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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

132

POLITICAL SCIENCE.

necessary for carrying on the case to its close—and to an-
nounce the verdict.
This is not the place to dwell on Athenian trials ; we only
notice one or two particulars. I. There was
Tmls' • no public prosecutor, but every citizen enjoy-
ing full civic honor could make accusations. As a check on
the strong propensity to bring suits without sufficient reason,
the law provided that in some private suits the complain-
ant, if he lost his suit so that not more than a fifth of the
votes was in his favor, should pay to his adversary a sixth
part of the estimate or damages. When a complainant had
dropped a case after appearing before a magistrate, and in
public suits where he had not more than one-fifth of the
votes in his favor, he incurred a fine of a thousand drachmcs
and was disqualified from instituting the same kind of suits
afterward. 2. While in many cases the penalty for an illegal
act was fixed, in a large number of public and private suits
it was permitted to the plaintiff to make his estimate or lay
his damages at any amount of money or of personal suffer-
ing, even at that of death, and for the defendant to put his
estimate as low as he pleased. The judges, as it seems, had
the power to bring in their own estimate varying from those
of the parties. This gave political enemies the power of at-
tempting the ruin of their adversaries, while, on the other
hand, high estimates were an argument of the defendant ad-
dressed to the pity of the judges. 3. When a private suit
was decided, the victorious party had to take his own means
to come into possession of what the court had adjudged to
him, and he could be greatly worried during the attempt by
a skilful opponent. 4. There were properly no appeals from
a decision of the dikasts to any higher tribunal, although
there were suits on the ground of not having been summoned
by the adversary, or for " evil arts/'etc., which had the
effect of setting aside the verdict, or of anticipating it by a
suit of the original defendant. Appeals were allowed, how-
ever, in those cases, probably very numerous, where the pro-
ceedings were first begun before the public arbitrators, who