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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.
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