Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 76.djvu/380

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376 THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY

democratic brand, has given us an amusing study of the law-frenzy of the old juryman, Philocleon (Boss-Lover), who could not be kept away from court, though his son and two slaves net the house, from which the infatuated juror tries to escape through the chimney, by the rain- gutter, concealing himself under an ass that is being driven to market. The chorus of elderly jurymen come to " Boss-Lover's " assistance and finally compromise the matter by having the old man go back home and hold a private trial of the dog, Labes (Snap).

The case and the court house, in which any particular panel was to serve, was unknown till early in the morning of the day set for trial, when our jurors presented themselves and their bronze tickets, show- ing they had been drawn on the general list, and were then assigned by lot to their work for the day. The corn-ring jury then went to the " Middle Court " or the " Bed Court," or " Hole and Corner Court," " Music Hall Court," to the " Painted Colonnade," or to one of the other five courts, all with different names and door-ways of different colors. On receiving his assignment, the juror took the staff of the proper color and was immediately escorted to the court to match and, at his entrance there, gave up the staff, getting in exchange a check which, at the close of the day, was good for his fee of three obols or nine cents, which slave labor and low costs of living made many fold more than the mere amount indicates.

The appointments of the court room consisted of an altar for sacrifice, raised platforms for the presiding officials, for the parties to the suit and the witnesses. A statute of Lycus, patron-god of jurors, a water-clock to time the speeches and a table with the two voting-urns thereon probably completed the furnishings at the period when our case came on. Order was kept in court by Scythian slaves, detailed from the regular police.

After the speeches were made, the case was given to the jurymen- judges, who always rendered their verdict without leaving the court- room but, however, with the utmost secrecy. The mode of voting was simple and, though secret, was open to the fullest scrutiny on the part of the spectators. A person, chosen by lot, distributed bronze discs, pierced by protruding axles, all exactly alike, except that the ballot for the plaintiff had a hollow axle and that for the defendant a solid one. Specimens of these ballots, marked " public ballots," are still extant. The herald proclaims " hollow ballots for the plaintiff ; solid ones for the defendant " ; hence hollow ballots meant condemnation, in the prosecution of the corn-ring, and solid ballots meant acquittal. Our juryman concealing the ends of the axle with thumb and forefinger, at the herald's notice, proceeds to the table and deposits in a bronze urn the ballot with which he wishes to record his verdict, casting the unused ballot into a wooden urn. The ballots are counted by the

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