An Athenian Court Trial
There are also the stocks and whipping posts for meting out summary justice to irresponsible offenders. When the death penalty is imposed (and the matter often lies in the discretion of the dicasts), the criminal, if of servile or Barbarian blood, may be put to death in some hideous manner and his corpse tossed into the Barathron, a vile pit on the northwest side of Athens, there to be dishonored by the kites and crows. The execution of Athenian citizens, however, is extremely humane. The condemned is given a cup of poisonous hemlock juice and allowed to drink it while sitting comfortably among his friends in the prison. Little by little his body grows numb; presently he becomes senseless, and all is over without any pain. The friends of the victim are then at liberty to give his body a suitable burial.
An Athenian trial usually lasts all day, and perhaps we have been able to witness only the end of it. It may well happen, however, that we cannot attend a dicastery at all. This day may be one which is devoted to a meeting of the public assembly, and duty summons the jurors, not in the court room, but to the Pnyx. This is no loss to us, however. We welcome the chance to behold the Athenian Ecclesia in action.
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Reference address : https://www.ellopos.net/elpenor/greek-texts/ancient-Greece/old-athens-trial.asp?pg=14