). In voting by
ballot the Greeks used, according to Pollux (8.16 f., 123), sea-shells
) or imitations of such in
metal, beans (φρυκτοί
of metal (φασὶ
δέ τινες τῶν ἐξηγησαμένων ὅτι ἀπὸ χοιρείων ὀστῶν αὗται
Schol. Dem. c. Tim.
p. 747), and
of metal (τετρυπημέναι
). At Athens in early times sea-shells were in use
(Aristoph. Kn. 1332
and Schol. on
332, 349), and probably also beans (Aristoph. Kn. 41
: cf. Schömann,
i. p. 269 ff.), and pebbles (Aristoph. Wasps 110
; black ones for
condemnation and white ones for acquittal, Plut.
, cf. Schol. Aeschin. c. Tim.
79); in the times of the orators, however, the dicasts used ψῆφοι
of metal. These were not balls of metal,
but discs with a cylindrical axis (αὐλίσκος
) running through the centre and projecting on either
side, and this cylinder was either solid (πλήρης
) for acquittal, or pierced (τετρυπημένη
) for condemnation (Aeschin. c.
§ 79; Arist. in Harpocr. s. v. τετρυπημένη,
cf. C. I. A.
ii. No. 778).
Rusopulos (Ἀρχ. Ἐφημ.
1862, p. 305)
gives the following measurements of the two specimens preserved in the
Collection of the Athen. Arch. Soc. Of the pierced one the diameter of the
disc is 0.062 French met., thickness 0.001, length of cylinder 0.043,
diameter of cylinder 0.013 at one end and 0.012 at the other. The
measurements of the solid one vary but slightly: diameter of the disc 0.061,
and of the cylinder 0.01. The specimen described by Vischer (Epigr.
u. Archäol. Kleinigk.
p. 16 ff.), which is reproduced
below, has a somewhat smaller diameter of the disc (0.060) and shorter
cylinder (0.0375). The disc bore on
one side the inscription ψῆφος
and on the reverse a letter (in the specimens at Athens
), referring to one of the ten sections of the dicasts
(Wachsmuth, Archäol. Anz.
1861, p. 223), or more
probably to the court (Arist. in Schol. Aristoph. Pl. 278
): Special officers (οἱ
λαχόντες ἐπὶ τὰς ψήφους
) gave to each dicast one of each
kind in sight of the parties, when both sides had spoken (Harpoc. l.c.
), and the dicasts Walked up to the βῆμα
(Dem. F. L.
boxes (κάδοι, κ α δ ί ς κ ο ι
stood, into each of which they placed. one ψῆφος
(the remark of the Schol. Aristoph. Wasps 750
, τοῦ κήρυκος τῆν
κληρωτρίδα προσφέροντος, ἔβαλον
) τὰς ψήφους,
contradicted by Aristophanes' words, κἀπισταίην
ἐπὶ τοῖς κημοῖς ψηφιζομένων ὁ τελευταῖος
). Of these
one, called κύριος
(because the dicast put into it the
by which he gave his vote), was
made of metal; the other, called ἄκυρος,
was made of wood, and into this he dropped the second ψῆφος.
In this way that absolute secrecy was secured
in an eisangelia,
Lyc. c. Leocr.
§ 146; in a γραφὴ φόνου,
Lys. c. Erat.
§ 91; in
a γραφὴ ἀστρατείας,
2.10) which was considered a guarantee for the freedom of
voting (Dem. F. L.
p. 415.239). For since the old
funnel-shaped top of the καδίσκος
wickerwork (σχοίνινος ἠθμός,
fr. 260; Schol. Aristoph. Kn. 1147
275, 25; and Photius, s. v. κημός
) had been replaced by a top of lead
(Lex. Rhet. Cant.
s. v. κημός
), with an opening filed through large enough to admit one
only (διερρινημένον ἐπίθημα εἰς τὸ αὐτὴν μόνην τὴν ψῆφον
Schol. Aristoph. l.c.
