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whether a magistrate or private individual, declared that he saw an unfavourable omen, or perceived thunder and lightning. The sudden appearance of rain also, or the shock of an earthquake, or any natural phaenomenon of the kind called 8toarrjfjt.iai^ was a sufficient reason for the hasty adjournment of an assembly. (Aristoph. Nub. 579 ; Thuc. v. 46.)
We have already stated in general terms, that all matters of public and national interest, whether foreign or domestic, were determined upon by the people in their assemblies, and we shall conclude this article by stating in detail what some of these matters were. On this point Julius Pollux (viii. 95) informs us, that in the first assembly of every prytany, which was called Kvpia, the eTrix^tporofia of the magistrates was held ; i. e. an inquisition into their conduct, which, if it proved unfavourable, was followed by their deposition. In the same assembly, moreover, the elo-ayjeXtai or extraordinary informations were laid before the people, as well as all matters relating to the watch and ward of the country of Attica ; the regular officers also read over the lists of confiscated property, and the names of those who had entered upon inheritances. The second was devoted to the hearing of those who appeared before the people as suppliants for some favour, or for the privilege of addressing the assembly without incurring a penalty to which they otherwise would have been liable, or for indemnity previous to giving information about any crime in which they were accomplices. In all these cases it was necessary to obtain an aSeia, i. e. a special permission or immunity. In the third assembly, ambassadors from foreign states were received. In the fourth, religious and other public matters of the state were discussed.
From this statement, compared with what is said under eisangelia, it appears that in cases which required an extraordinary trial, the people sometimes acted in a judicial capacity, although they usually referred such matters to the court of the Heliaea. There were, however, other cases in which they exercised a judicial power: thus, for instance, the proedri could ex officio prosecute an individual before the people for misconduct in the ecclesia. (Aesch. c. Timarcfi. p. 5.) Again, on some occasions information (jurjwtm) was simply laid before the people in assembly, without the informant making a regular impeachment ; and although the final determination in cases of this sort was generally referred to a court of law, still there seems no reason to doubt that the people might have taken cognizance of them in assembly, and decided upon them as judges ; just as they did in some instances of heinous and notorious crimes, even when no one came forward with an accusation. Moreover, in turbulent and excited times, if any one had incurred the displeasure of the people, they not unfrequently passed summary sentence upon him, without any regard to the regular and established forms of proceeding: as examples of which we may mention the cases of Demosthenes and Phocion. The proceedings called irpo€o\4i and tirayyeXia. were also instituted before the people : further information with respect to them is given under those heads.
The legislative powers of the people in assembly, so far as they were defined by the enactments of Solon, were very limited ; in fact, strictly speaking, no laws could, without violating the spirit of
the Athenian constitution, be either repealed or enacted, except by the court of the No/xo0eTcu : it might, however, doubtless happen that fyr)(f>icrfjLaT'a passed by the assemblies had reference to genera;! and permanent objects, and were therefore virtually" v6fj.oi or laws [nomothetes] ; moreover, if we may judge by the complaints of Demosthenes, it appears that in his days the institutions of Solon had, in this respect, fallen into disuse, and that new laws were made by the people collectively in assembly, without the intervention of the court of the nomothetae. (Dem. c. Timocr. p. 744 ; Aristot. Polit. iv. 4.)
The foreign policy of the state, and all matters connected with it, and the regulation and appropria tion of the taxes and revenues, were, as we might expect, determined upon by the people in assembly. The domestic economy of the state was under the same superintendence ; a fact which Pollux briefly expresses by informing us that the people decided in the fourth assembly Trepl iepwv kcu S^/xotHw, i. e. on all matters, whether spiritual or secular, in which the citizens collectively had an interest. Such, for example, says Schomarm (p. 298), " are the priesthood, the temples of the gods, and all other sacred things ; the treasury, the public land, and public property in general ; the magistracy, the courts, the laws and institutions of the state, and, in fine, the state itself: " in connection with which we may observe, that the meetings for the election of magistrates were called apxatpetricu. Lastly, as Schomann remarks, " the people likewise determined in assembly upon the propriety of con - ferring rewards and honours on such citizens or strangers, or even foreign states, as had in any manner signally benefitted the commonwealth." It is hardly necessary to add, that the signification of a religious assembly or church, which ecclesia bore in later times, sprang from its earlier meaning of an assembly in general, whether of the con stituency of a whole state, or of its sub-divi sions, such as tribes and cantons. See TRiBusand demus. [R.W.]
ECCLETI (e/cKA^roj), was the name of an assembly at Sparta, and seems to have been the same as the so-called lesser assembly (?? fuKpa ko,-XovfAtvr} eKKXrjaia, Xen. Hell. iii. 3. § 8). Its name seems to indicate a select assembly, but it is difficult to determine of what persons it was composed ; since, however, Xenophon (Hell. ii. 4. § 38) mentions the ephors along with and as distinct from it, we cannot with Tittman (Griecli. Staatsv. p. 100) andWachsmuth (HellAlter, vol.i. pp.464, 690, 2d edit.), consider it as having consisted of the Spartan magistrates, with the addition of some deputies elected from among the citizens. As, however, the evc/cA^rot do not occur until the period when the franchise had been granted to a great number of freedmen and aliens, and when the number of ancient citizens had been considerably thinned, it does not seem improbable that the lesser assembly consisted exclusively of ancient citizens, either in or out of office ; and this supposition seems very well to agree with the fact, that they appear to have always been jealously watchful in upholding the ancient constitution, and in preventing any innovation that might be made by the ephors or the new citizens. (Thiiiwall, Hist, of Greece, iv. p. 372, &c.)
The whole subject of the €kk\^tol is involved ill difficulty. Tittmann thinks, that though the name