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Headword: *katexeiroto/nhsan au)tou=
Adler number: kappa,1021
Translated headword: they voted to convict him
Vetting Status: high
Meaning they voted against him. A vote for conviction and a vote for acquittal are different. A vote for conviction happened as follows. The herald would say, "Whoever thinks that Meidias is in the wrong, let him raise his hand." Then those who wished [to do so] stretched out their hands; and this was called, initially, a vote for conviction. But a vote for acquittal [went] like this: "Whoever does not think that Meidias is in the wrong, let him raise his hand;" and some people would stretch out [their hands], and this was called voting for acquittal. It then remained for them to count all the hands, and the herald observed which number were the greater, those saying that he is in the wrong, or [those saying] not. And whichever were found to be the greater, there was the verdict that prevailed.
"While the envoy was still developing his speech, the Romans voted against [it]."[1]
"But [Socrates] neither cast a vote nor voted for conviction, despite being in the chair."[2]
Greek Original:
*katexeiroto/nhsan au)tou=: a)nti\ tou= kateyhfi/santo au)tou=. kataxeirotoni/a d' kai\ a)poxeirotoni/a diafe/rei. kataxeirotoni/a me\n ga\r e)ge/neto ou(/tws. e)/legen o( kh=ruc, o(/tw| *meidi/as dokei= a)dikei=n, a)ra/tw th\n xei=ra. ei)=ta oi( qe/lontes e)ce/teinon ta\s xei=ras: kai\ e)kalei=to tou=to prw=ton kataxeirotoni/a. a)poxeirotoni/a de\ ou(/tws: o(/tw| mh\ dokei= a)dikei=n *meidi/as, a)ra/tw th\n xei=ra. kai\ e)ce/teino/n tines, kai\ e)kalei=to a)poxeirotoni/a. loipo\n pa/sas h)ri/qmoun ta\s xei=ras, kai\ e(w/ra o( kh=ruc, poi=ai plei/ous ei)si/, po/teron tw=n fasko/ntwn au)to\n a)dikei=n, h)\ mh/. kai\ o(/sai a)\n h)=san plei/ous eu(reqei=sai, e)kei= kai\ h( gnw/mh e)kra/tei. e)/ti toi/nun paratei/nontos tou= lo/gou tou= pre/sbews, *(rwmai=oi katexeiroto/noun. o( de\ ou)/te e)yhfi/zeto ou)/te katexeiroto/nei kai/per e)pista/ths w)/n.
The first and principal paragraph of this entry is also in other lexica; see the references at Photius kappa457 Theodoridis. It stems from the phrase "[the entire people] voted to convict him [sc. Meidias]" in Demosthenes 21.2 (web address 1). This should not be taken -- whether or not the lexicographers realized this -- as a description of voting in an Athenian lawcourt, where the jurors did not raise their hands but deposited a ballot in a voting urn (see in brief M.H. Hansen, The Athenian Democracy (Oxford 1991) 202-3). Rather, in Demosthenes 21.2 (and 21.214: web address 2) the subject is the two options available to the Assembly in the opening stage of the probole procedure (pi 2345, pi 2346): its vote could be either to condemn or to acquit, and either way this was purely advisory. See on this P.J. Rhodes, A Commentary on the Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia (Oxford 1981) 527; and, on voting by show of hands in the Assembly, Hansen op.cit. 147-8.
[1] Theophylact Simocatta, Histories 1.15.11.
[2] A variation on this quotation has already appeared, at epsilon 2658, with the crucial addition of the name. For other versions of this famous refusal by Socrates (sigma 829, sigma 830), in 406 BCE, to participate in the action against the Arginousai generals, see Xenophon, Hellenica 1.7.15 (web address 3), Memorabilia 1.1.18, 4.4.2 (web addresses 4 and 5); Plato, Apology 32B (web address 6), Gorgias 473E-474A (web address 7).
Associated internet addresses:
Web address 1,
Web address 2,
Web address 3,
Web address 4,
Web address 5,
Web address 6,
Web address 7
Keywords: biography; constitution; definition; ethics; historiography; history; law; rhetoric
Translated by: David Whitehead on 17 July 2001@07:27:45.
Vetted by:
Elizabeth Vandiver (Added links; added italics; cosmetics; set status) on 10 September 2003@15:18:17.
David Whitehead (x-refs; more keywords; cosmetics) on 11 September 2003@03:00:33.
David Whitehead (tweaks) on 23 March 2011@10:03:06.
David Whitehead on 10 February 2013@08:25:04.
Catharine Roth (upgraded links) on 10 February 2013@23:37:15.
Catharine Roth (coding) on 11 July 2015@14:50:25.


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