Heliaia


Heliaia

Heliaia or Heliaea(Greek: polytonic|Ήλιαία) (Doric: Halia) was the supreme court of ancient Athens. Τhe generally held scientific view is that the court drew its name from the ancient Greek verb polytonic|Ήλιάζεσθαι, which means polytonic|συναθροίζεσθαι, namely "congregate".Ref_label|A|α|none Another version is that the court took its name from the fact that the hearings were taking place outdoors, under the sun.Ref_label|B|β|none Heliaia was also called big ecclesia. Initially, this was the name of the place where the hearings were convoked, but later this appellation included the court as well. ["The Helios"]

The judges were called "heliasts" (polytonic|Ήλιασταί) or "dikasts" (polytonic|δικασταί, polytonic|ὀμωμοκότες = those who have sworn, namely the jurors). The operation of judging was called polytonic|Ήλιάζεσθαι (polytonic|δικάζειν).

Institution and composition of Heliaia

It is not clear whether Heliaia was instituted by Cleisthenes or Solon, but it seems that the latter initiated a function of the Assembly to sit as an appeals court. [Aristotle, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0046;query=chapter%3D%2310;layout=;loc=8.1/ Constitution of Athens, 9.1] and [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0521299462&id=yyJS_tuAl38C&pg=PA209&lpg=PA209&printsec=8&dq=Heliaia&sig=kk2XhhIskJY2o0ogIrLqOOVc71g/ Archaic Times to the End of the Peloponnesian War, Cambridge University Press, page 209] ] Ref_label|C|γ|none The court comprised 6.000 members, chosen annually by the lot [Aristotle, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0046;query=chapter%3D%2364;layout=;loc=62.1/ Constitution of Athens, 63.1] and [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0521299462&id=yyJS_tuAl38C&pg=PA209&lpg=PA209&printsec=8&dq=Heliaia&sig=kk2XhhIskJY2o0ogIrLqOOVc71g/ Archaic Times to the End of the Peloponnesian War, Cambridge University Press, page 209] ] among all the male citizens over 30 years old, unless they were in debt to the Treasury or disfranchised, namely deprived of their civil rights through the humiliating punishment of atimia (polytonic|ἀτιμία). [Aristotle, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0046;query=chapter%3D%2364;layout=;loc=62.1/ Constitution of Athens, 63.3] ] Those suffering from intellectual or corporeal flaws were also excepted, if their shortages prevented them from fully perceiving the proceedings. If any unqualified person participated in a jury, then information was laid against him and he was brought before the Heliaia. If convicted the court could assess against him whatever punishment or fine he is thought to deserve. If the punishment was a money fine, then the infringer had to go to prison until he had paid both the former debt, for which the information was laid, and whatever additional sum had been imposed on him as a fine by the court. [Aristotle, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0046;query=chapter%3D%2364;layout=;loc=62.1/ Constitution of Athens, 63.3] ]

Appointment of the jurymen

The public office of the heliast was not obligatory, but the citizens who wished to exert these duties ought to submit a petition. The post of the dikast was salaried [Aristophanes, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0044&query=card%3D%2337&layout=&loc=696/ Wasps, 662] ] and, thereby, the jurors were remunerated for each day of employment with one obolus and later, after the death of Kleon in 425 BC with three oboluses, namely 3 ancient drachmas. ["The Helios"] (Inconsistency note: the articles on drachma and obolus say a drachma was worth six oboluses, so 3 oboluses would be half a drachma.) According to Aristotle, [Aristotle, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0046;query=chapter%3D%2328;layout=;loc=28.1/ Constitution of Athens, 27.2.4-5] ] "Pericles first made service in the jury-courts a paid office, as a popular counter-measure against Cimon's wealth".

