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APSY´CHON DIKE´ (ἀψύχων δίκη), an action against inanimate objects (ἄψυχα) which had caused the death of a human being. It thus somewhat resembled the English law of deodand, lately abolished. It was tried in the court of the Prytaneum, and, according to Schömann, partook more of the nature of a religious ceremony than a judicial proceeding. If the instruments with which a murder had been committed were captured, and not the murderer himself, these, after the Ephetae had pronounced their sentence, were conveyed out of the country by the Phylobasileis, or presidents of the four old-Ionic tribes. In the same way were treated such things as had accidentally caused the death of any one. Animals likewise, by which any one had been killed, were here condemned to death, and then conveyed out of the country. (Pollux, 8.111, 120; Dem. c. Aristocr. p. 645.89; Schömann, Antiq. 1.470, E. T.; comp. Plat. Leg. 9.873 E.)


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