commissioners of inquiry, were appointed at Athens on special occasions as
extraordinary officers, not as a regular magistracy; and were of two kinds,
sometimes confused by grammarians (Harpocrat., Poll. 8.115) and by modern
writers. 1. Criminal investigators or inquisitors, to discover the authors
of some crime against the state, and bring them to justice. The court of
Areiopagus often discharged the office of inquisitors for the state, and
were sometimes armed with special powers by the people in assembly [AREIOPAGUS
Vol. I. p.
). During the panic consequent on the
mutilation of the Hermae, the βουλὴ
received absolute power to investigate (ἦν γὰρ
Andoc. de Myst.
were also appointed (ib.
§ § 14, 36, 40, 65). This is perhaps the only occasion on
are mentioned in connexion
with an inquiry other than financial. 2. Ζητηταὶ
were more frequently appointed to search for
confiscated property, the goods of condemned criminals and state debtors; to
invite and receive information against any persons who concealed, or
assisted in concealing them, and to deliver an inventory (ἀπογραφὴ
) of all such goods to the proper
authorities. The delinquent was then prosecuted, either before the σύνδικοι
], or it might be before the ζητηταὶ
themselves, if their commission extended
to the holding of a ἡγεμονία δικαστηρίου.
Any person, however, who had claims against the goods which were the subject
of such information, might petition to have such claims settled while the
confiscation was still in process and before the state had taken possession:
this was called ἐνεπισκήψασθαι
pp. 1197-8, § § 45, 46, 47;
the subst. ἐνεπίσκημμα
Harpocrat.). Such overhaulings of the treasury by the appointment of
were especially frequent in
times of chronic deficit, such as the Social War and the years immediately
succeeding it (Dem. c. Timocr.
p. 703.11); but there are
earlier examples (Lys. ἀπολ. δωροδ.
§ 16). In the case of the alleged bribery by Harpalus we find a
decree τὴν βουλὴν ζητεῖν
§ § 4, 55). According to
Schöll, the ζητηταὶ
introduced for a short time after the expulsion of the Thirty, and then
replaced by the συλλογεῖς
: the more
probable opinion, already maintained under SYLLOGEIS
is that the συλλογεῖς
were appointed only on that single occasion, the
more frequently. They were
technically an ἀρχή,
though classed by
Pollux (8.114, 115) among the ὑπηρέται
I.]: as Boeckh remarks, it was an office which men of high rank were not
ashamed to accept. Another name for commissioners of inquiry into
confiscated property was μαστῆρες
ap. Harpocrat. s.v. Suid., Phot., s. vv.
: Lex. Seguer.
p. 279). The 17th and
19th speeches of Lysias, the διαδικασία
de Bonis Aristoph.
, throw considerable light on [p. 2.992]
the way such inquiries were conducted at Athens.
(Harpocrat. s. v. ζητητής
1.192; Fränkel, n. 247 on Boeckh; Att. Process,
126 Lips.; R. Schöll, Quaestiones fiscales juris
Attici ex Lysiae orationibus illustratae,