, HYBREOS GRAPHE
, ὕβρεως γραφή
). The fine
instinct of the Greeks for civilisation is nowhere more conspicuous than in
the early repression of wanton violence [p. 1.983]
) in all its forms; and this,
notwithstanding a singular disregard of human life. In modern Europe, for
example, only a few of the most advanced nations have discontinued the use
of arms; among these the wearing of the sword remained a distinction of the
upper classes long after it had been dropped by the common people; and the
growing practice of carrying revolvers shows that we are still liable to
relapse. The Greeks, on the contrary, had abandoned the habit of going armed
) at a very early, almost
a pre-historic, period ; and the Athenians were the first to set the example
Aristotle couples together the wearing of arms and the buying of wives as
proofs of the barbarism of early Greek custom (Pol.
2.8 = p. 1268 b, 40). In the absence both of wild beasts and
roving criminals, the stick [BACTERIA], which no
one was without, was regarded as sufficient protection to the lonely
traveller. In strict keeping with this sentiment, all approaches to violence
were guarded both by law and public opinion. In so backward a community as
the Locrians of Italy, where the laws of Zaleucus prescribed mutilations
unknown in Greece proper (Dem. c. Timocr.
p. 744.140), there
was yet a provision against abusive language (Stob. Flor.
44.21). “In the case of personal quarrels, it is
noted that the Attic law allowed an action for every step in the
quarrel, from the use of language ‘calculated to
provoke a breach of the peace,’ through common and aggravated
assault, up to grievous bodily harm and manslaughter. . . . Even more
marked than this abandonment of arms was the strong feeling about
as they called it; about
personal violence, which they would not allow even towards
slaves.” (Mahaffy, Social Life in Greece,
ed. 3, pp.
In Attic law, abusive words (λοιδορία
the speaker liable to a small summary fine (ἐπιβολή
), especially if uttered in a court of law or a sacred
precinct; if they extended to certain definite charges against a man's
character, the remedy was a κακηγορίας
[KAKEGORIAS DIKÉ; cf.
]: it was a
legal defence, as in the recent (though not the old) English law of libel,
to prove that the charge was true (Dem. c. Aristocr.
635.50). For an assault, whether common or aggravated, the plaintiff had his
choice between a private action for damages [AIKIAS
DIKÉ] and a public and criminal prosecution (ὕβρεως γραφή
), in which, as a τιμητὸς ἀγών,
any penalty might be demanded,
and in extreme cases death. The former involved fewer risks, and was more
commonly chosen, especially by diffident plaintiffs (Dem. c.
p. 1256.1 ; cf. c. Everg. et Mnes.
1158.64). But, as has been seen under AIKIAS
might be intentionally confounded with the object of
exciting greater odium against the defendant (cf. Dem. c.
p. 526.38; Aristot. Rh.
; Att. Process,
p. 647 Lips.).
In the use of the term ὕβρις
there was a
further distinction between indecent (δι᾽
and other assaults (διὰ
: see the Second Argument to the Midias, p. 513, 10).
If the offence were of the former kind, it would always be available when
the sufferer was a minor of either sex (for the consent of the infant was
immaterial), or when an adult female was forcibly violated: and this
protection was extended to all conditions of life, whether bond or free
(Dem. c. Mid.
p. 529.46; Aeschin. c. Timarch.
§ 17; Hyperid. ap. Ath. vi. p. 267 a). It is a moot point whether
the γραφὴ ὕβρεως
protected slaves in
other cases than attempts upon their chastity: Meier and Schömann,
in the original Att. Process,
upheld the limitation to
ὕβρις δι᾽ αἰσχρουργίας
: the best
recent criticism denies it (Hermann, Staatsalterth.
§ 114, n. 7; Becker-Göll, Charikles,
f.; Lipsius, Att. Process,
p. 399 f. ; Thalheim,
p. 33 f.). [The case, however, in Dem.
p. 1251.16, proves nothing either way; cf.
Sandys ad loc.
] Aeschines is careful to state that
it was not because the slave had any rights
was thus protected, but for the good of the citizens, that they might learn
to repress the habit of personal violence ; his expression οὐ γὰρ ὑπὲρ τῶν οἰκετῶν ἐσπούδασεν ὁ
§ 17) affords a
curious parallel to the language of St. Paul (μὴ τῶν
βοῶν μέλει τῷ Θεῷ, ἢ δι_ ἡμᾶς πάντως λέγει
Cor. 9.9). The legal representative (κύριος
) of a female or a minor might, if he pleased, consider
the injury as a private rather than a public wrong, and sue for damages in a
civil action [BIAION DIKÉ]. To justify
an action for ὕβρις διὰ πληγῶν,
of course necessary to prove that the defendant struck the first blow
(ὅταν ἄρχῃ χειρῶν ἀδίκων,
Aristot. Rh. 2.24.9
; cf. [Dem.]
c. Everg. et Mnes.
p. 1151.40). Injury to a slave, if
slight, might entitle the master to recover damages for the battery
), or if serious for the loss of
his services by a δίκη βλαβῆς
(BLABES DIKÉ ; Lips. Att.
p. 401, where it is maintained against Meier that there
was an αἰκίας δίκη
also in the case of
The ὕβρεως γραφή,
as has been already
stated, does not seem to have been frequent; there are no speeches extant
upon an action of this kind, and the allusions to lost speeches (e. g.
) tell the same tale. Besides the more
serious character of the γραφὴ
prosecution, it was more profitable to obtain compensation for the wrong
than the mere punishment of the wrong-doer; the penalty in the latter case
accrued to the state and not to the plaintiff. He had also to forfeit 1000
drachmas (ὀφλεῖν χιλίας
) if he either
relinquished the suit or failed to obtain a fifth of the votes. If, however,
the case for the prosecution was both strong and clear, the redress afforded
by the public action was prompt and efficient. Besides the legal protectors
of women and children, any Athenian citizen in the enjoyment of his full
franchise might volunteer an accusation; he had to pay no deposit (πρυτανεῖα
) beforehand (Lipsius, Att.
p. 814): the declaration was laid before the
thesmothetae, who, unless hindered by extraordinary public business, were
bound to bring it for trial within a month before a Heliastic court. The
severity of the sentence extended to confiscation or death ; and if the
latter were awarded, the criminal was executed on the same day: if a fine
were imposed upon him, he was allowed but eleven days for its payment, and
he was imprisoned until the claim of the state was liquidated. The law in
Demosthenes (c. Mid.
p. 529.47) mentions [p. 1.984]
imprisonment only ἐὰν ἐλεύθερόν τις
: that in Aeschines (c. Timarch.
§ 16) draws no such distinction. Notwithstanding the strong
presumption against the genuineness of documents inserted in the text of the
Orators, there are some exceptions: and these particular laws have been
defended on good grounds (Lipsius, p. 395, n. 565; Thalheim, p. 33, n. 5).
[The speech of Isocrates against Lochites
20), and that of Demosthenes against Conon
54), each technically an αἰκίας
abound with illustrations of the whole subject of
pp. 392-402, Lipsius; Thalheim,
§ 6 = Hermann,