ἐπειδὴ ἐνείμαντο, κ.τ.λ. ‘When they had divided the estate, after taking oaths not to transgress the terms of the agreement, each party remained for twelve years in possession of the share assigned to him’. This refers to the first will (412 B.C.), under which Dicaeogenes III., as adopted son of the testator, Dicaeogenes II., received one third of the estate. The other two thirds were shared between the four sisters of the testator, represented by their respective husbands, — viz. Polyaratus (father of the speaker), Democles, Cephisophon, Theopompus. — ἐνείμαντο: cp. Lysias Pro Mantith. § 10, p. 59, πρὸς τὸν ἀδελφὸν δ᾽ οὕτως ἐνειμάμην.

οὐσῶν δικῶν ‘though the law-courts sat’: i.e. in the course of the years 412 — 400 B.C., though there were short periods during which the sittings of the law-courts were suspended by war or internal trouble, yet there were also longer periods during which an action might have been brought. Cp. Thuc. VI. 91, where Alcibiades, urging the Spartans to occupy Deceleia, predicts that one of the results will be to stop the Athenian revenue from the law-courts (ὅσα ἀπὸ δικαστηρίων νῦν ὠφελοῦνται, — alluding to court-fees, πρυτανεῖα, and to fines or confiscations). The prediction was fulfilled, since, as Thuc. VII. 28 says, all the citizens were required for military duty. This interruption fell within the period referred to here (412 — 400 B.C.). Cp. [Dem.] or. XLV. In Stephan. I. § 3 (about 351 B.C.), δίκην μὲν οὐχ οἷός τ᾽ ἦν ἰδίαν λαχεῖν: οὐ γὰρ ἦσαν ἐν τῷ τότε καιρῷ δίκαι, ἀλλ̓ ἀνεβάλλεσθε ὑμεῖς διὰ τὸν πόλεμον [the Social War, 357 — 355 B.C.].

δυστυχησάσης, κ.τ.λ. ‘Athens having suffered disaster [the defeat at Aegospotami, 405 B.C.], followed by the troubles of faction [στάσεως, the oligarchical movement supported by Sparta, see Lys. In Agorat. §§ 6 ff., p. 78], and civil strife’ [ἀγῶνος, the struggle which ended in the overthrow of the Tyrants and the restoration of the Democracy, 403 B.C.]. For ἀγῶνος, cp. Isocr. Epist. III. § 2, p. 163, τὸν ἀγῶνα τὸν γεγενημένον, a euphemism for the struggle ended by the battle of Chaeroneia.

οὑτοσίἡμῖντοῦ θείου] οὑτοσί, Dicaeogenes III.: ἡμῖν, the representatives of the four sisters, — viz. their sons (the speaker and his first-cousins): τοῦ θείου, their uncle Dicaeogenes II., the testator.

φάσκων ἐφ̓ ὅλῃ, κ.τ.λ. ‘alleging that he had been adopted by our uncle as his sole heir’ (and not heir to one-third only). ἐφ᾽ ὅλῃ, sc. τῇ οὐσίᾳ. § 12, ποιηθῆναι...υἱὸν ἐπὶ παντὶ τῷ κλήρῳ. A childless Athenian citizen could, either during his life or by testament, adopt any Athenian citizen as his son and heir. Permission to execute a will is said to have been first given to Athenian citizens by the laws of Solon, but it was expressly restricted to those citizens who had no direct male descendants. The faculty of adoption was the germ of testamentary power, and was intended primarily to meet a case in which the head of a house left behind him, at his decease, no one duly qualified by nearness of blood to offer the sacrifices at the hearth and the grave. In the Hindoo system of succession the religious aspect of adoption is still the foremost one: (see the Tagore Law Lectures for 1870, Lect. IX. On the Rite of Adoption, pp. 208 f., by Mr Herbert Cowell). The Roman will of Cicero's time was already a true testament. The Athenian διαθήκη belongs to an intermediate stage. While the religious continuity of the family is still nominally the first principle, the main object in practice is to enlarge the childless testator's choice of heirs. — Cp. Maine, Ancient Law, ch. VI. on ‘The Early History of Testamentary Succession’. Attic Orators, II. 315 f.

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hide References (3 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (3):
    • Thucydides, Histories, 6.91
    • Thucydides, Histories, 7.28
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, The Attic Orators from Antiphon to Isaeos, 21.3
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