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They also elect by lot forty persons,1 four from each tribe, who are the court before which the other suits are brought; formerly they were thirty and went on circuit trying cases in each parish, but since the oligarchy of the Thirty their number has been raised to forty. [2] They have summary jurisdiction in claims not exceeding ten drachmas, but suits above that value they pass on to the Arbitrators. These take over the cases, and if they are unable to effect a compromise, they give judgement, and if both parties are satisfied with their judgement and abide by it, that ends the suit. But if one of the two parties appeals to the Jury-court, they put the witnesses' evidence and the challenges and the laws concerned into deed-boxes, those of the prosecutor and those of the defendant separately, and seal them up, and attach to them a copy of the Arbitrator's verdict written on a tablet, and hand them over to the four judges taking the cases of the defendant's tribe. [3] When these have received them they bring them before the Jury-court, claims within 1000 drachmas before a court of two hundred and one jurymen, and claims above that before one of four hundred and one. The litigants are not permitted to put in laws or challenges or evidence other than those passed on by the Arbitrator, that have been put into the deed-boxes. [4] Persons fifty-nine years of age may serve as Arbitrators, as appears from the regulations for the Archons and Name-heroes; for the Heroes giving their names to the Tribes are ten in number and those of the years of military age forty-two,2 and the cadets used formerly when being enrolled to be inscribed on whitened tablets, and above them the Archon3 in whose term of office they were enrolled and the Name-hero of those that had been Arbitrators the year before, but now they are inscribed on a copper pillar and this is set up in front of the Council-chamber at the side of the list of Name-heroes. [5] The Forty take the last one of the Name-heroes and distribute the arbitration-cases among those of his year and assign by lot the cases that each is to arbitrate upon; and it is compulsory for each of them to complete the arbitration of the cases allotted to him, for the law enacts the disfranchisement of anybody who does not become Arbitrator when of the proper age, unless he happens to hold some office in that year or to be abroad, these being the only grounds of exemption. [6] Anybody unjustly dealt with by the Arbitrator may indict him before the Arbitrators,4 and the laws prescribe the penalty of disfranchisement for an Arbitrator found guilty; but the Arbitrators also have an appeal. [7] The Name-heroes also are employed to regulate military service; when soldiers of a certain age are being sent on an expedition, a notice is posted stating the years that they are to serve, indicated by the Archon and Name-hero of the earliest and latest.

1 Perhaps the Greek should be altered to give 'the Forty.'

2 Of the 100 Attic heroes 10 gave their names to the Tribes (see Aristot. Ath. Pol. 21.6), and of the remaining 90, 42 names were affixed to the successive years of active citizenship, military service being from the age of 18 to 59, and those in their 60th year serving as diaetetae. As each year expired, the Name-hero of the men now passing the age of 60 was transferred to those now just 18.

3 i.e. the senior of the Nine Archons, called Ἐπώνυμος because his name dated the year.

4 Perhaps διαιτητάς is a mistake for δικαστάς, 'jurymen.'

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 21.6
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