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SCY´RIA DIKE

SCY´RIA DIKE (Σκυρία δίκη) is thus explained by Pollux (8.81): Σκυρίαν δίκην ὀνομάζουσιν οἱ κωμῳδοδιδάσκαλοι τὴν τραχεῖαν, οἱ φυγοδικοντες ἐσκήπτοντο εἰς Σκρον εἰς Λῆμνον ἀποδημεν. By τραχεα δίκη is meant one beset with difficulties, in which the plaintiff had to encounter every sort of trickery and evasion on the part of the defendant. On the appointed day of trial ( κυρία τοῦ νόμου, commonly the thirtieth day after the commencement of the action, Dem. c. Mid. p. 529.47, lex; cf. c. Timocr. p. 720.63, lex; but the trial might be postponed by agreement between the parties [Dem.] c. Phaenipp. p. 1042.13 [EMMENOI DIKAI]) both parties were required to be present in court. If the plaintiff was not there, he was non-suited; if the defendant did not appear, judgment was given against him by default. If, however, either party had some good excuse to offer, such as illness, the death of a relative, or inevitable absence abroad (Hyp. fr. 204= Schol. Aristoph. Pl. 725; Schol. Dem. c. Mid. p. 541; Pollux, 8.60), judgment was not given. Cause was shown by some friend on his behalf, supported by an affidavit called ὑπωμοσία [p. 2.615](Harpocr. s.v. Dem. c. Olymp. p. 1174.25 f., ὑπωμοσάμεθα ημεῖς τουτονὶ Ὀλυμπιόδωρον δημοσίᾳ ἀπε̂ναι στρατευόμενον, etc.; c. Theocr. p. 1336.43), in answer to which the opponent was allowed to put in a counter-affidavit (ἀνθυπωμοσία, Lex. Rhet. Cantabr. s. v.), and the court decided whether the excuse was valid. No ὑπωμοσία was allowed in an eisangelia ἐάντις τὸν δῆμον τὸν Ἀθηναίων καταλύῃ (Hyp. pro Eux. col. 22). It seems to have become a practice with persons who wished to put off or shirk a trial, to pretend that they had gone to some island in the Aegean Sea, either on business or on the public service; and the islands of Scyrus (Photius, s. v. Σκυρίαν δίκην), Lemnos, and Imbrus (Hesych. ς. ϝϝ. Ἴμβριος καὶ Λήμνιος: Photius, s. v. Ἴμβριοι were particularly selected for that purpose. Shammers of this kind were, therefore, nicknamed Lemnians and Imbrians. (Att. Process, ed. Lipsius, p. 908 ff.)

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