properly goods, usually movables, handed over to a creditor as security, e.
g. bronze ([Dem.] c. Timoth.
p. 1190.21), cups and a golden
crown (Dem. c. Nicostr.
p. 1249.9), slaves (c.
i. p. 820.24), a horse (Lys. Obtrect. adv.
§ 10, etc.: it was forbidden to pledge weapons and
agricultural implements, Aristoph. Pl.
, and Diod. 1.79
; likewise ἐπὶ σώματι δανείζειν,
Plut. Sol. 15
); whilst ὑποθήκη
meant usually real property (also ships, [Dem.]
p. 933.32; Dem. c. Dionys. p.
1283.3: or slaves, c. Pantaen.
p. 967.4) mortgaged to the
creditor. If the money advanced was not paid back by the time specified, the
security passed into the possession of the creditor (Dem. c.
ii. p. 841.18). (Boeckh, Sthh.
3 i. p. 161 ff.; Att. Process,
ed. Lipsius, pp.
In private suits at Athens, whether tried by a court of law or before an
arbitrator (Dem. c. Callipp.
p. 1240.15 f.), whenever
judgment was given against a defendant, a certain period was at the same
time fixed (ἡ προθεσμία
: the plaintiff
could agree to a prolongation, [Dem.] c. Euerg. et Mnesib.
1154.49 f.), before the expiration of which it was incumbent upon him to
comply with the verdict. In default of doing so, he became ὑπερήμερος
or over the day, as it was called,
and the plaintiff was privileged to take steps against him for
non-compliance. Several ways were open to the plaintiff. He could seize upon
the goods and chattels of the defendant as a security or compensation
(ἐνεχυρασία, ἐνεχυράζειν, ἐνέχυρα
or φέρειν, ἅπτεσθαι τῶν
). This “taking in execution” was
probably left to the party who had gained the suit, and it is doubtful
whether he had the assistance of a public officer (like the sheriff). On one
occasion, indeed, we read of a ὑπηρέτης παρὰ τῆς
[Dem.] c. Euerg.
p. 1149.33, p. 1150.37), being taken to
assist in, or perhaps to be a witness of, a seizure; but that was in a case
where public interests were concerned ([Dem.] c. Euerg.
1149.35; see Hudtwalcker, Diaet.
p. 132); [p. 1.736]
from Schol. Aristoph. Cl. 37
(cf. Harp. s. v. δήμαρχος,
it would appear that usually, though not necessarily, the demarch
accompanied the plaintiff when levying execution to the defendant's house
(cf. Bekker, Anecd.
242, 16; see B. W. Leist,
p. 493). [Dem.] c.
p. 1155, § § 52 ff., gives an amusing
account of what Englishmen would consider a case of “assault and
trespass,” committed by some plaintiffs in a defendant's house:
the amount of damages which had been awarded (ἡ
) was lying in the bank; of this Theophemus had been
informed, but instead of going there he seized fifty sheep, together with
the shepherd and a boy; then, assisted by the defendants (who had no right
to touch anything), he broke into the farm, tried to seize the slaves, who
managed to escape, entered the dwelling-house, carried off all the furniture
in spite of the remonstrance of the plaintiff's wife (λεγούσης ὅτι αὐτῆς εἴη ἐν τῇ προικὶ τετιμημένα
and ill-treated the old nurse to get from her a cup which she was concealing
about her person. It seems probable, though we are not aware of its being
expressly so stated, that goods thus seized, if not redeemed, were publicly
sold or valued (C. I. A.
ii. No. 814 a), and that the party
from whom they were taken could sue his opponent for any surplus which might
remain after all legal demands were satisfied. If the damages awarded to the
plaintiff were heavy, so that they could not be covered by goods taken in
execution, he might proceed to satisfy himself by seizure of the defendant's
land. This was what occurred in the case of Demosthenes; having recovered a
judgment of ten talents against Aphobus, he made entry upon a farm. Onetor,
claiming it as mortgagee, turned him off and thereby subjected himself to an
action of ejectment (Att. Process,
ed. Lipsius, pp. 962-966).
The right of taking property in pledge is stipulated in some inscriptions for
breach of contract (C. I. A.
ii. Nos. 565, 11; 600, 36,
ἐνεχυράζειν πρὸ δίκης
: C. I.
No. 2448=Cauer, Del. Inscr. Gr.
2 No. 148 E, 50.20, ἐνεχύραστος
p. 116, n. 1). No seizure of this
sort could take place during several of the religious festivals of the
Athenians, such as the Dionysia, the Lenaea, the Thargelia, etc. (Dem.
p. 517.10; Att. Process,
Lipsius, p. 338, n. 393).