) were judicial authorities in disputes between
) who carried on traffic
by sea, and in suits against foreigners who usurped the rights of
citizenship; in other words, in the δίκαι
and δίκαι ξενίας.
connexion of the two classes of cases may be explained by the fact that the
trading metoecs were just the most likely men to get themselves wrongly
enrolled as citizens (Schömann, Antiq.
T.). The nautodicae were appointed every year by lot in the month of
Gamelion (Lys. Or.
17, περὶ δημος.
§ 5), and probably attended to the δίκαι ἐμπορικαὶ
only during the winter, when
navigation ceased, whereas the δίκαι
might be brought before them all the year round. There can
be no doubt that they dated from an early period of Athenian history, when
it was sufficient for a man to be a citizen if only his father was a
citizen, whatever his mother might be; that is, previous to the time of
Pericles (Plut. Per. 37
; compare CIVITAS
p. 444 b).
In what precise capacity they administered these suits was formerly a matter
of dispute, some grammarians calling them δικασταὶ
or jurymen (Hesych. s. v.; Lex Seguer.
p. 283, 3), others ἀρχαὶ
presiding magistrates (Poll. 8.126;
Harpocrat., Suid., Lex. Rhet.
s. v.). The weight of authority
was in favour of the latter view; but a difficulty was found in the fact
that, in the time of Demosthenes and the orators contemporary with Philip of
Macedon, the suits in question are shown to have been tried before the
Thesmothetae. The only orator who mentions the nautodicae belongs to an
earlier period (Lys. l.c.
§ § 5,
8), and is clearly in favour of their having been an ἀρχή.
But in all the speeches of Demosthenes no trace
occurs of them, and in that against Lacritus (p. 940.47 f.), where all the
courts are mentioned before whom such a case as that of Lacritus might be
brought, the orator could scarcely have failed to include the nautodicae if
they had still existed in his time. Hence Boeckh (P. E.
49, and with slight modification in his later view, Sthh
3 1.64) thought that the thesmothetae had the ἡγεμονία δικαστηρίου,
while the nautodicae sat
as a jury under them. The better attested opinion that they were a
magistracy is now shown to be correct by an inscription (C. I.
1.29, οἱ ναυτοδ[ἱκαι . . . τ]ὸ
i. e. shall be the εἰσαγωγεῖς
of the case; Lips. Att.
p. 96; Fränkel, n. 92 on Boeckh). The
difficulty vanishes if we suppose that the δίκαι
in the middle of the 4th century, when they became
], were taken
from the nautodicae and transferred to the thesmothetae; and that as the
principal occupation of the former was gone, the δίκαι ξενίας
were likewise transferred to the thesmothetae,
and the office of the nautodicae was abolished. If Lucian mentions them in a
dialogue supposed to have taken place after the death of Alexander, this is
not the only similar anachronism in his writings (Lucian, Dial.
2.2 = p. 282 R.; Lipsius, Att. Proc.
97 n.). The notion of Schömann (Antiq.
the nautodicae judged the ἐμπορικαὶ δίκαι
themselves, while they prepared δίκαι
for trial and brought them before the Heliastic courts, is
an unnecessary attempt to reconcile the grammarians; for we find δικάζειν
occasionally used of magistrates in their capacity of
p. 43 Lips.). (Baumstark, de Curatoribus Emporii et
Nautodicis apud Athenienses,
Freiburg in Breisgau, 1828, pp.
65-78; Att. Process,
pp. 95-98 Lips.; the old edition pp.
83-86 is much less satisfactory.)