AKOÈN MARTYREIN (ἀκοὴν μαρτυρεῖν
The general rule of Athenian, as of English jurisprudence, was against the
admission of hearsay evidence. The one exception was the attested
declaration of a deceased person, which was carefully distinguished from the
or written deposition of an
absent witness [EKMARTYRIA]. The law is expressed
in Demosth. ii. Steph.
p. 1130.8, ἀκοὴν δ᾽οὐκ ἐῶσι ζῶντος μαρτυρεῖν, ἀλλὰ τεθνεῶτος, τῶν δὲ
ἀδυνάτων καὶ ὑπερορίων, ἐκμαρτυρίαν γεγραμμένην σ᾿ν
As regards the living, οὐδὲ μαρτυρεῖν ἀκοὴν ἐῶσιν οἱ νόμοι, οὐδ᾽ ἐπὶ τοῖς πάνυ
φαύλοις ἐγκλ:ήμασιν, εἰκότως
p. 1300, §§ 6, 7, where the reasons for the
prohibition are given at length; comp. c. Leochar.
1097.55). Will cases would naturally often turn on the evidence of the dead;
hence the phrase ἀκοὴν μαρτυρεῖν
frequent occurrence in the extant speeches of Isaeus (e.g.
§ 64; Ciron,
§§ 8, 18, 38).