The 6.000 were drawn from the 10 tribes (each tribe was offering 600 members) and they were then divided into chambers of 600 jurymen, 500 or 501 of whom were regular members and the rest constituted alternate juror. In exceptional case the court could go into plenary sessions. [Andocides, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0018;query=section%3D%2317;layout=;loc=1.16/ Speeches, 1.17] and Mogens Herman Hansen, [http://books.google.com/books?q=Heliaia&hl=en&lr=&rls=GAPB,GAPB:2005-09,GAPB:en&sa=N&tab=wp/ The Athenian Ecclesia: A Collection of Articles 1983-1989, page 260] ] Sometimes the chambers were comprising from 201 to 401 members or 1001 to 1501 members.Ref_label|D|δ|none After the choosing by lot, the heliasts had to take once every year the "heliasts' oath". ["The Helios"] After the swearing-in, the jurors were receiving one box-wood ticket, with their own names and that of their father and deme written on it, and one letter of the alphabet as far as kappa [Demosthenes, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0072;query=section%3D%23430;layout=;loc=18.211/ On the Crown, 210] ] and the jurors of each tribe were divided into ten sections, approximately an equal number under each letter. [Aristotle, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0046;query=chapter%3D%2364;layout=;loc=62.1/ Constitution of Athens, 63.3] ]

Jurisdiction

Initially, Heliaia's jurisdiction was limited in judging the archons and, probably, some other similar accusations against public office-holders. It was when Ephialtes and Pericles prompted a binding resolution through ecclesia, [Plutarch, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0182&query=chapter%3D%23154&layout=&loc=Per.%208.1/ Pericles, IX] ] stripping Areios Pagos, conservatism's hub, off most of the cases it judged, [Aristotle, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0058;query=section%3D%2346;layout=;loc=2.1273b/ Politics, 1274a] ] that Heliaia started judging almost all the civil and penal cases. Areios Pagos kept its competence only for the crimes of murder and arson, [Demosthenes, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0072&query=section%3D%23353/ On the Crown, 133] ] while the archons could impose some minor fines. Noteworhy, Heliaia's jurisdiction included also litigations, which involved Athenians and citizens of other cities or Athens and another city as subjects of international law. Namely, Heliaia functionned as a court competent for litigations of public, criminal and private international law.Ref_label|E|ε|none

Taking the jurisdiction over the so-called graphe paranomon, Heliaia replaced Areios Pagos in the execution of the legal control of the decisions of ecclesia. Until Ephialtes' reforms Areios Pagos had the duty of guarding the laws and to keep watch over the greatest and the most important of the affairs of state. [Aristotle, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0046;query=chapter%3D%239;layout=;loc=9.1./ Constitution of Athens, 8.1] ]

Procedure

Heliaia sited during all the working days, except for the three last days of each months and for the days, during which ecclesia was in session. The chambers sited outdoors, since there was no specific building, where they could be lodged. Nonetheless, the location of the hearing was confined with a special hedge, outside of which the audience could stand. [Demosthenes, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0072;query=section%3D%23416;layout=;loc=18.195/ On the Crown, 196] ] In detail, the legal procedure had as following:

The "hegemon" ("ἡγεμών"Ref_label|ST|στ|none) of the court was responsible for gathering the suits and the complaints. After holding a preliminary investigation, he also had to subpoena the litigant parties and the witnesses before the jury. In the morning of the hearing day, the hegemon should determine by lot the chamber that would judge the case as well as the place where the jury would be convened. After the formation of the jury, the hegemon had to submit the conclusions of his preliminary investigation, announcing and defining the litigation, on which the court should decide. Then, it was the time for the plaintiff, the defendant and the witnesses to be heard. The arguments were exposed by the litigants themselves, without the legal support of a lawyer,Ref_label|Z|ζ|none in the form of an exchange of single speeches timed by water clock. In a public suit each litigant had three hours to speak, whereas they had much less in private suits (though here it was in proportion to the amount of money at stake). In this way the judicial cases became a vehement fight of impressions, since the jurors did not constitute a little group of mature citizens, such as the Council of Areios Pagos, which was interested only for the right application of the law. Additionally, before the Chambers of Heliaia each citizen had to become an effective orator and to act solely in his capacity as citizen, in order to protect his interests and to enforce his views. [Stephen Usher, "The Orations in Ancient Attica" in "The Orations in the Modern Educational Systems", page 184]

