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Syngraphe

(402 words)

Author(s): Thür, Gerhard (Graz)
[German version] (συγγραφή; syngraphḗ) refers to a Greek 'document' in the material sense; regarding the content, it refers to an agreement (sing.), a draft of a law or a call for bids on public buildings or leases (regularly pl., syngraphaí ). In the sense of 'contractual agreement', syngraphe is one of several terms, the other being synállagma , symbólaion, synthḗkē and homología (Poll. 8,140). Only one type of document is referred to as syngraphe in essentially the same way from the 4th cent. BC on into the Roman Period: the private minutes (a stylized, objective …

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…
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