and with a rim running round (Lex. Rhet. Cant.
l.c. μετέωρα εἶχε χείλη ὥστε ἐπισκοτεῖν
is evident that if the dicast held the ψῆφος
sideways by the two ends of the cylinder with thumb and
second finger, lowered it to the opening in the lid and pushed it in with
the first finger (Hesych. κόγξ . . . . καὶ τῆς
δικαστικῆς ψήφου ἦχος
: the φιληλιαστὴς
gets up in the morning τοὺς τρεῖς ξυνέχων τῶν δακτύλων
through being accustomed
to hold the ψγ̂φος,
Aristoph. Wasps 94
f.), it was not
possible for anyone to see if he put in the pierced or the solid one. After
all had voted, the κύριος καδίσκος
emptied out on to a table, and the ψῆφοι
were counted (cf. Aristoph. Wasps 331
Even votes amounted to an acquittal (Antiph. de caed.
§ 51; Aeschin. c. Ctes.
Aristotle in Lex. Rhet. Cant.
s. v. ἶσαι αἱ ψῆφοι,
etc.). Euripides (Elect.
1269; Iph. Taur.
1470 f.) connects this principle with the
trial of Orestes before the court of Areiopagus, when Athena proclaimed
νικᾷ δ᾽Ὀρέστης κἂν ἰσόψηφος
(Aesch. Eum. 741
Kirchhoff (Monatsber. d. K. Pr. Akad.
1874, p. 105 ff.)
shows, in trials for murder the βασιλεὺς
had a vote (Pollux, 8.90); hence Athena, who acted as ἡγεμὼν
in Orestes' trial, having taken off her crown, voted
after the eleven dicasts, and by giving her vote to Orestes brought about
evenness of votes, and thus his acquittal. A heliastic court always
consisted of some multiple of a hundred, + 1, to prevent even votes (Schol.
Dem. c. Tim.
p. 702.9): thus Pollux (8.48) mentions four
hundred and one, two hundred and one, as the numbers of dicasts in two
different cases of φάσις
s. v. λογισταί,
p. 464, etc.); the common way, however, of
indicating the number was, for brevity's sake, to mention the variable
constituent, omitting the invariable one. Even votes could therefore only
come about by the default of individuals at the last moment
(Schömann, de Com.
p. 153). The total
of votes in C. I. A.
ii. No. 778 is four hundred and [p. 2.517]
ninety-nine; on the voting in Socrates' trial, cf.
ed. Lipsius, p. 169 n. A similar system of
balloting was employed when the dicasts voted on the question of penalty
(Dem. c. Aristocr.
p. 676.167; [Dem.] c.
p. 1347.6); hence the verdict on the question guilty or not guilty
or for the
plaintiff or defendant
is called πρώτη
(Aeschin. c. Ctes.
§ 197; Dem.
p. 434.290; [Dem.] c. Aristog.
795.83). In the time of Aristophanes a curious custom was in vogue. Each
dicast had a waxen tablet (πινάκιον τιμητικόν,
Aristoph. Wasps 167
; Pollux, 8.16), on
which, if he awarded the heavier penalty, he drew a long line (vertically on
the tablet); if the lighter penalty, a short line (horizontally on the
tablet): cf. τιμᾶν τὴν μακράν,
Aristoph. Wasps 106
, and Photius, s. v.
A different system of voting was in use in the time before the archonship of
Eucleides, and this seems in some cases to have been continued also in the
fourth century: viz. there were two boxes, one for condemnation and the
other for acquittal (ὁ ἀπολλὺς καδίσκος
and ὁ ἀπολύων
in Phrynichus, Μοῦσαι,
B.C. 405; τὸ
and τὸ ἐνάντιον
Aesch. Ag. 788
and ὁ ἐλέου,
Scholiast. Aristoph. Wasps 985
each dicast had one ψῆφος
received its meaning from the box into which it was put. The two boxes were,
we must suppose, so placed that the nearer one (ἡ
) was that of condemnation, the further one (ἡ ὑστέρα
) that of acquittal: thus in Aristoph. Wasps 987
acquits Labes by throwing his vote into the second (ὕστερον
) cup (cups being here used instead of urns, 855);
cf. also Xen. Hell. 1.7
. It is difficult to understand how secrecy
was possible with this method of voting, and yet we are clearly told that it
was so. Lysias (c. Agor.
