) was an action for abusive language in the
Attic courts. This action is likewise called κακηγορίου δίκη
(Dem. c. Mid.
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,
which were included under the general name of ἀπόρρητα.
] 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 ἤ
) with ἐργασία ἐν τῇ
or being a retail dealer, was to insult his or her
poverty, and actionable in all cases (Dem. c. Eubul.
§ § 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.
p. 1022.49; Plut. Sol.
.) 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.
If the defendant was convicted, he had to pay a fine of 500 drachmas to the
plaintiff. (Isocr. c. Loch.
§ 3; Lys. c.
§ 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.
p. 544.93), to whom the related ὕβρεως
belonged. The two speeches of Lysias against
Theomnestus were spoken in an action of this kind.