, DIKAI APO
(δίκαι ἀπὸ συμβόλων
) The ancient Greek states
had no welldefined international law for the protection of their respective
members. In the earlier times troops of robbers used to roam about from one
country to another, and commit aggressions upon individuals, who in their
turn made reprisals, and took the law into their own hands. Even when, the
state took upon itself to resent the injury done to its members, a violent
remedy was resorted to, such as the giving authority to take σῦλα,
a sort of national distress. As the Greeks advanced in
civilisation, and a closer intercourse sprang up among them, disputes
between the natives of different countries were settled (whenever it was
possible) by friendly negotiation. It soon began to be evident, that it
would be much better, if, instead of any interference on the part of the
state, such disputes could be decided by legal process, either in the one
country or the other. Among every people, however, the laws were so framed
as to render the administration of justice more favourable to a citizen than
to a foreigner; and therefore it would be disadvantageous, and often
dangerous, to sue a man, or be sued by him, in his own country. The most
friendly relation might subsist between two states, such as συμμαχία
and yet the natives of each be-exposed to this
disadvantage in their mutual intercourse. To obviate such an evil, it was
necessary to have a special agreement, declaring the conditions upon which
justice, was to be reciprocally administered. International contracts of
this kind were called σύμβολα,
(C. I. A.
iv. No. 96, 50.4; ii. No. 11, 1. 13, etc.), defined by Harpocration. (s. v.)
thus, συνθῆκαι ἃς ἂν ἀλλήλαις αἱ πόλεις
θέμεναι τάττωθι τοῖς πολίταις ὥστε διδόναι καὶ λαμβάνειν τὰ
: and the causes tried in pursuance of such contracts
were called δίκαι ἀπὸ συμβόλων.
agreement has been preserved to us, and a few casual references by writers
and some fragmentary inscriptions afford us but little information
concerning the terms usually prescribed. Perhaps the most important passage
on this subject is [Dem.] de Halon.
§ § 9-14, from which it appears (1) that such agreements
in the case of Athens were ratified by a Heliastic court (under the
presidency of the Thesmothetae, Poll. 8.88; Reiske, Ind. Graec.
and Goodwin in Amer. Journ. of Phiol.
10 ff., wrongly refer the demand of Philip for the right of κύρωσις
not to the ratification of the agreement
itself, but to a confirmation of the judgments rendered by the Athenian
courts). The other contracting state was therefore compelled to send envoys
to Athens with power to conclude the treaty as it was drawn up and settled
by the Thesmothetae and the Heliastic court. Most of the states with whom
the Athenians had to deal were content to acquiesce in this regulation.
Philip, however, would not submit to it, and demanded that the terms should
receive final ratification in Macedonia. Evidently his reason for this was,
as is plainly stated by the orator (Hegesippus), that he might introduce in
the treaty an admission on the part of the Athenians of the lawfulness of
his holding Potidaea.
(2) That by such agreement there was as between the citizens of the
contracting cities (and only these, cf. Plb.
) reciprocity of suing and being sued (cf. Arist. Pol.
3.1, 3 S.,
οὐδ̓ οἱ τῶν δικαίων μετέχοντες οὕτως ὥστε
καὶ δίκην ὑπέχειν καὶ δικάζεσθαι: τοῦτο γὰρ ὑπάρχει καὶ τοῖς
ἀπὸ συμβόλων κοινωνοῦσι;
see also 3.5 (9), 11, σύλβολα περὶ τοῦ μὴ ἀδικεῖν
: thus the
contained a special provision
that a freeman should not be arrested: μὴ ἐξεῖναι
μήθ̓ εἷρξαι μήτε δῆσαι,
[Andoc.] c. Alcib.
(3) That the principle of such agreements was causa
sequitur forum rei,
i.e. the decision was given in the court
of the defendant's city (Platner, Proc. u. Klag.
i. p. 109),
whilst the laws according to which the causes were decided were not those of
the adjudging city, but laws made binding by the σύμβολα
upon those who sued under them.
