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PRA´CTORES

PRA´CTORES (πράκτορες), officers who collected the fines and penalties (ἐπιβολὰς and τιμήματα) imposed by magistrates and courts of justice, and payable to the state. There seems little doubt that at Athens there were ten πράκτορες, chosen by lot, one from each tribe. It has been objected that an inscription of Imbros gives three as the number (Kirchhoff, Monatsber. d. Berl. Akad. 1865, 121); but Fränkel justly points out in his note on Boeckh (Staatshaush. ii.3 39*) that this refers to a cleruchia, which was Athens on a reduced scale, with fewer officials, just as it had only three proedri. The Athenian πράκτορες were not, as seems to be implied by Pollux, 8.114, mere subordinates; for they formed an ἀρχή. (Arist. Pol. 7.8; Bekker, An. 190, 26.) The magistrate who imposed the fine, or the ἡγεμὼν δικαστηρίου, gave notice thereof in writing to the πράκτορες. He was then said ἐπιγράφειν τὸ τίμημα τοῖς πράκτορσιν, and the debtor's name παραδοθῆναι τοῖς πράκτορσιν. If the fine or any part thereof was to go to a temple, the like notice was sent to the ταμίαι of the god or goddess to whom the temple belonged. (Aesch. c. Timarch. § 35; Andoc. de Myst. § 73; [Dem.] c. Theocr. p. 1328.20; 1337.47; Dem. c. Macart. p. 1075.71.) The name of the debtor, with the sum which he was condemned to pay, was entered by the πράκτορες in a tablet in the Acropolis. Hence the debtor was said to be ἐγγεγραμμένος τῷ μημοσίῳ, or ἐν τῇ ἀκροπόλει. It was the business of the πράκτορες to demand payment of this sum, and, if they received it, to pay it over to the ἀποδέκται, and also to erase the name of the debtor in the register (ἐξαλείφειν or ἀπαλείφειν). Such erasure usually took place in the presence of some members of the senate. An ἔνδειξις lay against any man who made or caused to be made a fraudulent entry or erasure of a debt. (Harpoc. and Suidas, s. v. ἀγραφίου, ἀποδέκται, ψευδεγγραφή: Andoc. l.c.; [Dem.] c. Aristog. i. p. 778.28; c. Theocr. p. 1338.52.) The collectors took no steps to enforce payment; but after the expiration of the ninth πρυτανεία of the year [i. e. during the tenth] (or in case of a penalty imposed on a γραφὴ ὕβρεως, after the expiration of eleven days), if it still remained unpaid, it was doubled, and an entry made accordingly. (Aesch. c. Timarch. § 16; Dem. c. Pant. p. 973.22; [Dem.] c. Theocr. p. 1322.1; c. Neaer. p. 1347.7.) Thereupon immediate measures might be taken for seizure and confiscation of the debtor's goods; but here the πράκτορες had no further duty to perform, except perhaps to give information of the default to the senate. There were no doubt in many, if not most, Greek states officers bearing this title with similar duties. We find them in inscriptions at Tenos, Sikinos, and Ios. (C. I. G. 202, 2447; N. Rhein. Mus. xxii. p. 294.) In the Phocian cities Medeon and Stiris the form of the word is πρακτῆρες. (Bull. Cor. Hell. 5.45.) (Gilbert, Staatsalt. 1.228; Boeckh, Staatshaush. i.3 189.) [EPIBOLE; TIMEMA.]

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