previous next


PARACATATHE´CE (παρακαταθήκη, παραθήκη: cf. Rutherford, New Phrynichus, p. 367) generally signifies a deposit of something valuable with a friend or other person, for the benefit of the owner. Thus, if I deliver my goods to a friend, to be taken care of for me; or if I give a creditor something valuable as a pledge; or if I deposit money with a banker (ἀφορμή, Harpocr. s. v.; argum. Dem. pro Phorm. p. 944), to receive interest for it and to draw on him (Dem. c. Callip. p. 1236.4; Blümner, Griech. Privatalt. p. 454 f.), such delivery or bailment, or the gods bailed or delivered, or the money deposited, may be called παρακαταθήκη (Hdt. 6.86; Dem. pro Phorm. p. 946.5 f., and c. Stephan. i. p. 1110.29 f.); and the word is often applied metaphorically to any important trust committed by one person to another (Dem. c. Aphob. ii. p. 840.15; Aeschin. c. Tim. § 7; Dem. c. Mid. p. 572.177, etc.). As every bailee is bound to restore to the bailor the thing deposited, either on demand (in case of a simple bailment) or on performance of the conditions on which it was received, the Athenians gave a παρακαταθήκης δίκη against a bailee who unjustly withheld his property from the owner, ἀπεστέρησε τὴν παρακαταθήκην (Pollux, 6.154; Schol. to Aristoph. Pl. 373, etc.), or who used it without the owner's permission for his own benefit. Examples of such an action are Isocr. Trapez. and c. Euthyn.: a subject of Satyrus, king of Bosporus, sues Pasion the banker for money alleged to have been placed in his hands (Trapez. § § 11, 27, etc.); Nicias had deposited three talents with Euthynus, and, when he applied to him for the money, Euthynus repaid only two and disclaimed knowledge of the third (c. Euthyn. § § 3, 7, 9, etc.). A pledge given to a creditor could not be recovered, except on payment of the money owed to him; but, after selling the article and satisfying his debt out of the proceeds, he would of course be bound to restore the surplus (if any) to the pledgor. It is not known whether beyond restoring the thing deposited any penalty was inflicted on a defendant who fraudulently denied that he had ever received the deposit; so much is certain from Dem. c. Mid. p. 528.44, that ἀτιμία was not inflicted, as Meursius, Them. Attica, 2.100.23, p. 120 (τὸν μὴ ἀποδιδόντα τὴν παρακαταθήκην ἄτιμον εἶναι) supposed (Thalheim, Griech. Rechtsalt. p. 48, n. 5). The difficulty of procuring safe custody for money, and the general insecurity of movable property in Greece, induced many rich persons to make valuable deposits in the principal temples, such [p. 2.338]as that of Apollo at Delphi (Plut. Lys. 18), of Artemis at Ephesus (Dio Chrysost. 31.54; cf. Xenoph. Anab. 5.3, 6, and Plaut. Bacch. 2.3, 78), of Hera at Samus (Cic. de Legg. 2.1. 6, 41), etc. (Büchsenschütz, Besitz. u. Erwerb. p. 508 f.: cf. Posidon. Apam. ft. 48, in Fragnm. Hist. Graec. iii. p. 48.) It may be observed that παρακατατίθεσθαι, in the middle voice, is always used of a person making a deposit for his own benefit, with the intention of taking it up again, and παρακατακεῖσθαι of the thing thus deposited; κομίζεσθαι is to recover your property (Isocr. c. Euthyn. § 4; Trapez. § 8, etc.). (Att. Process, ed. Lipsius, pp. 700 ff.)

[C.R.K] [H.H]

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