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DECASMUS (δεκασμός), bribery: strictly meaning a systematic bribery by division into sets of ten (Bekk. Anecd. p. 236, 5). There were two actions for bribery at Athens: one, called δεκασμοῦ γραφή, lay against the person who gave the bribe; and the other, called δώρων or δωροδοκίας γραφή, against the person who received it. (Pollux, 8.42.) These actions applied to the bribery of citizens in the public assemblies of the people (συνδεκάζειν τὴν ἐκκλησίαν, Aesch. c. Timarch. § 86), of the Heliaea or any of the courts of justice, of the βουλή, and of the public advocates (συνηγόροι, Lex ap. Dem. c. Steph. ii. p. 1137.26). Demosthenes (F. L. p. 343.7), indeed, says that orators were forbidden by the law, not merely to abstain from receiving gifts for the injury of the state, but even to receive any present at all.

Actions for bribery were under the jurisdiction of the thesmothetae (Dem. c. Steph. 1. c.). The punishment on conviction was death (Isocr. de Pace, § 50; Aeschin. c. Tim. § 87), or payment of ten times the value of the gift received (Dinarch. c. Demosth. § 60; c. Aristog. § 17). An additional punishment (προστίμημα) might be inflicted by the court; as in the case of Demosthenes, who was not only fined 50 talents, but thrown into prison (Plut. Dem. 26; Vit. X. Oratt. p. 841 c; Boeckh, P. E. p. 384). In this instance the amount of the penalty seems to have been fivefold, not tenfold, the amount of [p. 1.600]the bribe. Atimia followed as a matter of course on conviction, and was not left, like other punishments, to the discretion of the court (Dem. c. Mid. p. 551.113; Aeschin. c. Ctes. § 232). On the analogy of the Roman decuriae, and the phrase Λύκου δεκὰς applied to bribery in Harpocration, compare Sandys on Dem. c Steph. l.c.; Meier, Att. Process, p. 150.

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