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APORRHE´TA (ἀπόρρητα), 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, Ran. 362 if.).

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, and μητραλοίας are certainly to be reckoned ; and other words, as ῥίψασπις, λωποδύτης, and ἀνδραποδιστὴς, though not expressly named in the law, seem to have been equally actionable. (Lys. c. Theomn. 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. Theomn. 2.12), recoverable in an action for abusive language (κακηγορίας). 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. p. 150).

[J.S.M] [W.W]

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