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EPOBE´LIA

EPOBE´LIA (ἐπωβελία), as its etymology implies, at the rate of one obolus for a drachma, or one in six ([Dem.] c. Everg. et Mnes. p. 1158.64, cf. Harp. s.v. Pollux, 8.39, 48); on the assessment (τίμημα: hence called προστίμημα, Harp. s.v. and Lex. Rh. Cant. πρόστιμον) was payable to his successful opponent by the litigant who failed to obtain the votes of one-fifth of the dicasts in a case of φάσις (Pollux, 8.48) and in δίκαι χρηματικαὶ (Bekk. Anecd. 255, etc.; Schol. Plat. Legg. xi. p. 921 D; cf. Boeckh, Sthh.3 i. p. 165 f.). As regards φάσις, we learn from Theophrastus π. νόμων, fr. 8 (Journ. of Phil. vi. p. 2), that here, as in public accusations in general (but see EISANGELIA and SYCOPHANTES), a fine of 1000 drachmas ([Dem.] c. Theocr. p. 1323.6) and partial ἀτιμία were inflicted: hence Boeckh (Sthh.3 i. p. 423) suggests that probably the two fines together were inflicted on the unsuccessful plaintiff; whilst Meier is of opinion, that when the (φάσις was of a purely public nature, the plaintiff had to pay 1000 drachmas; when, however, a private person was injured, and laid a φάσις to satisfy his private interests, he became liable to the epobelia. Lipsius (Att. Process, p. 301 ff.; cf. Fränkel, Boeckh's Sthh.3 ii. App. p. 81) thinks that Pollux confounded these two ways of punishment [p. 1.753]for frivolous prosecutions. The term δίκαι χρηματικαὶ is vague; we know from other sources that the plaintiff was liable to this penalty in mercantile causes (Dem. c. Dionysod. p. 1284.4, etc.; Att. Process, p. 637), in charges arising from non-fulfilment of contract (Aeschin. c. Tim. § 163) and in causes against guardians (Dem. c. Aphob. i. p. 834.67). Pollux (8.39) says that the litigant who did not get one-fifth of the votes (δ αἱρεθείς), whether plaintiff or defendant, was liable to this penalty, but in the instances given this was the case only when the defeated suitor was the plaintiff: cf. Harp. s. v. ὅπερ ἐδίδοσαν οἱ διώκοντες τοῖς φεύγουσιν, εἰ μὴ ἕλοιεν, and Schol. Aeschin. c. Timarch. § 163, οἱ γραψάμενοι τινας καὶ μὴ ἑλόντες. Of others, however, viz. cross suits (ἀντιγραφαί, Pollux, 8.58), and those in which a preliminary question as to the admissibility of the original cause of action was raised (παραγραφαί, Isocr. c. Callim. § 3, ὁπότερος δ᾽ἂν ἡττηθῇ, τὴν ἐπωβελίαν ὀφείλειν: cf. 12 and Schol. Aeschin. c. Tim. § 163, προσώφειλεν ἁλούς: ἐνομοθέτησε δὲ τοῦτο Ἀρχῖνος, etc.; Dem. c. Steph. i. p. 1103.6), Pollux's statement holds good. As the object of the regulation was to inflict a penalty upon the litigious and recompense their victims, the fine was paid to the successful suitor. (Boeckh, Sthh.3 1.430-439.) Fränkel (l.c. p. 83) holds that the plaintiff, if defeated, in any case paid the epobelia, whether he gained as many as one-fifth of votes or not (he prefers Libanius, ed. by Förster, in Hermes, ix. p. 53, to Pollux), and that the defendant had to pay it only in a παραγραφὴ or ἀντιγραφὴ, if he got less than one-fifth of the votes. (Att. Process, pp. 947-951.)

[J.S.M] [H.H]

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