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KY´RIOS (κύριος), lord or guardian. The early law of all countries takes notice of families only: in other words, it only takes notice of persons exercising Patria Potestas. Ancient law, therefore, subordinates a woman to her blood-relations; though relieved from her parent's authority by his death, she continues subject through life to her nearest male relations as guardians (Maine, Ancient Law, p. 152 ff.). During marriage, of course, her husband was her κύριος: but when this relation was terminated by death or divorce, she acquired no more freedom than before, but returned to the guardianship of her own family. The term κύριος is applied to males only during minority: the κύριος of such was first, of course, the father, secondly the guardian appointed by his will, thirdly the nearest male relative. In cases of adoption, the natural father remained no longer the κυριος of the adoptee (Dem. c. Macart. p. 1054.15).

The laws relating to the wardship of orphan children are treated of under EPITROPOS: we are here concerned with those more especially termed κυριοι in Attic law, whose business it was to protect the interests of women, whether spinsters or widows, or persons separated from their husbands. If a citizen died intestate, leaving an orphan daughter, the son or the father of the deceased was bound to supply her with a sufficient dowry, and give her in marriage; likewise to take care, both for his own sake and that of his ward, that the husband made a proper settlement in return for what his bride brought him in the way of dower. In the event of the death of the husband or a divorce, it became the duty of the κύριος who had betrothed her, to receive her back and recover the dowry, or at all events alimony, from the husband or his representatives. (Dem. c. Neaer. p. 1362.52.) If an orphan daughter had neither grandfather, brother, nor uncle, the next of kin, who in that case became her κύριος, had also the option of marrying her himself, and taking her fortune with her, whether it were great or small (Bunsen, de Jure Hered. Ath. p. 46). If the fortune was small, and he was unwilling to marry her, he was obliged to make up its deficiencies, according to a regulation of Solon, in proportion to his own means (Lex ap. Dem. c. Macart. p. 1067.54); if it was large, he sometimes put away his own wife in order to marry her (Dem. c. Onet. i. Arg., and p. 867.11; c. Eubul. p. 1311.41). He could even take her away from a husband to whom she had been lawfully married in her father's lifetime (Isae. Pyrrh. § 64) [EPICLEROS]. On the laws for the protection of women, whether as orphans, wives, or widows, see KAKOSIS

All women could only appear in a court of law, like married women and minors among ourselves, through their “next friend,” --in other words, their κύριος: hence the qualifications of a κύριος were the male sex, years of discretion, freedom, and when citizens a sufficient share of the franchise (ἐπιτιμία) to enable them to appear in the law-courts as plaintiffs or defendants on behalf of their several charges. If the κύριος were a resident alien, the deficiency of franchise would be supplied by his Athenian patron (προστάτης). (Att. Process, p. 455, with Lipsius' notes; Thalheim, Rechtsalterth., § 2, pp. 8, 12, and § 10, p. 69 n. = Hermann, Privatalt., § § 57, 65.)

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

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