§ 37) complains of the
irregular mode of voting introduced by the Thirty in the senate: the
had to be placed on the two
tables--this at once makes it open voting--instead of being put into the
and, further, the vote of
condemnation had to be placed on the further table, i. e. on that nearest
the seats of the Thirty. The voting in Orestes' trial, too, is conceived of
as secret, for the result is not known before the counting of the votes
takes place. SchOmann and Sauppe (de Athen. ratione suffr. in iudic.
p. 9) suppose that secrecy was secured by the two urns
being so placed that the people standing around could not see into which of
them the ψῆφος
was thrown; but this
explanation is insufficient, inasmuch as voting could only be said to be
secret if even the other dicasts did not know how each had voted. To meet
this difficulty, Lipsius suggests that each dicast had, besides his ψῆφος,
some other token to put into the second
box. It has not yet been fully established to what extent this mode of
voting continued in the fourth century. Lipsius quotes two instances of it,
viz. the eisangelia against Leocrates and a δίκη
in Isae. Dicaearch.
18. As regards the former, the words of Lycurgus have been differently
explained: ὑμῶν δ᾽ἕκαστον χρὴ νομίζειν τὸν
Λεωκράτους ἀποψηφιζόμενον θάνατον τῆς πατρίδος καὶ
ἀνδραποδισμὸν καταψηφίζεσθαι καὶ δυοῖν καδίσκοιν κειμένοιν τὸν
μὲν προδοσίας τὸν δὲ σωτηρίας εἶναι καὶ τὰς ψήφους φέρεσθαι
τὰς μὲν ὑπὲρ ἀναστάσεως τῆς πατρίδος τὰς δὲ ὑπὲρ ἀσφαλείας
καὶ τῆς ἐν τῇ πόλει εὐδαιμονίας.
Whilst Schomann, whom
Lipsius follows, identifies the προδοσίας
with the ἀπολύων,
the σωτηρίας καδίσκος
with the ἀπολλύς,
Sauppe supposes that the orator
alludes to the κύριος καδίσκος
Directions as to voting may be
given in two ways: either the dicast is told which of the two ψῆφοι
he is to put into the κύριος καδίσκος,
as in Aeschin. c.
§ 79, viz. the pierced one, if he thinks Timarchus
guilty, the solid one if not; or he is directed into which of the two urns
to place the pierced one. Thus in the trial of Leocrates, if he places it in
he condemns Leocrates and votes
for the safety of the state; if on the other hand he places it in the
he acquits Leocrates and
betrays the state: and these urns may thus in a rhetorical manner be called
As for the second instance (a δίκη
), there the dicast had clearly but one
For when on the ψῆφοι
being taken out of the urns it was evident
that the defendant. had been found guilty, the prosecutor allowed the archon
μῆ συναριθμεῖν ἀλλὰ συγχέαι τὰς
i. e. to mix up the ψῆφοι
of the two urns (of the plaintiff and the defendant
respectively), not to count those in each; if two kinds of ψῆφοι
had been used, and therefore some of each
had been placed in the κύριος,
have been rather a question of διαριθμεῖν
(Szanto, Wiener Stud.
1881, p. 28 f.). The same system seems
to have been regularly in use, when, as in inheritance cases, there were
several parties before the court, to one of whom an estate or some other
thing was to be adjudged, and where it was customary to have as many boxes
as there were parties, or at least parties in distinct interests ([Dem.]
p. 1053.10, καὶ αἱ
ψῆφοι ὀλίγαις πάνυ ἐγένοντο πλείους . . . . ἐν τῷ Θεοπόμπου
καδίσκῳ ἢ ἐν τῷ τῆς γυναικός
: cf. Isae.
