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The Archon, the King and the War-lord also take two assessors each, chosen by themselves, and the qualifications of these are checked in the Jury-court before they hold office, and they are called to account when they retire from office. [2]

Immediately on coming into office the Archon first makes proclamation that all men shall hold until the end of his office those possessions and powers that they held before his entry into office. [3] Then he appoints three Chorus-leaders for the tragedies, the wealthiest men among all the Athenians; and formerly he used also to appoint five for the comedies, but these are now returned by the Tribes. Afterwards he receives the Chorus-leaders nominated by the Tribes for the men's and boys' competitions and the comedies at the Dionysia and for men and boys at the Thargelia1 (for the Dionysia one for each tribe, for the Thargelia one for two tribes, which take turns to supply them), and deals with their claims for substitution by exchange of property,2 and brings forward their claims to exemption on the ground of having performed that public service before, or of being exempt because of having performed another service and the period of exemption not having expired, or of not being of the right age (for a man serving as Chorus-leader for the boys must be over forty). He also appoints Chorus-leaders for Delos and a Procession-leader for the thirty-oared vessel that carries the youths.3 [4] He supervises processions, the one celebrated in honor of Asclepius when initiates keep a watch-night, and the one at the Great Dionysia, in which he acts jointly with the Supervisors; these were formerly ten men elected by show of hands by the People, and they found the expenses of the procession out of their own pockets, but now they are elected by lot, one from each tribe, and given 100 minae for equipment; [5] and he also supervises the procession of Thargelia, and the one in honor of Zeus the Savior. This official also administers the competition of the Dionysia and of the Thargelia. These, then, are the festivals that he supervises. [6] Criminal and civil law-suits are instituted before him, and after a preliminary trial he brings them in before the Jury-court: actions for ill-usage of parents (in which anybody who wishes may act as prosecutor without liability to penalty); for ill-usage of orphans (which lie against their guardians); for ill-usage of an heiress (which lie against the guardians or the relations that they live with); for injury to an orphan's estate (these also lie against the guardians); prosecutions for insanity, when one man accuses another of wasting his property when insane; actions for the appointment of liquidators, when a man is unwilling for property to be administered in partnership; actions for the institution of guardianship; actions for deciding rival claims to guardianship; actions for the production of goods or documents; actions for enrollment as trustee; claims to estates and to heiresses. [7] He also supervises orphans and heiresses and women professing to be with child after the husband's death, and he has absolute power to fine offenders against them or to bring them before the Jury-court. He grants leases of houses belonging to orphans and heiresses until they are fourteen years of age, and receives the rents, and he exacts maintenance for children from guardians who fail to supply it.

1 A festival in May, at which there were competitions of cyclic choruses and a procession (5).

2 A citizen appointed to one of these expensive public offices could challenge another as better able to afford it, and the man challenged could only escape undertaking the office by exchanging estates with the challenger.

3 For the festival at Delos see Aristot. Ath. Pol. 54.7; boys' choruses went from Athens.

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  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Aristotle, Constitution of the Athenians, 54.7
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