), the Forty
§ 237; Dem. c. Pantaen.
976 § 33), one of the minor magistracies at Athens, were also
called δικασταὶ κατὰ δήμους,
“district judges” (Id. c. Timocr.
but except in these passages they seem only to be mentioned by the
grammarians. Their number was originally thirty, but was increased to forty
after the expulsion of the Thirty Tyrants, in consequence, it is said, of
the hatred of the Athenians for the number thirty (Harpocrat., quoting
Aristotle; Suid. [in the same words]; Pollux, 8.100). They were chosen by
lot, apparently in equal numbers from each tribe: Demosthenes
l.c.) speaks slightingly of them as unimportant
persons in whom no qualification of property or ability was required. They
went on circuits through the demes (urban as well as rural, Lips.
p. 91), and decided of their own competence
trivial causes where the matter in dispute was not above the value of ten
drachmas; beyond that amount they carried the cause before the διαιτηταί,
and themselves acted as εἰσαγωγεῖς
: that is, they received the
accusation, drew up the indictment, and attended to all that was understood
in Attic law by the ἡγεμονία δικαστηρίου
). Isocrates somewhat vaguely describes
those who were brought before them as τούς τ᾽ ἐν
τοῖς ἰδίοις πράγμασιν ἀδικοῦντας καὶ τοὺς μὴ δικαίως
The extent of their jurisdiction in cases of
περὶ τῶν βιαίων
been a matter of some dispute; but Schömann, Teuffel (ap. Pauly, s.
), and Lipsius are
unquestionably right in limiting their power of decision to “slanders
and assaults of minor importance” (nichtpeinliche
). In aggravated or murderous assaults, including
rape [BIAION DIKÉ], their office must
have been that of εἰσαγωγεῖς.
suppose their criminal jurisdiction to have been more extensive than their
civil; it is not in keeping with Athenian institutions that men who could
only decide up to the amount of ten drachmas should have tried offences
which were in many cases capital. It has been suggested that in these
serious cases. (e. g. the aggravated assault which forms the subject of the
speech against Conon
) they acted as a jury under the ἡγεμονία
of the Thesmothetae; but, as we have
said elsewhere, their number was much too small for an Athenian jury (cf.
1.15), and it is not likely that they ever
acted as δικασταὶ
in the ordinary sense.
For the Athenian practice of employing small courts only in trifling cases,
a δικαστῶν πλῆθος
in others, cf. Aristot. Pol. 4.13
(16) = p. 1300 b, 23
Like other magistrates, they had their σανίδες
or white boards on which legal notices were posted
), and were responsible (ὑπεύθυνοι
) for their conduct in office. When
l.c.) speaks of them as having to
account for public monies, this must refer to the court fees (πρυτανεῖα
) deposited by the suitors. Whether
they exercised their jurisdiction jointly as a board, or in certain
divisions, is not expressly stated; but it is almost certain that they sat
by tribes, i. e. in boards of four, and that the tribal judges rather
obscurely alluded to by Lysias (c. Pancl.
§ 2) and
Isaeus (ap. Harpocrat. s. v. ὅτι
) are to
be identified with the Forty. Their connexion with the tribes suggests that
they may have been established by Cleisthenes, though on this point also we
have no precise information. We need not, however, understand that before
his legislation no cases were tried in the demes, and that the parties were
compelled to go into the city for every little legal dispute
(Schömnann, p. 474).
The grammarians seem sometimes to have confused the district judges with
other officers: with demarchs (Schol. ad
Aristoph. Cl. 37
, cf. Schömann,
p. 474 n.; Att. Proc.
p. 53 Lipsius); and under their older
name of τριάκοντα
with the thirty
assistants of the Lexiarchi (Phot. s. v. τριάκοντα
p. 698 b
). The statement of the
scholiast Ulpian (on Dem. c. Mid.
p. 542.86) as to the number
of the Diaetetae has been proved by inscriptions to be impossible as regards
that body [DIAETETAE
p. 621 a
]; whereas the figures given, with the
slight correction of Heraldus (ἦσαν δὲ
τεσσαράκοντα, τέσσαρες καθ᾽ ἑκάστην φυλήν
), are exactly
applicable to the κατὰ δήμους δικασταί
(Lips. Att. Proc.
p. 91 n.). (Cf. Pollux, 8.40; Harpocrat. s.
v. κατὰ δήμους δικαστής
pp. 306, 15, 310, 21; Schömann, Ant.
p. 267, 10, Antiq.
1.473 f., E. T.;
and esp. Att. Process,
pp. 88-93, Lipsius). [W.S
. Their origin is now
ascribed to Pisistratus (Ἀθ. πολ.
their number at this time is not stated. They reappear under Pericles, B.C.
453, and are then thirty (100.26). In 100.53 their duties are described: ten
drachmas as the limit of their competence to decide; and the traditional
reason for the change of number from thirty to forty. The opening words,
Κληροῦσι δὲ καὶ τετταράκοντα, τέτταρας ἐξ
now supply documentary evidence for the view
maintained in our concluding paragraph (p. 809 b
), which hitherto has rested partly upon conjecture.