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DOKIMA´SIA (δοκιμασία), the public proof or testing of qualifications at Athens, was of several kinds:--I. Of each citizen on attaining legal majority. The Athenian first entered upon the full enjoyment of the rights of citizenship after the completion of his thirtieth year, before which age he was eligible neither for public office, nor to the council, nor to serve as a juryman. But the right of attendance at the general assemblies and of participation in the voting, nay, even of speaking in them, was at least not expressly forbidden him from his twentieth year onward; although discreet and sensible young men kept away of their own accord. Full age, as regarded private legal relations, began properly at the completion of the eighteenth year [EPHEBUS]. Before young men were declared to be of full age, however, they were subjected to an examination called δοκιμασία, which partly had reference to their bodily maturity, in order to ascertain whether they were capable of the military services imposed on them at this age; partly, in the cases of orphans and the sons of heiresses, to their capability of managing their property for themselves. Finally, a proof might be demanded in the course of it of the genuineness of their descent as citizens. The examination with regard to the first and third point was undertaken in an assembly of the Demotae or inhabitants of their district, and as it seems by the older men, and especially those who were Heliastae. (Aristoph. Wasps 578.) That relating to the second point might be instituted before the Phratria. The phrase ἐπὶ δίετες ἡβῆσαι, indicating both the military age and civil majority (Aeschin. c. Ctes. § 122; Lex ap. Demosth. ii. c. Steph. p. 1135.20), is now explained, after Schömann, of the completion of the eighteenth year, in accordance with the precise language of the writer in Bekk. Anecd. p. 255, 15: τὸ ἐπὶ δίετες ἡβῆσαι: τὸ γενέσθαι ἐτῶν ὀκτωκαίδεκα: ἴνα ἥβη τὸ ἑκκαίδεκα ἐτῶν γενέσθαι (Schömann, Assemblies, p. 69 ff.; Antiq. 1.359, E. T.; Hermann, Privatalterth. § 56, n. 11; Blümner, Privatalterth. p. 322; A. Schaefer, Demosthenes und seine Zeit, iii. pt. 2, p. 35; Sandys on Dem. c. Steph. l.c.). The older scholars, following Harpocration and Pollux (8.105), made ἥβη the eighteenth, coming of age the twentieth year. In cases of immaturity of body and mind the dokimasia might, it seems, be postponed within certain limits: Schömann supposes that “among the Athenians no one particular period was appointed for being enrolled, provided that it was not done before the attainment of the eighteenth, nor after the completion of the twentieth year.”

II. Of magistrates and public officers. When any citizen of Athens was either appointed by lot, or chosen by suffrage (κληρωτὸς καὶ αἱρετός), to hold a public office, he was obliged, before entering on its duties, to submit to a dokimasia, or scrutiny into his previous life and conduct, in which any person could object to him as unfit. This was the case with the archons, the senators, the strategi, and other magistrates. The examination, or anakrisis, for the archonship was conducted by the senators, or in the courts of the heliaea. The term for rejection was ἀποδοκιμάζειν (Lys. c. Agorat. § 10, c. Evand. § § 6, 14; [Dem.] c. Aristog. i. p. 779.30, p. 790.67).

III. Of orators. Though not holding any office, orators are opposed to ἰδιῶται as πολιτευόμενοι or public characters ([Dem.] Phil. iv. p. 150.70; Aeschin. c. Tim. § 7). As such, they were liable to the denouncement of an inquiry (ἐπαγγελία δοκιμασίας) against those who spoke in the assembly while leading profligate lives, or after having committed flagitious crimes. This denouncement might be made in public by any one πρὸς δοκιμασίαν τοῦ βίου, i. e. to compel the party complained of to appear before a court of justice and give an account of his life and conduct. If found guilty, he was punished with atimia and excluded from the assemblies (Aeschin. c. Timarch. § § 2, 28, 32, 81; Dem. c. Androt. p. 602.29). [EPANGELIA]

IV. Of the cavalry (ἱππέων), a muster before the βουλὴ or senate (Xenoph. Oec. 9.15; Hipparch. [p. 1.650]3.9). The neglect of it involved expulsion from the service and atimia (Lys. c. Alcib. 1.8, 2.5; pro Mantith. § 13).

V. Of invalids (ADYNATOI).

[R.W] [W.W]

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