484 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE ANCIENT WORLD.
was the new city organized until the Athenian lawyers and sycophants rose in a flock and
went to it!
While Athens remained under the aristocracy, courts were organized in ten. different
quarters of the city. When the government took on the democratic form, the judicial power
fell into the hands of the whole body of the citizens. From all who were over thirty years
of age six thousand were drawn by lot to act as jurymen. Of these one thousand were drawn
out as talisman. The remaining five thousand were divided into ten sections, and each
section was assigned to hear causes in one of the ten judicial districts of the city.
Except on the occasion of public festivals and holidays, these courts sat every day in the
year. High benches were arranged for each of the great juries, and on a lower level in
front was the arena where the suitors and their advocates appeared in the trial.
The proceedings were always public, and were attended by great throngs, who were anxious
to witness what was done, and especially to hear the pleadings. The courts indeed were
much more attended than was the Pnyx, where four times a year were held the meetings of
the great assembly. The fee which was paid for presence at court was larger than that
which was given for going to the Pnyx, and for this reason the magistrates had to adopt
the measure of fining in order to secure attendance at the latter. Sometimes a rope
smeared with red paint was stretched across the street and carried rapidly forward with a
hustling crowd in front; for whoever was touched with the paint was punished with a fine.
A sufficient crowd could thus be obtained to attend to the legislative affairs of the
city. When the people were assembled on the terraces of the Pnyx and order had been
secured by the bailiffs and policemen, any citizen might propose a measure and secure, if
he could, its adoption. Any one might address the assembly for or against the proposed
measure, and in doing so the speaker wore a crown as a badge of inviolability. So great
was the concession to freedom of speech!
The edicts of the public assembly were carried into effect by the Boule, or Council, a
body of five hundred citizens, to whom was committed the execution of the laws. The
meetings of this body were held in the Bouleuterium, a public building situated between
the Acropolis and the market- space. The Council was divided into ten sections of fifty
members each, and each section was assigned its turn in duty by lot. It was before this
Boule or Great Council that the international affairs of Greece were transacted. It had
control in general of foreign affairs. It received ambassadors and made treaties. To be a
member of this august body was the highest civil dignity to which an Athenian might
aspire; and yet so complete was the reign of democracy that any one, however humble, might
hope for a seat in the Bouleuterium. So great was the difference between the freedom of
Greece and the absolutism of the oriental monarchies.
In entering the domain of the private life of the Greeks what first strikes the attention
is. their hospitality. It was a fundamental principle with the Hellenes that the stranger
should be entertained. Though he were an enemy, Zeus Xenios required that he be received
in a hospitable manner. No question might be asked of the stranger who came unannounced.
He might take his seat at the board, and should be served with the best. After he had
eaten and drank, his nativity and mission might be inquired. From the days of Homer the
guest was received with courtesy. He was given a bath. Food and drink were placed before
him. Servants attended to his comfort. A couch was spread in the hall. He rested. He went
his way in peace.
With a development of Greek society, however, there was a necessary curtailment of
patriarchal hospitality. Travel for travel's sake became more common, the demands upon
social bounty more numerous. Still there never was a time when hospitality ceased to be
the rule. There was something in the nature of. the Greek analogous to what is seen in the
modem Parisian. He was sociable. By preference he ate not alone. He either invited others
or was himself entertained. He could not endure solitude. Life with him was defined as an
opportunity to talk, and the best of life was with a group of friends at the table.