literally “things forbidden,” has two peculiar, but widely
different, acceptations in the Attic dialect. In one of these it implies
contraband goods, i. e. those of which the export (not the import) was
prohibited. The chief of these were corn (of which there was a steady
importation) and articles used in the building and equipment of the fleet.
An enumeration of these at different periods of Athenian history is given by
Böckh (P. E.
pp. 53-4; compare Aristoph. Kn. 282
In the other sense, it denotes certain contumelious epithets, from the
application of which both the living and the dead were protected by special
laws (Meier, Att. Process,
p. 482). Among these, ἀνδροφόνος, πατραλοίας,
are certainly to be reckoned ; and
other words, as ῥίψασπις, λωποδύτης,
though not expressly
named in the law, seem to have been equally actionable. (Lys. c.
1. § § 1, 2, 6 ff.; 2. §
§ 3 ff.) The penalty for using these words was a fine of 500
drachmas (Isocr. in Lochit.
§ 5; Lys. c.
2.12), recoverable in an action for abusive language
). It is surmised that this
fine was incurred by Meidias in two actions on the occasion mentioned by
Demosthenes (in Mid.
p. 540.104, p. 543.114; see also
Hudtwalcker, De Diaetet.