§ 21 f.). (Att. Process,
Lipsius, p. 934 ff.)
As regards the senate, Pollux (8.19) says, ἡ βουλὴ
οἱ πεντακόσιοι φύλλοις ἀντὶ ψήφων ἐχρῶντο.
to the expulsion of an unworthy member by this body, the votes being written
on leaves (Harpocr. s. v. ἐκφυλλοφορῆσαι
it was followed by a second vote where ψῆφοι
were used (Aeschin. c. Tim.
f. and Schol. ad l.c.
), when the person expelled
might be restored to his place in the senate (Att. Process,
ed. Lipsius, p. 246 f.). The Etym. Magnum,
s. v., says that
beans were used at first in voting, and that leaves were substituted on
account of a fraud practised with the beans. When an eisangelia was laid
before the senate, they gave their verdict by secret ballot, whether the
defendant was guilty or not; and if he was found guilty, they voted on a
second day by show of hands (διαχειροτονία
whether they should sentence him to a fine of 500 drachmas, which it was
competent for them to impose, or hand him over to a court ([Dem.] c.
p. 1152.42 f.; Aeschin.
§ 35, lex
Secret voting in deciding the question guilty or not
was here the rule, and Lysias complains of the irregularity
introduced by the Thirty, viz. that the votes should be placed, not in
boxes, but openly on tables (c. Agor.
Similarly the Thirty introduced open voting in the popular assembly (Xen. Hell. 2.4
: cf. the action of the oligarchs in Megara in B.C. 424, Thuc. 4.74
). Here the usual method of voting was
by show of hands (χειροτονία
); but on the
occasions when the ballot was employed, it was deemed important that the
voting should be secret, and that the numbers should be accurately counted.
Thus to pass a psephisma for the naturalisation of a foreigner ([Dem.]
p. 1375.89), or to grant liberty (ἄδεια
) to speak concerning a disfranchised
person or a state debtor (Dem. c. Tim.
p. 715.46), it was
necessary that 6,000 persons should vote in secret (not a majority of
6,000). The same regulation applied to ostracism [EXSILIUM
], both as regards number of voters and
secrecy of voting (στρέφοντες τὴν
Philochorus in Lex Rhet. Cant.
When the assembly acted in a judicial capacity, the proceedings were
probably the same as those detailed in the προβούλευμα
concerning the generals in Xen. Hell. 1.7
: διαψηφίσασθαι Ἀθηναίους
(i. e. the 6,000 necessary for νόμοι ἐπ᾽
p. 18) κατὰ φυλάς, θεῖναι
δὲ εἰς τὴν φυλὴν ἐκάστην δ̓ύο ὑδρίας: ἐφ᾽ ἑκάστῃ δὲ τῇ
φυλῇ κήρυκα κηρύττειν, ὅτῳ δοκοῦσιν ἀδικεῖν οἱ στρατηγοὶ . .
. . εἰς τὴν προτέραν ψηφίσασθαι, ὅτῳ δὲ μή, εἰς τὴν
This mode of voting was in no way irregular, as
Löschcke shows (Jahrb. f. Philol.
1876, p. 755 f.);
the irregularity consisted, among other things, in the fact that it was
proposed to vote upon the case of all the accused persons at once (μιᾷ ψήφῳ,
26, or ἀθρόοι,
23 B; cf. Lys. c. Eratosth.
§ 52), not
κατὰ ἕνα ἕκαστον
23, 34). This was, however, not specially
ordained by the psephisma of Cannonus, as Grote thinks (Hist. of
vii. p. 438 n.), but was a generally recognised principle of
Attic law (Bamberg, Herm.
1878, p. 509 ff.; Philippi,
1880, p. 607 ff.).
