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SY´NGRAPHE (συγγραφὴ) signifies a written contract (γραμματεῖον); whereas συμβόλαιον does not necessarily import that the contract is in writing; and ὁμολογία is, strictly speaking, a verbal agreement (Valesius on Harpocr. s. v. ἀσυνθετ́τατον); χειρόγραφον is a term foreign to Attic law (it first occurs Plb. 30.8, 4).

No particular form of words was necessary to make the instrument valid in point of law the sole object being to furnish good evidence of the parties' intention. The agreement itself was valid without any writing; and would form the ground of an action against the party who broke it, if it could be sufficiently proved. Hence it was the practice to have witnesses to a parol agreement. The law declared κυρίας εἶναι τὰς πρὸς ἀλλήλους ὁμολογίας, ἃς ἂν ἐναντίον μαρτύρων ποιήσωνται ([Dem.] c. Phaenipp. p. 1042.12; c. Everg. et Mnes. p. 1162.77; c. Dionysod. p. 1283.2; Plat. Symp. p. 196 C). This was especially the practice in early times (ἁρμονίαι, Il. 22.255; συνημοσύναι, Il. 22.261; or ῥῆτραι, Od. 14.393; Platner, Notion. juris et just. ex Hom. et Hes. carm. expl. p. 142 f.; see also Solon's law in Bekk. Anecd. i. p. 242, 20 ff.). But as the art of writing became more widely known, parol agreements grew rarer, and contracts were as a rule reduced to writing;1 and it seems that for the maintenance [p. 2.747]of an ἐμπορικὴ δίκη it was necessary to have a written contract (Dem. c. Zenoth. p. 882.1). Such contracts were leases (μισθώσεις: cf. Dem. pro Phorm. p. 945.4, αἱ συνθῆκαι καθ᾽ ἃς ἐμίσθωσε Πασίων τὴν τράπεζαν τούτῳ: c. Steph. i. p. 1111.31; c. Pantaen. p. 968.5), loans of money (Dem. c. Phorm. p. 908.6; συγγραφαὶ ναυτικαὶ and ἔγγειαι, c. Lacrit. p. 932.27, and Bekk. Anecd. i. p. 283, 9 f., or συμβόλαια ναυτικὰ and ἔγγεια, Dem. c. Apatur. p. 893.3), and all executory agreements, where certain conditions were to be performed. Ἐκδιδόναι ἀνδρίαντα κατὰ συγγραφὴν is to give an order for the making of a statue of certain dimensions, of a certain fashion, at a certain price, etc., as specified in the agreement (Dem. de Cor. p. 268.122; cf. [Andoc.] c. Alcib. § 17; Xenoph. de Re Equest. 2, 2: see also Dem. c. Apatur. p. 897.14 f.; c. Olympiod. p. 1170.10 f.; Lyc. c. Leocr. § 23; Aeschin. c. Tim. § § 160, 165, etc.). The rent, the rate of interest, with other conditions, and also the penalties for breach of contract ([Dem.] c. Nicostr. p. 1249.10; c. Dionysod. p. 1291.27, etc.), were particularly mentioned in these agreements, and the names of the witnesses ([Dem.] c. Olympiod. p. 1170.11, etc.) and of the sureties (if any, Dem. c. Apatur. p. 904.35) were specified. The agreements themselves were sealed by the parties (also by the surety, Dem. c. Lacrit. p. 928.15), and deposited, before witnesses (p. 927.14), with some person (or persons in case of duplicate copies, Dem. c. Phorm. p. 916.32), mutually agreed on between the parties (C. I. A. ii. No. 573; Dem. c. Phorm. p 908.6; c. Apatur. p. 904.36; Lyc. c. Leocr. § 23, etc.). An example of a contract on a bottomry loan (ναυτικὴ συγγραφὴ) will be found in Dem. c. Lacrit. p. 926.10 ff., where the terms are carefully drawn up, and there is a declaration at the end, κυριώτερον δὲ περὶ τούτων ἀλλὸ μηδὲν εἶναι τῆς συγγραφῆς, “which agreement shall be valid, anything to the contrary not-withstanding” [FENUS] (cf. Dareste, Bull. de Corresp. Hellén. 1884, pp. 370-376). Bankers were often chosen as the depositaries of agreements and other documents, having peculiar confidence reposed in them. Money was put into their hands without any acknowledgment, and often without witnesses. They entered these and also the loans made by themselves to others in their books (γράμματα or ὑπομνήματα), and such entries served practically the same purpose as a συγγραφή, being accepted as evidence in courts of justice (Isocr. Trapez. § § 2, 53; Dem. pro Phorm. p. 950.20; p. 956.36, etc. Philippi, however, denies these bankers' books any special authority, Jahrb. f. class. Philol. 1866, p. 611 ff.).--In Sparta such agreements were called κλάρια (Plut. Agis. 13) or σκυτάλαι (Photius, s. v.); for the peculiar formalities observed in drawing them up, see Schol. Aristoph. Birds 1284, and Suid. s. v. σκυτάλη. Amongst the Locrians συγγραφαὶ were not allowed (Zenob. 5.4). (Att. Process, ed. Lipsius, p. 675 ff.)

