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dicastery (s) (noun), dicasteries (pl)
1. A judicial body in ancient Athens composed of dicasts.
2. The place where the law court sat to carry out its legal responsibilities.

Dicasteries were divisions of the Heliaea (a judicial body in ancient Athens) from the time of the democratic reforms of Cleisthenes (about 508-507 B.C.), when the Heliaea was transformed from an appellate court to a court with original jurisdiction.

Each year 6,000 volunteers, who were required to be male citizens at least 30 years of age, were assigned by lot to sit on specific dicasteries, or court panels.

Each group of about 500 dicasts (about 200 in matters of private law) constituted a court for the entire year.

In more important cases, several dicasteries might be combined. The verdict was determined by majority vote; a tie vote resulted in acquittal.

—Based on information from this On Line Encyclopedia Britannica.
This entry is located in the following unit: diko-, dik-, dico-, dic- + (page 1)