previous next


μαρτυρία). Testimony given by witnesses; a deposition. The following legal terms are those most used with reference to the act of giving testimony: μαρτυρεῖν τινι, to testify in one's favour; κατὰ μαρτυρεῖν τινος, to testify against one; μαρτύρεσθαι, to call a witness; διαμαρτύρεσθαι, to call upon those present to notice what is transpiring, so as to swear to it afterwards; κλητεύειν, to subpœna a witness; ἐξόμνυσθαι, to swear that one knows nothing of the facts in question; ἐπιορκεῖν, to perjure one's self; ψευδομαρτυρεῖν, to testify falsely (not on oath); μάρτυς, a witness; νόμιμος ὃρκος, a legal oath. See Anacrisis; Diké; Iusiurandum; Judicial Procedure.

At Athens only freemen, males, and adults were legally entitled to bear witness in court; except that a slave could testify in a case of murder, and their evidence could also be accepted after torture. A woman could take an oath if offered her as a challenge (πρόκλησις). Disfranchised citizens (ἠτιμωμένοι) could not appear as witnesses; and neither party to a suit could testify on his own behalf, but must answer such questions as were asked him by the other side. No other persons could refuse to testify, as this duty was regarded as one claimed by the State. As to depositions made by those unable to attend in court, see Ecmartyria. A person thrice convicted of giving false witness was ipso facto disfranchised. For examination after torture (βάσανος), see Tormentum.

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: