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PARANOIAS DIKE

PARANOIAS DIKE (παρανοίας δίκη). This proceeding may be compared to our commission of lunacy, or writ de lunatico inquirendo. It was a suit at Athens that might be instituted by a son or other relative for a son against one who, by reason of madness or mental imbecility, had-become incapable of managing his own affairs. The intention was to take the mgnagement of property out of the hands of such, a person--hence the suit might only be instituted by the next heir, i. e. sons i:n the first instance (Plat. Legg. xi. p. 928, D f.)--and not to provide for his confinement (Aristoph. Cl. 845; Xen. Memor. 1.2.49; Aeschin. c. Ctes. § 251). Pollux (8.89) states that this δίκη came before the archon (as ἡγεμὼν δικαστηρίου), which is very probable, as being a matter connected with family rights, and from other sources we learn that a court of dicasts decided the case. The anonymous author of the Life of Sophocles alone states that the decision of such a suit rested with the phratores of the accused (καί ποτε ἐν δράματι εἰσήγαγε τὸν Ἰοφῶντα αὐτῷ φθονοῦντα καὶ πρὸς τοὺς φράτορας, etc.); yet this story of a prosecution of Sophocles by his son on account of mental imbecility is extremely doubtful. It would seem that a comic poet introduced an arraignment of the aged Sophocles by his son before the phratores in a contemporary comedy, the name of the poet being lost (G. Hermann conjectured καί ποτε Ἀριστοφάνης ἐν Δράμασιν εἰσήγαγε, etc.). This invented trial, Jebb suggests (Soph. ed. Jebb, ii. p. xl. f.). was accepted by Satyrus, a collector of biographies, whence Cicero (de Sen. 7, 22) and later writers (Plut. Moral. p. 785 B; Lucian, Macrob. 24), directly or indirectly, derived their accounts. (Att. Process, ed. Lipsius, p. 566 ff.) [C.R.K] [H.H]

(Appendix). It was laid before the archon: ἐάν τις αἰτιᾷταί τινα παρανοούντα τ[ὰ ἑαυτοῦ κτήματα ἀ]πολλύ[ναι], 100.56.

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