Under this term was included not only every species of treason, but also
every such crime as (in the opinion of the Greeks) would amount to a
betrayal or desertion of the interests of a man's country; especially the
attempt to subvert the constitution (κατάλυσια τοῦ
) and to establish a despotism (τυραννίς
). Thus Lycurgus (c. Leocr.
§ 127) speaks of the psephisma of Demophantus (κτενῶ . . . . ὃς ἂν καταλύσῃ τὴν δημοκρατίαν τὴν
Ἀθήνησι, καὶ ἐάν τις ἄρξῃ τιν᾽ ἀρχὴν καταλελυμένης
[p. 2.500]τῆς δημοκρατίας τὸ
λοιπόν, καὶ ἐάν τις τυραννεῖν ἐπαναστῇ ἢ τὸν τύραννον
Andoc. de Myst.
as directed against traitors (τὸν τὴν πατρίδα
), yet there is no instance recorded of an attempt
to subvert the constitution ever having been dealt with as προδοσία,
and the νόμος
clearly distinguishes between the two crimes.
In the eye of the law only the betrayal to the enemy of the state or part of
the state, such as a town, a watch-post, a gate, a dockyard, a fleet, an
army (Lys. c. Philon.
§ 26; Lyc.
§ 59; Dem. c. Lept.
481.79; Aeschin. c. Ctes.
§ 171; Hyp. pro
18), or the entering into any kind of treasonable
communication with the enemy (cf. the case of Antiphon and Archeptolemus,
[Plut.] Vitt. X. Orat.
p. 833 E), amounted to προδοσία
]; unless when a special decree of the
people extended the meaning of προδοσία,
g. to the leaving the state in time of danger (as after the battle of
Chaeroneia, Lyc. c. Leocr.
§ 53: ἐνόχους εἶναι τῇ προδοσίᾳ τοὺς φεύγοντας τὸν
ὑπὲρ τῆς πατρίδος κίνδυνον
), or when it was resolved on
the motion of Critias to prosecute Phrynichus, who had been murdered by
Apollodorus and Thrasybulus (τὸν νεκρὸν κρίνειν
), and also to subject his defenders to the
punishment of traitors in case of a conviction (Lyc. c.
§ 112 ff.).
The ordinary method of proceeding against those who were accused of treason
or treasonable practices was by εἰσαγγελία
(only Pollux, 8.40, speaks of a γραφὴ
), as in the case of Gylon, the maternal grandfather of
Demosthenes (προδοὺς τοῖς πολεμίοις
Aeschin. c. Ctes.
Timomachus (προδοὺς Κότυι: τὴν
Schol. Aeschin. c. Tim.
56), Leosthenes (Diod. 15.95
Theotimus (ὁ Σηστὸν ἀπολέσας,
18), Chabrias and Callistratus (Schol. Dem.
p. 535.64; Aristot.
, p. 1411, B 6, and 1.7, p. 1364, 19), etc.: cf.
Plut. Cor. 14
, Ἄνυτος προδοσίας περὶ Πύλου κρινόμενος,
. Leocrates, who left Athens
after the defeat at Chaeroneia, was prosecuted by Lycurgus seven years later
for desertion of his country. The defence of the accused was, that he did
not leave Athens with a traitorous intention (ἐπὶ
), but for the purposes of trade (ἐπὶ ἐμπορίᾳ,
§ 55 and argumentum
); he was acquitted, the votes being even
(Aeschin. c. Ctes.
§ 252). A special decree of the
people pronounced those traitors who fled from Athens after the battle, and
empowered the council of Areiopagus to bring them to justice by a summary
method (Lyc. c. Leocr.
§ 52 ff.): thus we read in
Aeschin. c. Ctes.
§ 252, that they seized and put to
death on the same day
a person that tried to sail
away to Samos.
The regular punishment appointed by law for treason appears to have been
death, refusal of burial within Attic territory, and confiscation of
property (Xen. Hell. 1.7
: cf. Dem. de Cor. Trier.
1230.8 f.); and when we find instances of treason being punished by a fine,
we must either suppose that the Athenians distinguished between high treason
and less heinous kinds of προδοσία
), or that the writers employ
the term in the respective passages not in its proper technical sense (Dem.
p. 740.127 c. Theocr.
1344.70). The sentence passed on Antiphon and Archeptolemus is preserved in
[Plut.] Vitt. X. Oratt.:
“that they be delivered to the Eleven; that their property be
confiscated, and the goddess have the tithe; that their houses be razed
and boundary-stones be placed on the sites with the inscription A.
Α. καὶ Α. τοῖν προδόταιν;
it shall not be allowed to bury A. and A. at Athens or in any land of
which the Athenians are masters; that A. and A. and their descendants
shall be ἄτιμοι,
and he who adopts any
one of the race of A. and A. shall be ἄτιμος
: that this decree be written on a bronze column, and
put in the same place where the decrees about Phrynichus are set
up” (cf. Lyc. c. Leocr.
§ 117 f.;
Journal of Philol.
8.1-13). The bones of Themistocles,
who had been condemned for treason, were brought over and buried secretly by
his friends (Thuc. 1.138
; Marcell. Vit. Thucyd.
). Traitors might be
proceeded against even after their death, as we have done in modern times.
Thus, the Athenians resolved to prosecute Phrynichus; judgment of treason
was passed against him, his bones were dug up and cast out of Attica.
ed. Lipsius, pp. 419-424.)