In Athenian law was a type of prosecution, the commonest public action. The name seems to imply that when this procedure was instituted its distinctive feature was that the charge was made in writing, whereas in other actions the charge was made orally. Any Athenian with full citizen rights who wished could prosecute; and since prosecution by anyone who wished was introduced by Solon, it is probable that it was Solon who introduced graphe. By the 4th cent. bc charges in other actions also were put in writing, but the name graphe continued to be used for an ordinary public action (see law and procedure, athenian, 3).
Subjects: Classical Studies.