Decisions were made by voting without any time set aside for deliberation. Nothing, however, stopped jurors from talking informally amongst themselves during the voting procedure and juries could be rowdy shouting out their disapproval or disbelief of things said by the litigants. This may have had some role in building a consensus. The voting procedure was public and transparent. Each heliast was receiving two votes, one "not guilty" and one "guilty". Then, the herald (κήρυκας) should, first, ask the heliasts if they wanted to submit any objections against the witnesses and, then, he should call them to cast their votes in two different amphoras, one of copper for the "non-guilty" votes and one of wood for the "guilty" votes. The voting was secret, [R.K Sinclair, [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0521423899&id=RxH3UcC2FYwC&pg=PA20&lpg=PA20&dq=heliasts&sig=z-2eu6LSwF0tvcK0PCGBRiiLxXs/ Democracy and Participation in Athens, page 20] ] since each juror had to cover with his fingers the vote, so that nobody sees, in which amphora he throws it. In the civil cases the voting procedure was different, because the amphoras were as many as the litigant parties and the jurors had to vindicate one of them, by casting their vote.

After the votes were counted, the herald was announcing the final result. In case of equality in votes, the defendant was acquitted, because he was considered to enjoy "the vote of Athena".

entences

Heliasts could impose either fines (for civil and penal cases) either "corporeal sentences" (only for penal cases). The fines of Heliaia were higher than the fines of the archons. The lato sensu "corporeal sentences" included death, imprisonment (for the non-Athenian citizens), atimia (sometimes along with confiscation) and exile (polytonic|ἀειφυγία).

Famous trials before Heliaia

ocrates' trial

Socrates was accused for impiety by Meletus, Anytus and Lycon. His trial took place in 399 BC and the jury found him guilty with 280 votes to 220. ["Comments on Socrates' Apology (in Greek)", page 17] His death sentence was decided in a second voting, which was even worse for the philosopher. Nonetheless, Socrates did not lose his calm demeanor and, although during the trial he could propose to the jury his self-exile, he did not do it, since life away from his beloved city was pointless for him.

Pericles' trial

According to Plutarch, [Plutarch, [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0182;query=chapter%3D%23177;layout=;loc=Per.%2031.1/ Pericles, 32.1] and [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0182;query=chapter%3D%23180;layout=;loc=Per.%2034.1/ 35.1] ] Pericles faced twice serious accusations. The first one just before the eruption of the Peloponnesian War and the second one during the first year of the war, when he was punished with a fine, the amount of which was either fifteen or fifty talents. Before the war a bill was passed, on motion of Dracontides, according to which Pericles should deposit his accounts of public moneys with the prytanes and the jurors should decide upon his case with ballots which had lain upon the altar of the goddess on the acropolis. This clause of the bill was however amended with the motion that the case be tried before fifteen hundred jurors in the ordinary way, whether one wanted to call it a prosecution for embezzlement and bribery, or malversation.

Notes

α. Note_label|A|α|none In Argos the place where its court was seated was also called Polytonic|ἁλιαία.

β. Note_label|B|β|none Sun = Polytonic|ἥλιος and the verb Polytonic|ἡλιοῦσθαι (passive voice) = enjoy the sun.

γ. Note_label|C|γ|none According to Mogens Herman Hansen, [http://books.google.com/books?q=Heliaia&hl=en&lr=&rls=GAPB,GAPB:2005-09,GAPB:en&sa=N&tab=wp/ The Athenian Ecclesia: A Collection of Articles 1983-1989, page 260] , "apart from Plutarch, who quotes the "Ath. Pol.", there is no other evidence that the "heliaia" was a court of appeal, and the scanty contemporary sources indicate that it was a court of first instance."

