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PRODO´SIA

PRODO´SIA (προδοσία). Under this term was included not only every species of treason, but also every such crime as (in the opinion of the Greeks) would amount to a betrayal or desertion of the interests of a man's country; especially the attempt to subvert the constitution (κατάλυσια τοῦ δήμου) and to establish a despotism (τυραννίς). Thus Lycurgus (c. Leocr. § 127) speaks of the psephisma of Demophantus (κτενῶ . . . . ὃς ἂν καταλύσῃ τὴν δημοκρατίαν τὴν Ἀθήνησι, καὶ ἐάν τις ἄρξῃ τιν᾽ ἀρχὴν καταλελυμένης [p. 2.500]τῆς δημοκρατίας τὸ λοιπόν, καὶ ἐάν τις τυραννεῖν ἐπαναστῇ τὸν τύραννον συγκαταστήσῃ, Andoc. de Myst. § 97) as directed against traitors (τὸν τὴν πατρίδα προδιδόντα), yet there is no instance recorded of an attempt to subvert the constitution ever having been dealt with as προδοσία, and the νόμος εἰσαγγελτικὸς clearly distinguishes between the two crimes. In the eye of the law only the betrayal to the enemy of the state or part of the state, such as a town, a watch-post, a gate, a dockyard, a fleet, an army (Lys. c. Philon. § 26; Lyc. c. Leocr. § 59; Dem. c. Lept. p. 481.79; Aeschin. c. Ctes. § 171; Hyp. pro Eux. 18), or the entering into any kind of treasonable communication with the enemy (cf. the case of Antiphon and Archeptolemus, [Plut.] Vitt. X. Orat. p. 833 E), amounted to προδοσία [EISANGELIA]; unless when a special decree of the people extended the meaning of προδοσία, e. g. to the leaving the state in time of danger (as after the battle of Chaeroneia, Lyc. c. Leocr. § 53: ἐνόχους εἶναι τῇ προδοσίᾳ τοὺς φεύγοντας τὸν ὑπὲρ τῆς πατρίδος κίνδυνον), or when it was resolved on the motion of Critias to prosecute Phrynichus, who had been murdered by Apollodorus and Thrasybulus (τὸν νεκρὸν κρίνειν προδοσίας), and also to subject his defenders to the punishment of traitors in case of a conviction (Lyc. c. Leocr. § 112 ff.).

The ordinary method of proceeding against those who were accused of treason or treasonable practices was by εἰσαγγελία (only Pollux, 8.40, speaks of a γραφὴ προδοσίας), as in the case of Gylon, the maternal grandfather of Demosthenes (προδοὺς τοῖς πολεμίοις Νύμφαιον, Aeschin. c. Ctes. § 171), Timomachus (προδοὺς Κότυι: τὴν Χερρόνησον, Schol. Aeschin. c. Tim. § 56), Leosthenes (Diod. 15.95), Philon, Theotimus ( Σηστὸν ἀπολέσας, Hyp. pro Eux. 18), Chabrias and Callistratus (Schol. Dem. c. Mid. p. 535.64; Aristot. Rh. 3.10, p. 1411, B 6, and 1.7, p. 1364, 19), etc.: cf. Plut. Cor. 14, Ἄνυτος προδοσίας περὶ Πύλου κρινόμενος, etc. and Diod. 13.64. Leocrates, who left Athens after the defeat at Chaeroneia, was prosecuted by Lycurgus seven years later for desertion of his country. The defence of the accused was, that he did not leave Athens with a traitorous intention (ἐπὶ προδοσίᾳ), but for the purposes of trade (ἐπὶ ἐμπορίᾳ, § 55 and argumentum); he was acquitted, the votes being even (Aeschin. c. Ctes. § 252). A special decree of the people pronounced those traitors who fled from Athens after the battle, and empowered the council of Areiopagus to bring them to justice by a summary method (Lyc. c. Leocr. § 52 ff.): thus we read in Aeschin. c. Ctes. § 252, that they seized and put to death on the same day a person that tried to sail away to Samos.

The regular punishment appointed by law for treason appears to have been death, refusal of burial within Attic territory, and confiscation of property (Xen. Hell. 1.7, 22: cf. Dem. de Cor. Trier. p. 1230.8 f.); and when we find instances of treason being punished by a fine, we must either suppose that the Athenians distinguished between high treason and less heinous kinds of προδοσία (the latter τιμητός), or that the writers employ the term in the respective passages not in its proper technical sense (Dem. c. Timocr. p. 740.127 c. Theocr. p. 1344.70). The sentence passed on Antiphon and Archeptolemus is preserved in [Plut.] Vitt. X. Oratt.: “that they be delivered to the Eleven; that their property be confiscated, and the goddess have the tithe; that their houses be razed and boundary-stones be placed on the sites with the inscription A. Α. καὶ Α. τοῖν προδόταιν;--that it shall not be allowed to bury A. and A. at Athens or in any land of which the Athenians are masters; that A. and A. and their descendants shall be ἄτιμοι, and he who adopts any one of the race of A. and A. shall be ἄτιμος: that this decree be written on a bronze column, and put in the same place where the decrees about Phrynichus are set up” (cf. Lyc. c. Leocr. § 117 f.; Journal of Philol. 8.1-13). The bones of Themistocles, who had been condemned for treason, were brought over and buried secretly by his friends (Thuc. 1.138, 6; Marcell. Vit. Thucyd.). Traitors might be proceeded against even after their death, as we have done in modern times. Thus, the Athenians resolved to prosecute Phrynichus; judgment of treason was passed against him, his bones were dug up and cast out of Attica. (Att. Process, ed. Lipsius, pp. 419-424.)

[C.R.K] [H.H]

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