signifies a written contract (γραμματεῖον
does not necessarily
import that the contract is in writing; and ὁμολογία
is, strictly speaking, a verbal agreement (Valesius on
Harpocr. s. v. ἀσυνθετ́τατον
is a term foreign to Attic law (it
first occurs Plb. 30.8
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
([Dem.] c. Phaenipp.
c. Everg. et Mnes.
p. 1162.77; c.
p. 1283.2; Plat. Symp.
p. 196 C). This was
especially the practice in early times (ἁρμονίαι,
; or ῥῆτραι,
; 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]
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
p. 945.4, αἱ συνθῆκαι καθ᾽ ἃς
ἐμίσθωσε Πασίων τὴν τράπεζαν τούτῳ
i. p. 1111.31; c. Pantaen.
p. 968.5), loans of
money (Dem. c. Phorm.
p. 908.6; συγγραφαὶ ναυτικαὶ
p. 932.27, and Bekk. Anecd.
283, 9 f., or συμβόλαια ναυτικὰ
Dem. c. Apatur.
p. 893.3), and all executory agreements, where certain conditions were to be
performed. Ἐκδιδόναι ἀνδρίαντα κατὰ
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.
268.122; cf. [Andoc.] c. Alcib.
§ 17; Xenoph.
de Re Equest.
2, 2: see also Dem. c.
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.]
p. 1249.10; c. Dionysod.
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.
p 908.6; c. Apatur.
p. 904.36; Lyc. c.
§ 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
“which agreement shall be valid, anything to the contrary
] (cf. Dareste, Bull. de Corresp.
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
and such entries served practically the same purpose as a συγγραφή,
being accepted as evidence in courts
of justice (Isocr. Trapez.
§ § 2, 53; Dem.
p. 950.20; p. 956.36, etc. Philippi, however,
denies these bankers' books any special authority, Jahrb. f. class.
1866, p. 611 ff.).--In Sparta such agreements were
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.
ed. Lipsius, p. 675 ff.)
(C. I. A.
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.
1880, p. 248 ff.; Sauppe, Attica et
p. 10 ff. [NOMOTHETES