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KAKEGOR´IAS DIKE´ (κακηγορίας δίκη) was an action for abusive language in the Attic courts. This action is likewise called κακηγορίου δίκη (Dem. c. Mid. p. 544.93), λοιδοπίας δίκη (διώκων λοιδορίας, Aristoph. Wasps 1207), and κακολογίας δίκη. This action could be brought against an individual who applied to another certain abusive epithets, such as ἀνδροφόνος, πατραλοίας, &c., which were included under the general name of ἀπόρρητα. [APORRHETA] It was no justification that these words were spoken in anger. (Lys. c. Theomn. § 30.) The truth of the charge might be pleaded in justification (Dem. c. Aristocr. p. 635.50): but to taunt a citizen (πολίτην πολιτίδα) with ἐργασία ἐν τῇ ἀγορᾷ, or being a retail dealer, was to insult his or her poverty, and actionable in all cases (Dem. c. Eubul. p. 1308, § § 30, 32). By a law of Solon it was also forbidden to speak evil of the dead; and if a person did so, he was liable to this action, which could be brought against him by the nearest relation of the deceased. (Dem. c. Leptin. p. 488.104; c. Boeot. p. 1022.49; Plut. Sol. 100.21.) If an individual abused any one who was engaged in any public office, the offender not only suffered the ordinary punishment, but incurred the loss of his rights as a citizen (ἀτιμία), since the state was considered to have been insulted. (Dem. c. Mid. p. 524.32.)

If the defendant was convicted, he had to pay a fine of 500 drachmas to the plaintiff. (Isocr. c. Loch. § 3; Lys. c. Theomn. § 12.) Plutarch, however, mentions that, according to one of Solon's laws, whoever spoke evil of a person in the temples, courts of justice, public offices, or in public festivals, had to pay five drachmas; but as Platner (Process bei den Attikern, vol. ii. p. 192) has observed, the law of Solon was probably changed, and the heavier fine of 500 drachmas substituted in the place of the smaller sum. Demosthenes, in his oration against Meidias (p. 543.89), speaks of a fine of 1000 drachmas; but this is probably to be explained by supposing that Demosthenes brought two actions κακηγορίας: one on his own account, and the other on account of the insults which. Meidias had committed against his mother and sister. This action was probably brought before the thesmothetae (Dem. c. Mid. p. 544.93), to whom the related ὕβρεως γραφὴ belonged. The two speeches of Lysias against Theomnestus were spoken in an action of this kind.

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