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Headword: *)epwbeli/a
Adler number: epsilon,2830
Translated headword: obol-fine
Vetting Status: high
With many people blackmailing, for money, the decent and apolitical citizens, and particularly doing this when those borrowing in the import market for bottomry loans were being slandered, [the] Athenians put in place a penalty, against the complainants, of paying an obol if they did not convict those against whom they were complaining. They named this penalty epobelia.
Greek Original:
*)epwbeli/a: pollw=n ei)s xrh/mata sukofantou/ntwn tou\s e)pieikei=s kai\ a)pra/gmonas tw=n politw=n kai\ ma/lista tou=to pra/ttein diaballome/nwn tw=n peri\ to\ e)mpo/rion sumballo/ntwn e)pi\ nautikoi=s to/kois, *)aqhnai=oi zhmi/an e)/tacan kata\ tw=n e)gkalou/ntwn o)bolo\n e)ktei/nein, ei) mh\ kaq' w(=n e)neka/loun, tou/tous e(/loien. tau/thn th\n zhmi/an e)pwbeli/an w)no/masan.
For this feature of classical Athenian jurisprudence, the epobelia, see also epsilon 2831 and esp. epsilon 2832. The present entry (taken over in Etymologicum Magnum 368.49-54), of indeterminable origin, combines a attempt at defining it with a dubious and rhetorically-coloured explanation for its introduction.
Modern study of the epobelia has failed to eliminate all the obscurities surrounding it, but its general nature is clear enough: when a prosecutor in a private lawsuit (A) claimed a sum of money from a defendant (B) but lost his case, A had to pay B one-sixth (= one obol in the drachma) of the sum claimed.
Keywords: definition; economics; ethics; law; politics; rhetoric
Translated by: David Whitehead on 21 December 2007@04:34:56.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (augmented note, set status) on 21 December 2007@14:08:06.
David Whitehead (typo; tweaks) on 23 December 2007@04:33:34.
David Whitehead on 24 October 2012@04:58:49.
David Whitehead on 4 February 2016@06:28:09.


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