(4) That δίκαι ἀπὸ συμβόλων
had the same
sphere as the δίκαι ἐμπορικαί,
commercial people would stand in need of them the most.
There were, however, as we learn from inscriptions, some essential points of
difference between δίκαι ἀπὸ συμβόλων
and δίκαι ἐμπορικαί.
In the latter the
suit was held in the state where the contract was made, i.e. causa sequitur forum contractus,
and was decided by
the general. laws of that state, and not by the particular stipulations of
thus a δίκη ἐμπορικὴ
could be maintained against an Athenian on a
contract made in Macedonia only if the Athenian was caught in Macedonia.
This follows from C. I. A.
ii. No. 11: suits on contracts
made at Athens with Phaselitans must be tried at Athens before the Polemarch
for all other
contracts made with Phaselitans' suits must follow the terms of the ούμβολα,
and such δίκαι
were under the ἡγεμονία
of the Thesmothetae (Poll. 8.88). Fränkel
(de Condic. jure jurisdict. soc. Ath.
p. 71) and Gilbert
i. p. 406) wrongly [p. 2.735]
infer from this inscription that the rule of σύμβολα
was causam sequi
for the decree makes a special exception as
regards contracts made at Athens by Phaselitans. Again, it is evident from
C. I. A.
iv. No. 61 a, 50.17 ff., that σύμβολα
provided not only that individual
citizens of the contracting states might sue one another, but also that one
state might sue an individual citizen of the other state or vice versâ
ἰδιώταις πρὸς τοὺς ἰδιώτας ἢ ἰδιώτῃ πρὸς τὸ κοινὸν ἢ
τῷ κοινῷ πρὸς ἰδιώτην
). In the case of an individual
citizen of one state bringing a suit against another state, resort was
probably had to a πόλις ἔκκλητος
de Soc. Athen. iudiciis,
p. 10. Goodwin, l.c.
p. 8, supposes that in the σύμβολα
as a rule such a πόλις ἔκκλητος
was appointed; see Hicks,
No. 149 A, § 6), i. e. the court of a third
state was called in to decide the dispute: e. g. if a citizen of an allied
city brought a suit against Athens, it could hardly be expected that an
Athenian court would give judgment against Athens; here therefore, for
obvious reasons, the rule causam sequi forum
was departed from, and--the decision entrusted to the court of
a third city agreed upon by the two parties to the suit. (In a similar
manner the clailm of thirty talents made by the children of Diagoras against
the people of Calymna was decided by a Cnidian tribunal, Anc. Greek
ed. Newton, ii. No. 299.) It was a recognised practice
among the Greeks to refer disputes to the tribunal of a third state: thus
the Corcyrians proposed to Corinth to refer the question of Epidamnus to any
Peloponnesian cities which they both should agree upon: Thuc. 1.28
, cf. 5.79, αἰ δέ τις τῶν
ξυμμάχων πόλις πόλει ἐρίζοι, ἐς πόλιν ἐλθεῖν ἅντινα ἴσαν
ἀμφοῖν ταῖς πολίεσι δοκείοι,
etc.; and such causes were
called ἔκκλητοι δίκαι
(cf. Hesych. sub voce
αἱ ἐπὶ ξένης λεγόμεναι καὶ οὐκ ἐν τῇ
) and the city chosen by the parties to the suit ἔκκλητος πόλις
(cf. C. I. A.
ii. No. 308: ἐπειδὴ τοῦ δήμου τοῦ Ἀθηναίων
καὶ τοῦ κοινοῦ τοῦ Βοιωτῶν σύμβολον ποιησαμένων πρὸς ἀλλήλους
καὶ ἑλομένων ἔκκλητον τὴν Λαμιέων πόλιν ἀνεδέξατο καθιεῖν
Apophth. Lacon. p. 215
c; Aeschin. c.