For συγγραφαὶ (C. I. A. IV. No. 22 a; Lys. c. Nicom. § 17 f.) in the sense of bills prepared by special committees (συγγραφεῖς), “ordonnances, une catégorie de mesures législatives qui est distincte des lois et des décrets,” see Foucart, Bull. de Corresp. Hellén. 1880, p. 248 ff.; Sauppe, Attica et Eleus. p. 10 ff. [NOMOTHETES]

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

1 It seems that such contracts were written either on wax tablets or on papyrus. In Dem. c. Dionysod. p. 1283.1, the borrower has in every respect the advantage over the money-lender: he gets from him money “in hard cash and in sterling coin,” and leaves him for it his agreement--ἐν γραμματειδίῳ ο̂υοῖν χαλκοῖν ἐωνημένῳ καὶ βιβλοδίῳ μικρῷ πάνυ. Salmasius rightly distinguishes between γραμματείδιον and βιβλίδιον as regards the material; but his view that by γραμματείδιον the συγγραφὴ was meant, and by βιβλίδιον the χειρόγραφον, is not correct, since χειρόγραφον is a term foreign to Attic law (de Mod. Usur. p. 403: “per γραμματείδιον intelligit tabulas syngrapharum, per, βιβλίδιον chirographa, quia ut syngraphae in tabulis ceratis perscribebantur, ita chirographa in chartaceis, quo βιβλίδια appellabantur.” Συγγραφὴ might be called either γραμματείδιον or βιβλίδιον, according to the material it was written on. Thus Orus distinguished the two words (Etym. Magn. p. 240 sub. fin.): ἰοτέον ὅτι τινες γραμματεῖον λέγουσι τὸ μικρὸν βιβλίον: δὲ Ὤρος λέγει ὅτι οὐ λέγεται τὸ μικρὸν βιβλίον γραμματεῖον ἀλλ᾽ μικρὰ δέλτος: cf. Birt, d. antike Buchwesen, p. 21, “by βιβλίδιον we must understand one or more leaves of papyrus.” The above explanation given by Gneist (d. formellen Verträge des neueren röm. Obligationsrechts, etc., p. 478), by which καὶ is taken in a disjunctive sense, is more probable than his suggestion that βιβλίδιον was the wrapper or cover of the συγγραφή. Γραμματεῖον occurs in the newly discovered speech of Hyper. c. Athenog. (of which columns 3 and 4 are published in the Revue des Études Grecques, 1889, by Revillout, p. l ff., and by Reinach, p. 169 ff.), 100.4: ἠσαν δὲ αὐταὶ συνθῆκαι πρὸς ἐμέ: ὦν ἐγὼ ἀναγινωσκομένων μὲν ἥκουον . . . καὶ σημαινεται τὰς συνθήκας εὐθὺς ἐν τῇ αὐτῇ οἰκίᾳ, ἵνα μηδενὶ τῶν εὐφρονούντων ἀκοῦσαι τὰ ἐγγεγραμμένα, προσεγγράψας μετ᾽ ἐμοῦ Νίκωνα τὸν Κηφισέα. ἐλθόντες δ᾽ἐπὶ τὸ μυροπώλιον, τὸ μὲν γραμματεῖον τιθέμεθα παρὰ Λυσικλεῖ Λευκονοεῖ . . . τότ᾽ ἤδη τοὺς φίλους καὶ τους οὶκείους συνήγαγον καὶ τὰ ἀντίγραφα τῶν συνγηκῶν ἀνεγινώσκομεν, etc. This same speech in 100.3 and 4 has twice mention of πληρωταὶ τῶν ἐράνων.

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