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328                              POLITICAL SCIENCE.
but according to equity; usage and prescription determined
in cases of property; crimes of violence were revenged by
the clan or smaller community, and homicide especially was
punished by the next of kin. In some communities for pri-
vate warfare were substituted pecuniary satisfactions, or an
estimate of damages which was carried out in the codes of
laws expressing this state of society with most surprising
minuteness. The decisions in the gaus> and hundreds of the
Germanic races, were, according to Tacitus, made by princi-
pes and a body of freemen. The underlying idea in this
system seems to have been that the meeting of the commu-
nity under its head was entrusted with judicial proceedings.
The same idea is perceived in the democratic Grecian city-
states, where the archons and other officers capable of presid-
ing in courts prepared a case, and a large committee of the
people found the verdict. Sometimes the ecclesia, or (as at
Rome) the people in the comitia, decided in certain graver
matters, but the courts there came to consist of a few judges, or
a judex furnished by the praetor, under whose superintend-
ence the preparatory work was done. The system, according
to which the whole people was considered as invested with
the judicial power, fell away in the Frank kingdom when the
people, being worried by the courts as chief judges of coun-
ties, or by the centenarii as their deputies, with frequent
summons to attend their placita, lost the old spirit of dis-
charging their public duties. At one time a set of men called
rachimburgi were appointed to give advice to the people
assembled in the placita^ in regard to the cases brought'be-
fore them. In their places, Charlemagne appointed another
set of men, called scabinei or scabini, for whom we refer our
readers to  237.
In England, after the Norman conquest, and at first in the
reign of Henry II., a system of jury trials begins to be estab-
lished. We meet with eideshelfer or conjuratores as early as
Cent. vi. on the continent,* whose business it was to testify
* Comp. Gforer, Deutsch. Volckerr., i.? chap. 10.