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Headword: *makra\ grammh/
Adler number: mu,70
Translated headword: long line
Vetting Status: high
[Meaning] the condemning one; whereas for acquittal [the juror] used to note a short.
Greek Original:
*makra\ grammh/: h( katadika/zousa: o( d' a)polu/wn braxei=an e)shmeiou=to.
Same entry in Photius (mu46 Theodoridis); similarly already in Hesychius mu127 (and Pollux 8.16).
The phrase "badtemperedly awarding everyone the long [sc. line]" occurs in Aristophanes, Wasps 106 (web address 1), where MacDowell -- following and expanding the scholia thereto -- explains as follows: "For many kinds of offence [in classical Athens] the penalty was not fixed by law but was decided by the jury in each individual case [see alpha 4364]: when an accused man was found guilty, the accuser proposed a penalty and the accused proposed a different (naturally lighter) penalty, and after each had spoken in support of his proposal the jury voted to decide between the two. For this purpose each juror had a tablet (pina/kion) smeared with wax; a long line drawn in the wax was a vote for the severer penalty and a short one for the lighter".
Aristophanes, Wasps, edited with introduction and commentary by Douglas M. MacDowell (Oxford 1971)
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: comedy; definition; law
Translated by: David Whitehead on 11 June 2004@07:38:35.
Vetted by:
Catharine Roth (added link, set status) on 12 June 2004@18:27:48.
David Whitehead (x-ref) on 13 June 2004@05:10:25.
Catharine Roth (fixed link) on 28 August 2011@22:59:27.
Catharine Roth (tweak) on 27 April 2013@23:09:02.
David Whitehead (expanded note) on 29 April 2013@04:01:12.


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