objected, by using the form of an enepiskepsis, there would be a   diadikasía between him and the person initiating the confiscation (  apographé ) in which it was determined if the state debtor ‘owed’ cession of the asset parts to the third party (Dem. Or. 49,45ff.; Hesperia 10, 1941, 14). Thür, Gerhard (Graz) Bibliography A. R. W. Harrison, The Law of Athens II…

Katachorizein

(114 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (καταχωρίζειν; katachōrízein). Generally ‘classify’, also military, in official Hellenistic language specifically ‘register, enter in a list’. Thus, for example, in the Greek motherland, simple popular decisions (esp. honours) were protected against repeal by ‘entering’ them formally among the laws. In Roman Egypt, katachorizein might describe any entry in a list, especially important being the incorporation of a copy of the document in the bibliothḗkē enktḗseōn ( Land register). Katachorizein could also signify a legal action against unknown offe…

Oath

(846 words)

Author(s): Neumann, Hans (Berlin) | Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] I. Ancient Orient Since the second half of the 3rd millennium BC [1. 63-98; 2. 345-365], a distinction was made in Mesopotamia between promissory (assuring) oaths in contract law and assertory (confirming) oaths taking effect in lawsuits. A promissory oath served as an absolute assurance of a renunciation or intended action and was performed by invoking the king or a god, or both. An assertory oath had probative force as an oath for witnesses or parties, e.g. an oath of purification …

Gnome

(3,863 words)

Author(s): Gärtner, Hans Armin (Heidelberg) | Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[1] Literary history I. Greek [German version] A. Meaning of the word As a nomen actionis the noun γνώμη (not found in Homer or Hesiod), with its originally extraordinary comprehensive range of meaning must be considered together with the verb γιγνώσκω ( gignṓskō) [11; 37. 491; 27. 32 (also with regard to etymology)]. The verb with its meanings ‘to recognize’, ‘to form an opinion’, ‘to decide’ and ‘to judge’ falls between two poles: ‘the ability to recognize a state of affairs’ and ‘the consequences of this recognition’ [40. 20-39, esp.…

Cheirographon

(108 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (χειρόγραφον; cheirógraphon), literally ‘handwriting’ (handwritten note). Along with the   syngraphe the most common form of private document in the Egyptian papyri. Entering the Roman world from the 3rd/2nd cents. BC onwards, the cheirographon tends towards the style of the private letter, and is not restricted to any particular type of transaction. Witnesses were a customary feature. The cheirographon would usually be in the hands of the person authorized by it. In the Roman period, the cheirographon could by δημοσίωσις ( dēmosíōsis: incorporation in an offi…

Katalysis

(183 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (κατάλυσις; katálysis). Literally the ‘dissolving’ of the constitution (τοῦ δήμου, toû dḗmou), meaning high treason, which could be persecuted by any citizen in Athens either through graphḗ or eisangelía . It is contested whether an eisangelía of this sort goes back to Solon (6th cent. BC) and was judged by the Areopagus (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 8,4). According to the council's oath transmitted in Dem. Or. 24,144, the boulḗ had the right to intervene in the katalysis. After the law on eisangelía was revoked in 411 BC (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 29,4), katalysis was regulated in det…

Prorrhesis

(120 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (πρόρρησις/ prórrhēsis, literally 'proclamation'). Prorrhesis is originally a means of blood feud against somebody accused of a bloody deed. If somebody is addressed publicly as a murderer (Homicide) by somebody who according to Draco's Law is justified in blood feud (IG I3 104,20-33; Dem. Or. 42,57), he has to stay away from the Agora and all sacred sites until the case ( phónos ). In all there were three occasions for prorrhesis: at the grave of the victim, in the Agora and by way of the basileus (C.) (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 57,2). Only the last had t…

Timetos agon

(222 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (τιμητὸς ἀγών/ timētòs agṓn, 'legal action with assessment'). In Athens every case to be decided by a dikastḗrion was either 'non-assessable' or 'assessable'. In the first case ( atímētos agṓn ), by statute a particular sanction, whether the death penalty, banishment or a fixed fine, was linked to the verdict; in the second case ( timētaì díkai ) after deciding the verdict, if it was ìaffirmed the jury had to agree again, i.e. on the extent of the punishment or on the amount of the sum adjudicated. In their 'assessment' (τίμησις/ tímēsis) the jury could only side with o…

Antigraphe, -eus

(319 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
(ἀντιγραφή, -εύς; antigraphḗ, -eús) The expression, like all litigation terms in Greek law not formulated by jurists, is imprecise [1]. It can mean: [German version] 1. Counterplea a) in the sense of a defendant's written counterplea, submitted by the defendant to the authorities responsible for the preliminary examination. He had to swear to the accuracy of the allegations contained in it right at the beginning of the ἀνάκρισις ( Anakrisis) (Poll. 8,58; Demosth. 45,46; 45,87, therefore the expression ἀντωμοσία ( Antomosi…

Menysis

(199 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (μήνυσις; mḗnysis). A ‘charge’ or ‘application’ in certain criminal proceedings The Greek polis functioned on initiatives of private citizens. In criminal law, too, the principle for accusations was considered to be 'no plaintiff, no judge'. In cases of high treason and blasphemy, which endangered the state, the Athenians nevertheless found ways of compensating for the lack of an official public prosecutor. Thus, in special cases state investigative commissioners (ζητηταί, zētētaí) were appointed and in others a reward was offered to encourage the lodging of a men…

Dosis

(150 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] The noun is derived from διδόναι ( didónai) ‘to give’ and like the verb has no specific legal meaning. The legal institutions gift and endowment are quite inadequately covered by the term dosis : the Attic orators use διδόναι ( didónai) and διατιθέναι ( diatithénai;  Diatheke) alternately when they justify testamentary gifts of money from Solon's law. In the large law inscription of Gortyn, didónai means ‘to bestow’ (col. IX 15-30, with legal limitations). When setting up an endowment, ‘giving’ naturally plays an important role, but it depends…

Paranomon graphe

(326 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (παρανόμων γραφή; paranómōn graphḗ). 'Action for improper legislation'. It was presumably only after the time of Pericles that there was introduced in Athens a public action ( graphḗ [1]) that could be raised within a year by a citizen without prior convictions against anybody who had proposed in the Assembly ( ekklēsía ) a resolution that contravened procedural prescriptions or an existing law. The thesmothetairchontes I.) had jurisdiction, and the dikastḗrion (on one occasion even packed with 6,000 jurors, Andoc. 1,17; 415 BC…

Parapherna

(500 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (παράφερνα; parápherna), literally 'items of property given alongside the dowry (‘ phernḗ ’)', in the Graeco-Roman world signified a variety of legal institutions, in all cases separate property belonging to the wife. In the laws of the Greek poleis women were fundamentally capable of owning property, however, they were often limited in their capacity to enter business transactions. Their goods were inherited in a different way than those of men ([8. 26-130; 5. 64-70], see IPArk No. 5, ll. 4f.: πατρῶια/ματρῶια, patrôia/ matrôia, paternal/maternal property) s…
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