§ 89, etc.). There is no evidence for
p. 124 f.) opinion which
makes a πόλις ἔκκλητος
merely one of the
two contracting cities to which a case is carried on appeal from the other,
<each being a city: of appeal for all suits tried in the other's
courts, so that e. g. a Rhodian in a suit with an; Athenian tried at Athens
could appeal to Rhodes, “while an Athenian in a suit with a Rhodian
tried at Rhodes; could appeal to Athens. As Platner (l.c.
i. p. 110) and Goodwin (l.c. p.
8) point ” out, the whole purpose of σύμβολα
with their appointment of suits to be tried in
either country would be: frustrated if-either party at his pleasure could
annul the judgment in any suit and carry the case for trial before the
courts of his own country.
According to the grammarians, the name δίκαι ἀπὸ
was given also to the causes which the subject
allies of the Athenians sent to be tried at Athens (Bekk.
i. p.. 436, 1: Ἀθηναῖοι ἀπὸ
συμβόλων ἐδίκαζον τοῖς ὑπηκόοις: οὕτως Ἀριστοτέλης.
Hesych. sub voce
ἀπὸ συμβάλων ἐδίκαζον Ἀθηναῖοι ἀπὸ συμβόλων
τοῖς ὑπηκόοις, καὶ τοῦτο ἦν χαλεπόν.
ἀπὸ συμβόλων δὲ
) ὅτε οἱ
). The fact that the Athenians had
both with autonomous and
subject allies is placed beyond doubt by inscriptions; e. g. from the words
κατὰ τὰς ξυ[μβο]λὰς αἳ ἦσα[ν πρὸ τούτου
C. I. A.
iv. No. 96, in a decree referring to the
Mytilenaeans after their reduction in 427 B.C. we may conclude that the
Athenians had σύμβολα
with them both before
and after the revolt. C. I. A.
iv. No. 61 a and ii. No. 11
(if Köhler's reading in 50.13 is correct: κατ[ὰ τὰς πρὶν] ξυμβολάς
) show us δίκαι ἀπὸ συμβόλων
with subject allies; and Thucydides
) also refers to this class of causes
(though Boeckh, Sthh.
i.3 p. 476 n.;
Grote, Hist. of Greece,
v. p. 306 n.; and Goodwin, l.c.
p. 14 f. are of opinion that δίκαι ξυμβολίμαιοι
are not δίκαι ἀπὸ συμβόλων,
but suits about ξυμβόλαια
or, business contracts). But σύμβολα
involve recipr6city, and trials held
under them were maintained in the courts of “ the defendant's
city;” in statements, however, like ἐδίκαζον
Ἀθηναῖοι ἀπὸ συμβόλων τοῖς ὑπηκόοις,
there is no
mention of this reciprocity. However, as Morris; (Amer. Journ. of
1884, p. 306) points out, “it would no doubt
practically come to pass that most of such suits would, even by the
terms of the treaties, have to be tried in Athenian courts. For in most
cases the Athenians would be ‘the: defendants.
The feelings with which the dominant Athenian demos, as a whole,
regarded, the subject allies, could hardly ’ fail to exhibit ‘themselves in the dealings of ’ individual
Athenians with those with whom they had commercial relations; and so it
would come to pass that in the great majority of such cases it would be
the citizen of an allied state who was the plaintiff, and he must
necessarily, therefore, sue in an Athenian court. We may consider also
that suits brought against Athenians by citizens of any one of the
subject cities would Pall be tried at Athens; whereas the suits brought
by Athenians against any citizens of their tributary states would be
tried one at Rhodes, another at Phaselis, another at Samos, and so on.
The judicial range, therefore, of the Athenian courts must have greatly
surpassed that of the courts of any one of the allies, perhaps of all ‘ of them. together; and thus, even without any
formal infraction of the reciprocity implied by the existence of
the impression may
easily have come to; exist, which the statements quoted from’ the
grammarians express, that it was the Athenians who decided, in
accordance with the terms of the several σύμβολα,
the commercial. suits of their subjects.”
