Mr. Fornnarino's English 2, Practice Quiz 9

This space contains reference material from the article "Jurors & Juries,” beginning next to Question 24.






















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































Jurors & Juries
by Collomia Charles

The Areopagus was a court whose members were former archons or state officials. The court met next to the Acropolis, on a hill that was also called Areopagus, which means “the hill of Mars.” Similar in many ways to a Council of Elders, the Areopagus upheld the rules and traditions of the aristocracy of Athens for centuries. Then, in 462 B.C., the Athenian statesman Ephialtes greatly weakened its power. He did so by transferring most of the powers once assigned to the Areopagus to the Heliaia, the high court of Athens.

With Ephialtes’ changes, most cases were no longer judged by a small segment of the population that was experienced, wealthy, and powerful, but by juries whose members were everyday Athenians. We know much about what happened in these courts, because speeches survive from trials covering everything from murder to embezzlement of public funds to political misconduct.

Jury Selection

In 507 B.C., Cleisthenes divided Athens into 10 demes, or districts. To form a jury pool of 6,000, each of the 10 demes chose, by lot, 600 citizens over the age of 30. After swearing an oath, each juror was given a ticket inscribed with his name, his father’s name, his deme, and a letter of the alphabet to show in which section of the jury pool he belonged. For most trials, a jury consisted of 501 citizens, but some were as small as 201 or as large as 1,501. Enormous juries made it almost impossible for either side to use bribery, intimidation, or trickery to win a verdict.

Athenian courts had no judges or lawyers, only an organizing official known as the hegemon. The prosecutor and the defendant each spoke for himself. Within a specific amount of time that was marked by a water clock (the hole at the bottom allowed the water to escape slowly or to be stopped from flowing if there was a pause in the proceedings), each had to make a persuasive argument, read aloud the laws that were important in his case, and call the witnesses who supported his argument.

Public Speaking Becomes All-Important

In this type of court system, the ability to speak well in public became extremely important. So, there soon arose a group of professional educators, known as sophists, who claimed that they could teach students to argue either side of any case. They also said that they could train students to think and act in a way that would give them an advantage if they ever had to appear in court. Soon, an entirely new profession was launched—that of logographos, or speech writer. If anyone did not feel confident enough to create his own persuasive speech, he could now hire someone to write it for him.

How They Voted

After both speakers finished presenting their cases in court, the jury voted. As early as the 450s B.C., voting was done by secret ballot. According to the fourth-century B.C. Greek philosopher Aristotle, jurors were given two ballots. Each was a copper disk with a rod through the middle. One rod was hollow; the other was solid. A juror would choose the hollow ballot if he agreed with the prosecutor and the solid ballot if he agreed with the defense. Each juror would drop the ballot he had chosen into a bronze jar; the other ballot—the one he did not use—he would drop into a wooden jar.

After the votes were counted and guilt or innocence had been established, the court would decide on a penalty. Juries could impose fines, strip citizens of their rights, and impose sentences of exile or death. Imprisonment was possible, but rare and only for non-citizens. In 399 B.C., in what has become history’s most famous trial, the Greek philosopher Socrates was found guilty of impiety and corrupting the young men of Athens. He lost his case by only 30 votes. However, when jurors voted for his punishments, 110 jurors voted for the death penalty. Why the change? It is said that Socrates’ suggestion that he be given a dinner at public expense and then that he pay an extremely small fine angered those jurors who had earlier voted him “not guilty.”

For Questions 1-12, please select the correct definition of the given vocabulary word.