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Demioprata

(235 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
(δημιόπρατα; dēmióprata). [German version] [1] Public auction of goods for the benefit of the Athenian state treasury The public auction of goods for the benefit of the Athenian state treasury. They were initially submitted for confiscation in the course of the   dḗmeusis mostly by the plaintiffs in the main proceeding. After the index (the   apographḗ ) of the goods to be confiscated had been read to the public assembly, ‘to notify everyone of the dispossessed property’ (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 43,4), it was forwarded to the Eleven, …

Epikleros

(215 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (ἐπίκληρος; epíklēros). Not quite correctly translated as ‘heiress’. If an Athenian citizen or   métoikos was survived only by daughters, they were not entitled to the inheritance in their own right, but their legitimate sons were, and so the inheritance (  klḗros ) could in some circumstances benefit a different family. Because of that danger the law allowed the nearest male collateral relative of the testator ( Anchisteia), to obtain at the same time from the archon or polemarch ( Archontes I), by a process of   epidikasía , the immediate assignment of the klḗros and e…

Blabes dike

(171 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (βλάβης δίκη; blábēs díkē). In Greek law, a private action for damage to property. In the case of intentional damage, the guilty party had to pay compensation to the tune of twice the value of the damage caused, as assessed by the plaintiff in his petition. The blabes dike may originally have been legally applicable only as regards violation of the law relating to neighbours. It may only have been by virtue of case law that this restricted profile of action was extended to include other cases of damage to property. Prevailing o…

Kategoros

(139 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (κατήγορος; katḗgoros). The prosecutor in Athens. Athenian public criminal law was based on the principle of popular complaint ( graphḗ ), a special office for public prosecution did not exist. Nonetheless, in cases that threatened the state directly, the council or the public assembly could nominate citizens to represent the interests of the state without holding an office. They were called kategoros, or, more frequently, synḗgoros (‘attorney’) (representation of the demes: Aristot. Ath. Pol. 42,1; IG II2 1196; 1205). In such cases, the public assembly c…

Engyesis

(117 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (ἐγγύησις; engýēsis). In Greece a festive legal act concluded between the bridegroom and the   kýrios of the bride in the presence of witnesses on which the husband's rights are founded (also called ἐγγύη, engýē), formerly wrongly interpreted as ‘engagement’. It only became fully effective with the transfer of the bride to the husband (  ékdosis ). In Gortyn the engýēsis is never mentioned but it is by Plato (Leg. 774e). In the papyri engýēsis is a synonym of   engýē . Thür, Gerhard (Graz) Bibliography H. J. Wolff, Beiträge zur Rechtsgesch. Altgriechenlands, 1961, 1…

Lipomartyriou dike

(315 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (λιπομαρτυρίου δίκη; lipomartyríou díkē). Law suit on account of failure to provide a witness statement. The procedural testimony ( martyría ) consisted in the Greek poleis of a statement pre-formulated by the plaintiff or the defendant that was pronounced to the witness in the procedure and which the latter confirmed by his very appearance before the court. When a witness was summoned privately by a procedural party (καλεῖν, kaleîn, Pl. Leg. 937a, PHalensis 1,222f., IPArk 17,12; προσκαλεῖν, proskaleîn, Dem. Or. 49,19), he had two options: either he refuse…

Poine

(201 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (ποινή; poinḗ). Used in Homer quite concretely for blood money (Hom. Il. 18,498; aídesis ), but also generally for revenge, retribution, later extended to any monetary penalty a private person could demand for a tort ([4. 10, 35]; cf. Latin poena ; however, the extension to fines to be paid to the state or to corporal punishment entered Greek only by way of back-translation of the Latin term). The connexion with blood money (also ἄποινα, ápoina; cf. ἀποινᾶν, apoinân, demand poine, Dem. Or. 23,28 and 33; IPArk 7,14) lives on in the negative νηποινεὶ τεθνάναι ( nēpoineì tethn…

Paramone

(255 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (παραμονή; paramonḗ). Noun formed from the verb παραμένειν ( paraménein, 'to stay with someone') used throughout Greece to denote a number of legal relationships. In Egyptian and Mesopotamian papyri the word paramone regularly occurs as a civil-law obligation whereby the debtor subjected himself or a dependant of his, to the power of the creditor to repay the capital sum or the interest ( antíchrēsis [6. 127]). Contracts for the letting of services or the completion of a task ( místhōsis ) often contained a paramone-clause, however, these did not entail civil-la…

Anchisteia

(156 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (ἀγχιστεία; anchisteía). In Athens the closest collateral relatives were combined as anchisteia. In the event of  murder of a member of their family they had a duty to bring an action against the perpetrator and the right to grant pardon ( Aidesis) to an unintentional perpetrator (IG I3 104,13-25). The anchisteia also referred to the circle of those with inheritance rights if there were no direct descendants (blood or adopted   eispoiesis ). The anchisteia comprised 1) the brothers of the deceased coming from the same father and their descendants, 2) c…

Land register

(298 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] One can only speak of a land register (LR) in the legal sense when a complete, comprehensive register of property - either of all inhabitants (personal property system) or of all plots of land in a precinct (real property system) - is generally acknowledged, thus guaranteeing the right of ownership of the registered purchaser. In antiquity, there were numerous simple property registers ( Estate register), which, however, mostly served as the basis for tax assessment (examples and literature [1]). Institutions for the control of legal transactions regarding p…