--Perhaps the grammarians mixed up two different sets of causes tried at
Athens: viz. the δίκαι ἀπὸ συμβόλων
tried in the defendant's city, and as was but natural for the most part at
Athens--and the causes of the subject allies, which were carried: up; for
trial to Athens, after the allies had.been deprived of most of their
independent jurisdiction. Only by degrees did the.Athenians claim this
supreme jurisdiction over the members of their first confederacy. Thus,
after the reduction of Chalcis in 446-5 B.C., the
Chalcidians were left their own jurisdiction, with this limitation, that all
offences which were punishable by disfranchisement, exile, or death were to
be sent to Athens for trial (C. I. A.
iv. No. 27 a, 50.71
ff., τὰς δὲ
[p. 2.736]εὐθύνας Χαλκιδεῦσι κατὰ
σθῶν αὐτῶν εἶναι ἐν Χαλκίδι καθάπερ Ἀθήνησιν Ἀθηναίοις
πλὴν φυγῆς καὶ θανάτου καὶ ἀτιμίας: περὶ δὲ τούτων ἔφεσιν
εἶναι Ἀθήναζε εἰς τὴν ἡλιαίαν τῶν θεσμοθετῶν,
for the meaning of ἔφεσις,
ed. Lipsius, p. 990 f., and
Wilamowitz--Möllendorff, Aus Kydathen,
p. 88 f.). In
the time of the Peloponnesian war, however, Athenian jurisdiction extended
much further, as is evident from [Xen.] de Rep. Athen.
f., τοὺς συμμάχους ἀναγκάζουσι πλεῖν ἐπὶ δίκας
(cf. Athen. 9.407b
). Not only were all charges of treason or hostility against Athens carried thither for trial (C. L. A.
i. No. 38; Aristoph. Wasps 282
639 f.) and the allied cities interdicted from the power
of capital punishment (Antiph. de caed. Her.
but as appears from Xenophon's mention of πρυτανεῖα,
civil suits also were decided by the Athenian
tribunals. It is not at all probable that all the private suits between
citizens of the allied cities were carried up for trial to Athens, yet with
our present information it seems impossible to determine which suits were
tried at Athens and which were decided in the local courts; perhaps the
amount involved decided the point (see C. I. A.
iv. No. 22a).
Probably the precise regulations were different in the case of different
cities. Thucydides (1.77
) seems to refer to the
two sets of causes distinguished above: καὶ
ἐλασσούμενοι γὰρ ἐν ταῖς ξυμβολιμαίαις
p. 432; Hesych. sub
ξυμβολιμαίας δίκας: Ἀττικοὶ τὰς κατὰ σύμβολἀ
πρὸς τοὺς ξυμμάχους δίκαις καὶ παῤ ἡμῖν αὐτοῖς ἐν τοῖς
ὁμοίοις νόμοις ποιήσαντες τὰς κρίσεις φιλοδικεῖν
: in the former clause he refers to the δίκαι ἀπὸ συμβόλων
which would be tried in
the courts of the defendant's city, and in these the Athenians were at a
disadvantage, inasmuch as the courts of their allies usually decided against
them; in the latter clause he speaks of the causes of the allies tried in
Athenian courts (παῤ ἡμῖν αὐτοῖς
the basis of impartial laws for both of them.
Only one cause of this kind is preserved to us, viz. the speech of Antiphon
on the death of Herodes. The defendant (Helus) and the accusers, loose the
relatives of Herodes, were citizens of Mytilene (Blass, Att.
i. p. 162, supposes that Herodes was an Athenian, resident
at Mytilene). We learn nothing
from this speech as to the proceedings of such a trial except that the
preliminary investigation was made on the spot, as we might expect, but that
the trial took place at Athens.
Grote (Hist. of Greece,
v. p. 307 n.) supposes that δίκαι ἀπὸ συμβόλων
between Athenians and
their allies existed only under the second Athenian empire, and that the
passages quoted by grammarians from Aristotle apply only to these; but the
is surely inapplicable to the
members of the second confederacy. (Att. Process,
Lipsius, pp. 994-1005.)