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,
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
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.
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
betrothed her, to receive her back and recover the dowry, or at all events
alimony, from the husband or his representatives. (Dem. c.
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.
and p. 867.11; c.
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.
§ 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,
: hence the qualifications of a
were the male sex, years of
discretion, freedom, and when citizens a sufficient share of the franchise
) 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
p. 455, with Lipsius' notes; Thalheim,
§ 2, pp. 8, 12, and §
10, p. 69 n. = Hermann, Privatalt.,
§ § 57,