Proklesis

(214 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (πρόκλησις; próklēsis), literally 'challenge'. The concentration in cases before the Athenian courts of justice ( d ikastḗrion ) on a single time-limited trial created a need for careful preparation of material before the case, or in a preliminary trial before the relevant court magistrate ( anákrisis , diaitētaí ). Próklēsis was an opportunity to provoke the opponent to make binding statements before the trial. This means both the act, before witnesses, of making a deposition aimed at the opponent and its content  and the fixin…

Parakatatheke

(462 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (παρακαταθήκη; parakatathḗkē). derived from the verb παρακατατίθεσθαι ( para-kata-títhesthai, to deposit) the noun parakatatheke, also parathḗkē, is employed in the entire Greek sphere to denote a range of legal relationships in which objects of persons were entrusted to someone under a duty of care. Although the term was used in Byzantine legal literature as a Greek translation for the Roman term depositum , Greek parakatatheke had a more wide-ranging application. For example the person to whom it was entrusted was entitled to use or consume …

Apagoge

(135 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (ἀπαγωγή; apagōgḗ). ‘Taking away’ was a drastic, speedy procedure in criminal cases in Athens. In its original form it permitted two categories of criminals (κακοῦργοι and ἄτιμοι, kakoûrgoi and átimoi), if caught in the act, later also where the facts of the case were obvious, to be taken away to prison and if they confessed to be punished immediately, or otherwise to be kept in custody and handed over to the court. Responsibility lay partially with the Eleven and partially with the thesmothetai. The penalty was death. Later written charges of the same name cou…

Parabolon

(116 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (παράβολον; parábolon). Literally payment, a sum of money that according to Poll. 8,63, had to be deposited in Athens as security payment when lodging an éphesis , however, it was probably indentical to the parakatabolḗ (cf. also Aristot. Oec. 1348b 13). Further expressions for payment in the context of a legal procedure: ἀπάρβολος ( apárbolos, i.e. 'without parábolon': IG IV 175, 8f. and 197, 21-27; SGDI 3206,117); παρβάλλειν ( parbállein, to pay: IPArk 17,65f.) In the papyri the words παραβολή ( parabolḗ; as also in OGIS 41) and παραβόλιον ( parabólion) are used as …

Exomosia

(177 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (ἐξωμοσία), literally ‘denial on oath of knowledge’. 1) In the procedural law of Athens, witnesses could avoid the obligation to appear in court (and confirm evidence which had been pre-formulated by one of the two parties in the case) by swearing ceremonial oaths out of court to the effect that they ‘did not know’ the facts in question. The exōmosía did not entail any legal sanctions, only positive testimony in court could be sued for (  pseudomartyríōn díkē ). There is evidence of a similar system recorded as apōmosía in the indemnity contract of Stymphalus (IPArk …

Balantiotomoi

(34 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (βαλαντιοτόμοι; balantiotómoi). ‘Cutpurses’ (pickpockets) were pursued in Athens on the basis of the νόμος τῶν κακούργων ( nómos tôn kakoúrgōn) with   apagōgḗ (‘leading away’) and punished with death. Thür, Gerhard (Graz)

Paratilmos

(199 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (παρατιλμός/ paratilmós, literally the removal of hair), a measure employed against an adulterer ( moicheía ) caught in the act, whereby the hair around the anus was plucked out whilst rubbing in hot ashes. Generally it was accompanied by inserting a radish into the anus (ῥαφανίδωσις, rhaphanídōsis; Aristoph. Plut. 168 with scholia.; Aristoph. Nub. 1083). This degrading self-help measure could occur in Attic law instead of legally permitted killing, but it could also be avoided by paying a ransom. Presumably the paratilmos is referred to by the legal rule, tha…

Epiorkia

(104 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (ἐπιορκία; epiorkía) means ‘perjury’, ever since Homer and throughout (with the exception of a single incidence in Solon's Laws as ‘oath’, Lys. 10,17). It was common practice for every  oath to conclude with a curse for a potential perjurer. As epiorkia was not a secular offence, its punishment ─ which was not limited to the offender himself, but could extend to his entire household ─ was in the remit of the gods, who were witnesses and guarantors of the oath (Xen. An. 2,5,21; Dem. Or. 23,68; 19,220; Lys. 32,13).  Oath Thür, Gerhard (Graz) Bibliography K. Latte, s.v. Meine…

Synegoros

(252 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (συνήγορος; synḗgoros), literally 'co-speaker'. Person who speaks in court with - not instead of - one of the parties in a case; a term not always distinguished from sýndikos . In principle, the Greek view was that each party should present their own case in person. In ancient Athens synēgoroi claiming either a close relationship to the party they supported or enmity to the party they opposed could be allowed in private and public actions; only accepting money was forbidden to a synegoros (Dem. Or. 47,26). Since joint action in court was, from a more recent poi…

Martyria

(455 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (μαρτυρία, martyría). In Greek law, the deposition in court of a testimony, its content or a document drawn up for this purpose. Witnesses (μάρτυρες, mártyres; synonyms [2. 2032f.]) were formally invited to be present at business transactions, and witnesses to wrongful acts were called by the injured or avenging party. At the time of the Attic orators (5th/4th centuries BC) they were not sworn in but affirmed that they were ‘acquainted with’ a formulaic phrase drawn up by the person presenting the case o…
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