the method by which an Athenian father could dissolve the legal tie between
himself and his son, and disown or disinherit him. It is little mentioned by
the older writers; but the language of Demosthenes (c. Boeot. de
p. 1006.39) is explicit as to the absolute power of the father
over the status of the son, the Attic law in this respect resembling the
Roman. Plato proposes to restrict the exercise of the right by requiring the
previous vote of a family council (Leg.
11.928 E, 929 C).
According to the author of the declamation on the subject (Ἀποκηρυττόμενος
), which has generally been
attributed to Lucian, [p. 1.138]
substantial reasons were
required to insure the ratification of such extraordinary severity. Those
suggested in the treatise referred to are, deficiency in filial attention,
riotous living, and profligacy generally. A subsequent act of pardon might
annul this solemn rejection; but if it were not so avoided, the son was
denied by his father while alive, and disinherited afterwards. It does not,
however, appear that his privileges as to his tribe or the state underwent
any alteration. The court of the archon must have been that in which causes
of this kind were brought forward, and the rejection would be completed and
declared by the voice of the herald (ἀποκηρῦξαι
). It is probable that an adoptive father also might
resort to this remedy against the ingratitude of a son. (Meier, Att.
p. 432, &c.)