), i. e. judges, a
name applied by the Greeks to any person who did not judge of a thing as a
according to positive law,
but according to his own personal sense of justice and equity. (Hdt. 3.160
; Demosth. Olynth.
fin. c. Mid.
p. 520.17.) But at Athens a number of
were chosen by ballot from a
number of selected candidates at every celebration of the Dionysia, and were
called οἱ κριταὶ κατ᾽ ἐξοχήν.
office was to judge of the merit of the different choruses and dramatic
poems, and to award the prizes to the victors. (Isocr.
§ 33, with Coraes' note.) Their number is
stated by Suidas (s. v. Ἐν πέντε κριτῶν
) to have been five for comedies, and G. Hermann has
supposed, with great probability, that there were on the whole ten κριταί,
five for comedy and the same number for
tragedy, one being taken from every tribe. The expression in Aristophanes
(Aristoph. Birds 421
), νικᾶν πᾶσι τοῖς κριταῖς,
signifies to gain
the victory by the unanimous consent of the five judges. For the complete
literature of this subject, see K. F. Hermann, § 149, n. 13.