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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 ἐκμαρτυρία 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 γραμματείῳ. As regards the living, οὐδὲ μαρτυρεῖν ἀκοὴν ἐῶσιν οἱ νόμοι, οὐδ᾽ ἐπὶ τοῖς πάνυ φαύλοις ἐγκλ:ήμασιν, εἰκότως (id. c. Eubul. p. 1300, §§ 6, 7, where the reasons for the prohibition are given at length; comp. c. Leochar. p. 1097.55). Will cases would naturally often turn on the evidence of the dead; hence the phrase ἀκοὴν μαρτυρεῖν is of frequent occurrence in the extant speeches of Isaeus (e.g. Philoct. § 64; Ciron, §§ 8, 18, 38).


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