). This action might be brought in any case of brutal violence
(Harpocrat.; cf. Plato, Leg.
ix. p. 879 B, βίαιον τὸ τῆς αἰκίας πᾶν γένος
); and we
learn from Demosthenes (c. Pantaen.
p. 976.33) that it came
under the jurisdiction of the Forty. It was, however, in practice mainly
restricted to two cases: the illegal and forcible seizure of property of any
kind, but especially of slaves; and the rape, or abduction with a view to
rape, of a free person of either sex. Under the former head came the
irregular rescue of slaves from their masters. (Lys. c.
§ 12; EXAIRESEOS
DIKÉ.) According to Plutarch (Plut. Sol. 23
), the law prescribed that ravishers should pay a
fine of 100 drachmas; but other accounts merely state, generally that the
convict was mulcted in a sum equal to twice that at which the damages were
laid (διπλῆν τὴν βλάβην ὀφείλειν,
de Caede Eratosth.
§ 32; Dem. c.
p. 528, § § 44, 45; Harpocrat.): the
plaintiff in such case receiving one-half of the fine; and the state, as a
party mediately injured, the other. To reconcile these accounts Meier
p. 545) supposes the rape to have been
estimated by law at 100 drachmas, and that the plaintiff fixed the damages
in reference to other injuries simultaneous with, or consequent upon, the
perpetration of the main offence. Demosthenes lays down the rule that all
such acts of violence are not merely civil injuries, but crimes against
society (πάνθ̓ ὅσα τις βιαζόμενος πράττει, κοινὰ
c. Mid. l.c.
); and it seems clear that the βιαίων δίκη,
like the kindred actions αἰκίας
might be taken up by a third party as a γραφὴ
or public prosecution, provided that no
private suit had been instituted. With respect to aggressions upon property,
the action βιαίων
is to be distinguished
in that the former implies
the employment of actual violence, the latter merely such detention of
property as amounted to violence in the contemplation of law (Meier,
p. 546), as for instance the nonpayment of
damages, and the like, to the successful litigant after an award in his
favour by a court of justice. (Dem. c. Mid.