δ. Note_label|D|δ|none When certain chambers were merged. This was the case of Pericles' trial. [See "The Helios"]

ε. Note_label|E|ε|none The cases of private international law were initially judged by the session of the Athenian alliance in Delos. ["The Helios"]

στ. Note_label|ST|στ|none This was not a judge or a juror, but a kind of archon, chosen by lot or by ordination for about a month. ["The Helios", article "Hegemony of the court"]

ζ. Note_label|Z|ζ|noneThat is why the profession of the logographer, namely professional authors of judicial discourse, such as Lysias, flourished in ancient Athens. [Stephen Usher, "The Orations in Ancient Attica" in "The Orations in the Modern Educational Systems", page 183]

Citations

References

Primary sources

* Andocides, "Speeches". See original text in [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0018&query=/ Perseus program] .
* Aristophanes, "Wasps". See original text in [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0044&query=/ Perseus program] .
* Aristotle, "Constitution of Athens". See original text in [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0045/ Perseus program] .
* Aristotle, "Politics". See original text in [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0057/ Perseus program] .
* Demosthenes, "On the Crown". See original text in [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus:text:1999.01.0072&query=section%3D%23353/ Perseus program] .
* Plutarch, "Pericles". See original text in [http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/cgi-bin/ptext?doc=Perseus%3Atext%3A1999.01.0182%3Atext%3DPer/ Perseus program] .

Secondary sources

* Cambridge University Press, "Archaic Times to the End of the Peloponnesian War", 1983.
* Encyclopaedic Dictionary "The Helios", article "Heliaia" (in Greek).
* Mogens Herman Hansen, "The Athenian Ecclesia: A Collection of Articles 1983-1989", 1989.
* Konstantinos Paparrigopoulos, "History of the Hellenic Nation", Volume Ab (in Greek).
* R.K Sinclair, "Democracy and Participation in Athens", 1991.
* Georg Friedrich Schömann, "A Dissertation on the Assemblies of the Athenians", Cambridge, 1838.
* Stephen Usher, "The Orations in Ancient Attica" in "The Orations in the Modern Educational Systems", Editions: Grigoris, 1984 (translated in Greek).

External links

* [http://cornellcollege.edu/classical_studies/ariadne/images/ch22.html/ Athenian Democracy in Action: The Pnyx, the Bouleuterion, the Prytaneion, and the Heliaia]
* [http://www.law.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/socrates/greekcrimpro.html/ Criminal Procedure in Ancient Greece and the Trial of Socrates]
* [http://www.classics.uga.edu/courses/clas1000/study_tools/historical.htm/ Historical Overview]
* [http://users.ach.sch.gr/pchaloul/nomothesia-Solon.htm/ Panagiotis Chaloulos, Legislative provisions (in Greek)]
* [http://www.tetraktys.org/subchoises/ellinousia/arthra/atheniandemo06.htm/ Yannis Panagiwtopoulos, The Athenian Democracy (in Greek)]
* [http://www.ekivolos.gr/i%20athinaiki%20dimokratia(eleftherotipia).htm/ Michael Sakelariou, The Athenian Democracy]
* [http://www.ekivolos.gr/o%20thoukididis%20kai%20to%20politiko%20kai%20dianoitiko%20perivalon%20tou.htm/ E.M. Soulis, Thucydides and his political and intellectual environment (in Greek)]
* [http://tovima.dolnet.gr/print_article.php?e=B&f=14029&m=Y02&aa=1/ Augoustinos Zenakos, Solon the Athenian]

ee also

*Areopagus
*Athenian democracy
*Atimia (loss of citizen rights)
*Attic calendar
*Boule
*Ecclesia (ancient Athens)
*Graphe paranomon
*History of Athens


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