Secret voting was also practised when the members of a phratry registered a
new-born child or an adopted son in φρατερικὸν
(Dem. c. Macart.
p. 1078.82; cf.
the continuation of C. I. A.
ii. No. 241 b, published in
Berl. Philol. Wochenschr.
1889, No. 7, p. 225); when the
demotae entered the name of the youth in the ληξιαρχικὸν γραμματεῖον
(Dem. c. Eubul.
1318.61; Euxitheus learned the fact of Eubulides not having voted against
him only from the circumstance that all had voted for him), and in a
(Suidas, s.v. Dem. c.
p. 1302.13 f. speaks of ψῆφοι
: Pollux, 8.18, says that (ψύλλα
were used on such occasions); cf. also C. I.
ii. No. 578, 1. 16 ff., τῷ δὲ εὐθύνῳ
μὴ ἐξεῖναι ἐξελεῖν τὴν εὔθυναν ἐὰν μὴ τοῖς πλέοσιν δόξει
τῶν δέκα τῶν αἱρεθέντων διαψηφιζομένοις κρύβδην.
The people or senate or jury were said ψηφίζεσθαι,
; Xen. Symp. 5
8), to vote, or give their vote or judgment
in Dem. de Cor.
p. 304.229, is to cast
). The presiding magistrate or officer, who called on the
people to give their votes, was said ἐπιψηφίζειν
or τὴν ωῆφον
2.2; Dem. c. Mid.
etc.), the people ἐπιψηφίζεσθαι
: ψηφίζεσθαί τινι
§ 38, etc.) is sententiam ferre pro
= τὴν ψῆθον διδόναι
p. 575.188, etc.). Ψηφίζεσθαι,
to vote, to resolve,
and other derivations from ψῆφος,
are often used metaphorically, where the
method of voting was χειροτονία,
conversely (Schömann, de Com.
. Unfortunately the
greater portion of the detailed account of the procedure in the law-courts
is either lost or exists only in a very mutilated condition. On p. 168 ff.
we have the description of the voting: of the two ἀμφορεῖς,
one was of metal, ὁ
--the other of wood, ὁ
placed separate (διαίρετοι
); the ἀμφορεὺς
metal is described (Schol. Aristoph. Equ.
1147, and Pollux,
8.123, are correct); ἔπειτα πάλιν [ὁ κήρυξ
κηρ]ύττ[ει], ἡ τε [τρυπη]μένη τοῦ πρ[ό]τερο[ν λέγοντος] ἡ [δὲ]
πλή[ρης τὸῦ ὕστερον λέγοντος . . . . τῶν ψήφων τοῦ μὲν
διω[κόν]τος τὰς τετρυπημένας, τοῦ δὲ φ[εύγοντος] [τὰ]ς πλήρεις:
ὁποτέρῳ δ᾽ [ἂν πλείω γ]ένη[ται οὗ]τος νικᾷ. ἂν δὲ [ἴσαι,
(Cf. Lex. Rhet. Cantabr.
ἴσαι αἱ ψῆφοι αὐτῶν.
) Εἶτ]α πάλιν Τιμῶσι, ἂν δεῇ τιμῆσαι, τὸν αὐτὸν
τρόπον ψηφιζόμενοι, τὸ μὲν σύμβολον ἀποδίδοντες, βακτηρίαν δὲ
(cf. p. 163=Schol. Aristoph. Pl. 278
; see Dem. de Cor.
p. 298.210), ἡ δὲ
τίμησίς ἐστιν πρὸς ἡμίχουν ὕδατος ἑκατέρων.
clepsydra was filled again for the τίμησις
was known from Aeschin. c. Ctes.
§ 197: ἤδη τὸ τρίτον ὕδωρ ἐγχεῖται τῇ
but only now do we learn the amount of water put in,
half a χοῦς.
The time allowed was certainly
short, considering that in a γραφὴ
each side was allowed eleven ἀμφορεῖς
(Aeschin. F. L.
and in an iheritance suit each party was allowed one ἀμφορεὺς
for the first speech, and the quarter of that,
for the second. (Dem. c.