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All officials at Athens without exception were bound, at the expiration of their term of office, to give an account of their administration. The authorities to whom it was given were the Logistae, supported by ten Euthyni. (See LOGISTAe.) Within thirty days after the term of office had come to an end, these functionaries issued, to all whom it might concern, a public notice to lay before them any complaints they might have to make against the retiring officials. In case such complaints were made, the matter was brought to an issue by legal procedure. No official was allowed to leave the country, or take any measure affecting his property, or take another office, before his account was given [Aristotle, Const. of Athens, 48].
The name given at Athens to a board consisting originally of thirty, subsequently of ten members, who, in conjunction with another board, the ten euthyni, and their twenty assessors, received from magistrates, at the expiry of their term of office, the accounts of their administration. (See EUTHYNA.) This was especially important with those magistrates through whose hands public money passed. Both boards were originally chosen by show of hands; later by lot. One member was elected from each phyle, the assessors of the euthyni were appointed by free choice. The logistae, were the supreme authority to whom outgoing magistrates submitted their accounts. The euthyni examined the several details, notified, when necessary, those who were liable, and returned the accounts to the logistae with a report on their merits. Magistrates who had nothing to do with public money only gave an assurance to the logistae that they had received and paid nothing. If the accounts were approved, and no charge was brought after the public proclamation by the logistae, they gave the magistrate his discharge. In the other alternative they referred the case to a court of justice in which they were themselves presidents. The prosecution was entrusted to ten synegori or counsel for the State, who were chosen by lot and sat with the logistae. The final decision rested with the Heliastic court. (See HELLAeA.)
Of all the official systems established among the Greeks, that in vogue among the Athenians is the best known to us. The qualifications for public office at Athens were genuine Athenian descent, blameless life, and the full possession of civic rights. If religious duties were attached to the office, physical weakness was a disqualification. No one was allowed to hold two offices at a time, or the same office twice or for a longer period than a year. The nomination was made in some cases by election, in others by the drawing of lots. Election took place by show of hands in the ecclesia, or, on the mandate of the ecclesia, in the assemblies of the several tribes. (See CHEIROTONIA, ECCLESIA.) In election by lot [on the introduction of which see Note on p. 706) the proceeding was as follows. The Thesmothetoe presided in the temple of Theseus. (See THESMOTHETAe.) Two boxes or vessels were placed there, one containing white and coloured beans, and the other the names of the candidates, written on tablets. A tablet and a bean were taken out at the same time, and the candidate whose name came out with a white bean was elected. Before entering on his office (whether he had been chosen by lot or election), every official had to undergo an examination of his qualifications (dokimasia). If the result was unfavourable, a substitute was appointed, either by a simultaneous casting of lots in the manner described, or (if the office was elective) by a new election. During their term of office the officials were subject to constant supervision, and were liable to suspension or deposition by the Ecclesia, through the proceeding called epicheirotonia (a new show of hands). On the expiration of his term, every official was bound to give an account of himself (euthyna). The regular officials, had each a place of office (archeion). If the officials formed a society, as in the majority of cues, the business was (so far as joint administration was possible) distributed among the members. If the society appeared in public as a whole, one of the members presided as prytanis. (See PRYTANIS.) In the cases at law which came under their jurisdiction, it was incumbent on the officials to make the necessary arrangements for the trial, and to preside in court. They received no salary, but their meals were provided at the public expense, either at their residences or in the Prytaneum. The emblem of office was a garland of myrtle. The offence of insulting an official in the performance of his duty was punishable with atimia. (See, for details, APODECTAe, ARCHONTES, ASTYNOMI, EPIMELETAeE, COLACRETAe, POLETAeE, STRATEGI, TAMIAS.) There were numerous attendants on the officials (hyperetai), who received a salary, and their meals at the public expense. Such were the clerks (grammateis) and heralds (kerykes). For Sparta, see EPHORS for Rome, MAGISTRATUS, ACCENSI, LICTORS, APPARITOR.
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