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BARATHRON (βάραθρον, ὄρυγμα) was a deep pit at Athens into which criminals, and the dead bodies of executed criminals, were cast. (Plat. Rep. iv. p. 439 E; Plut. Themist. 22; Xen. Hell. 1.7, 20.) It was situated in the demus Κειριάδαι (Bekker, Anecd. p. 219), probably a N.W. suburb of Athens. (Hanriot, Recherches sur la topographie des dèmes de l'Attique, pp. 15, 17.) It is mentioned as early as the Persian wars, and continued to be employed as a mode of punishment in the time of the orators. The executioner was called ἐπὶ τῷ ὀρύγματι. (Schol. ad Aristoph. Pl. 431; Harpocrat. s. vv.; Hdt. 7.133 ; Xen. Hell. 1.7, 21; Lycurg. c. Leocrat. § 121; Dinarch. c. Dem. § 62.) It corresponded to the Spartan Ceadas. [CEADAS.]

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