previous next


ECMARTY´RIA (ἐκμαρτυρία) signifies the deposition of a witness, who, by reason of absence abroad, or illness (ὑπερορίου καὶ ἀδυνάτου, Lex ap. Dem. c. Steph. i. p. 1131.9), was unable to attend in court. His statement was taken down in writing, in the presence of persons expressly appointed to receive it, and afterwards, upon their swearing to its identity, was read as evidence in the cause. They were said μαρτυρεῖν τὴν ἐκμαρτυρίαν: the absent witness, ἐκμαρτυρεῖν: the party who procured the evidence, ἐκμαρτυρίαν ποιεῖσθαι It was considered as the testimony of the deponent himself, not that of the certifying witnesses, and therefore did not come within the description of hearsay evidence, which (except the declaration of a deceased person) was not admissible at Athens [AKOÈN MARTYREIN, p. 94]. The deponent (like any other witness) was liable to an action for false testimony if the contents of the deposition were untrue, unless he could show that it was incorrectly taken down or forged, in which case the certifying witnesses would be liable. Therefore (Isaeus tells us) it was usual to select persons of good character to receive such evidence, and to have as many of them as possible. An ἐκμαρτυρία was allowed to a witness about to start on a journey, if he could not conveniently wait (Isae. Or. 3 [Pyrrhus], § 20). The form of ἐκμαρτυρία, or what purports to be such, occurs Dem. c. Lacrit. p. 929.20; 934.34. (Isae. Or. 3 [Pyrrhus], § § 20-27; Dem. c. Steph. i. pp. 1130, 1131, § § 7, 8; Aeschin. de F. L. § 19; Harpocrat. s. v.; Att. Process, p. 670 = 879 Lips.)

[C.R.K] [W.W]

hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: