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Ύβριστοδίκαι (Hybristodikai)
(“Obstructers of Justice”)


Discussion Meineke 1839 1.145; Kock 1880 1.330; Kaibel 1907 p. 1231.12-13;
Schmid 1946. 114 n. 3; Kaibel ap. K.-A.; Bicknell 1988; Storey 2003. 261-2;
Storey 2011. 221
Title We know of no other comedy entitled Hybristodikai. According to
Pollux 8.126, oi δέ ναυτοδίκαι, ούτοι ή σαν οΐ τάς τής ξενίας δίκας είσάγοντες.
ύβριστοδίκαι δέ εκαλούντο, ε’ί τι χρή Κρατερώ (FGrH 342 F 4b) πιστεύειν τώ
τά -ψηφίσματα συναγόντι, οί μή βουλόμενοι τάς δίκας είσαγαγεΐν· έπεπόλασε
δέ τό τοιούτον εν Σικελία (“As for the nautodikai, these were the men who
prosecuted the cases of xenia (‘falsely claiming to be an Athenian citizen’).
Whereas hybristodikai, if we can place any confidence in Craterus (FGrH
342 F 4b), who collected decrees, was the term for individuals unwilling to
prosecute the lawsuits; something of this sort was prevalent in Sicily”); cf.
Hsch. υ 36 ύβριστοδίκαι· οί μή θέλοντες είσάγειν τάς δίκας παρά Αττικοΐς
(“hybristodikai·. individuals who do not wish to prosecute the lawsuits in Attic
authors”) and Phot, υ 10 ύβριστοδίκαι· επί (οί επί codd. : οί del. Alberti) τών
μή εθελοντών είσάγειν τάς δίκας (“hybristodikai: in reference to individuals
who do not wish to prosecute the lawsuits”) (both drawing on the same source,
taken by Theodoridis to be Diogenianus).259 The reference to hybris (for which,
cf. fr. 99.108 n.) makes it clear that this behavior is conceived as abusive—i. e.
not simply the free choice that a man who felt he had been wronged had in
regard to whether or not to pursue the matter in court—meaning that the
individuals in question occupied an office that allowed them to decide whether
a case would move forward, and chose to obstruct the proper course of justice.
Harp. p. 211.9-212.1 = N 5 Keaney (= Crater. FGrH 342 F 4a), citing Lys. 17.5,
8 and Ar. fr. 237 (cf. also Cratin. fr. 251), shows that Craterus commented on
the word ναυτοδίκαι in connection with Athenian laws regarding citizenship,
and Pollux’ presentation of the material (= Crater. FGrH 342 F 4b) suggests that
Craterus offered ύβριστοδίκαι as part of his gloss on the term: the ναυτοδίκαι
prosecuted cases against individuals who had allegedly laid false claim to

259 Storey 2003. 261-2 takes Pollux to be expressing a lack of confidence in Craterus’
judgment and thus in his definition of ύβριστοδίκαι, and he accordingly proposes
translating instead “those who get their way with violence, vigilantes”. But Pollux
is merely identifying his source; cf. 5.42 εί χρή τι πιστεύειν τοίς ποιηταΐς; Th. 1.10.3.
© Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften