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EPHETAE 100.00%
A judicial court of high antiquity at Athens, consisting of fifty-one judges elected from the noblest Athenian families. It gave decisions in cases of murder at five different places, differing according to the character of the case. If the crime had a religious character, the Archon Basileus presided. (See ARCHONS.) Solon did not abolish this court, but handed over to the newly organized Areopagus its most important fuuctions,-the power of deciding cases of intentional murder, poisoning, malicious wounding, arson, and the like. The nearest relations of the murdered person were bound by religious sanction to avenge his blood. At the funeral, and after that in the market place, they uttered a solemn denunciation, which bade the murderer keep away from all public places, assemblies, and sanctuaries, and to appear before the court. The Archon Basileus, after the charge had been announced and received, repeated this denunciation. The preliminary investigation, and determination of the place where the court was to be held, followed at three appointed times in three successive months. The case was not finally dealt with till the fourth month. On the first two days of the final trial the two parties, after solemnly taking an oath, conducted their case in person. On the third day judgment was given, in case the accused had not gone into voluntary exile. If he had, his property was confiscated, but he was pursued no further. Intentional murder was punished with death, malicious wounding with exile; the man's property was confiscated in both cases. In the court of Areopagus, if the votes of the judges were equal, the accused was acquitted. If the homicide were legally allowed (as, for instance, that of an adulterer) or legally innocent (as in self-defence), the case was investigated in the Delphinion, a sanctuary of the Delphic Apollo; and only a religious purification was exacted. Cases of unintentional homicide, murder of an alien, and instigation to murder, were taken at the Palladion, a sanctuary of Pallas. Instigation to murder was punished with banishment and confiscation of property, the murder of an alien with banishment, unintentional murder with banishment, until the kinsmen of the murdered person gave permission to the slayer to return. In the time of Demosthenes it would seem that the cases which used to be heard at the Delphinion and Palladion were banded over to the Heliastae. Thus the Ephetae had only two courts left them, that in Phreatto, a place in the Piraeeus, near the sea, and the Prytaneum. The former had only to judge in the rare event of a person banished for unintentional homicide being charged with intentional murder. As he might not set foot on land, he was heard standing in a ship, and if found guilty was punished with banishment for life. At the Prytaneum a regular court was held on in animate objects and animals which bad been the cause of death to a human being. The president of the four old Ionic tribes removed the object or the animal over the border. Again, if a murder had been committed and the offender was undiscovered, this court had to pronounce lawful sentence against him [Dem. 23 §§ 64-79; Aristotle, Const. Athens, 57].
A festival held at Athens in honour of Apollo as the god of spring. The Delphinion was a sanctuary of the Delphian Apollo at Athens. (See EPHETAe.)
EXILIUM 69.31%
Greek. Among the Greeks exile was the legal punishment for homicide (see EPHETAe). It was also, at times, a political measure, adopted especially in times of civil disturbance, and might carry with it atimia and loss of property, except in the case of ostracism (see OSTRACISIM.)
An ancient criminal court at Athens, so named because it sat on Ares' Hill beside the Acropolis, where the god of war was said to have been tried for the murder of Halirrothius the son of Poseidon. (See ABES.) Solon's legislation raised the Areopagus into one of the most powerful bodies by transferring to it the greater part of the jurisdiction of the Ephetae (q.v.), as well as the supervision of the entire public administration, the conduct of magistrates, the transactions of the popular assembly, religion, laws, morals and discipline, and giving it power to call even private people to account for offensive behaviour. The "Court of Areopagus," as its full name ran, consisted of life-members (Areopagites), who supplemented their number by the addition of such archons as had discharged their duties without reproach. Not only their age, but their sacred character tended to increase the influence of the Areopagites. They were regarded as in a measure ministers of the Erinyes or Eumenides (Furies), who under the name of Semnae (venerable) had their cave immediately beneath the Areopagus, and whose worship came under their care. The Areopagus proving too conservative for the headlong pace of the Athenian democracy, its general right of supervising the administration was taken from it by the law of Ephialtes, in 462 B.C., and transferred to a new authority, the Nomophylakes (guardians of the laws); but it recovered this right on the fall of the Thirty. Its political powers seem never to have been clearly defined; it often acted in the name of, and with full powers from, the people, which also accepted its decisions on all possible subjects. Under the Roman rule it was still regarded as the supreme authority. Then, as formerly, it exercised a most minute vigilance over foreigners.
ARCHON 14.45%
(=ruler), the Athenian name for the supreme authority established on the abolition of royalty. On the death of the last king, Codrus, B.C. 1068, the headship of the state for life was bestowed on his son Medon and his descendants under the title of Archon. In 752 B.C. their term of office was cut down to ten years, in 714 their exclusive privilege was abolished, and the right to hold the office thrown open to all the nobility, while its duration was diminished to one year; finally in B.C. 683 the power was divided among nine archons. By Solon's legislation, his wealthiest class, the pentacosio-medimni, became eligible to the office; and by Aristides' arrangement after the Persian Wars it was thrown open to all the citizens, Cleisthenes having previously, in the interests of the democracy, substituted the drawing of lots for election by vote. [See Note on p. 706.] The political power of the office, having steadily decreased with time, sank to nothing when democracy was established; its holders had no longer even the right to deliberate and originate motions, their action being limited to certain priestly and judicial functions, relies of their once regal power. The titles and duties of the several Archons are as follows: (1) Their president, named emphatically Archon, or Archon Eponymos, because the civil year was named after him. He had charge of the Great Dionysia, the Thargelia, the embassies to festivals (theoriae), the nomination of choregi; also the position of guardian in chief, and the power to appoint guardians, the presidency in all suits about family rights (such as questions of divorce or inheritance), and in disputes among the choregi. (2) The Archon Basileus (king), called so because on him devolved certain sacred rites inseparably connected with the name of king. He had the care of the Eleusinian Mysteries (and was obliged therefore to be an initiated person), of the Lencae and Anthesteria, of gymnastic contests, to which he appointed a superintendent, and of a number of antiquated sacrifices, some of which fell to the share of his wife, the Basilissa (queen); and lastly, the position of president in all suits touching religious law, including those trials for murder that came within the jurisdiction of the Ephetae (q.v.). (3) The Archon Polemarchos (leader in war) was originally entrusted with the war-department, and, as late as the battle of Marathon, had the right of voting with the ten generals, and the old royal privilege of commanding the right wing. Afterwards he only had charge of the state sacrifices offered to the gods of war and to the shade of Harm6dius, the public funerals of those who fell in war and the annual feasts in honour of them; finally, the jurisdiction in all questions concerning the personal and family rights of resident aliens (metaeci) and strangers. All this rested on the old assumption that foreigner meant enemy. Each of these three superior Archons had two assessors chosen by himself, but responsible. (4) The Six Thesmothetae (literally law-givers) administered justice in all cases not pertaining to the senior Archons or some other authority, revised the laws once a year, and superintended the apportioning of public offices by lot. The several Archons exercised their jurisdiction at different spots in the city; that of the Polemarch alone lay outside the walls. Duties common to all nine were: the yearly appointment by lot of the Heliastae (q.v.), the choice of umpires in the Panathenaae, the holding of elections of the generals and other military officers, jurisdiction in the case of officials suspended or deposed by the people, and latterly even in suits which had previously been subject to the nautodicae. (See NAUTODICAe.) If they had discharged their office without blame, they entered the Areopagus as members for life. The office of Archon lasted even under the Roman rule.
Type: Standard
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