In the Archaic Period, a proxy appointed to try court cases by a monarch who cannot or who does not wish to do so himself; or a magistrate of various but mainly judicial functions in a city.

In the Classical Period, an imperial magistrate, wielding wide civil authority, backed up by troops, and dispensing a good deal of minor patronage. Krites are usually appointed to a certain episkopy, where they act as directed by the episkopos. Some episkopoi divide their episkopies into bailiwicks (sometimes based on old tribal boundaries) a set one or more krites to run each one, but most assign krites on a case-by-case or project-by-project basis, and rely on hypokrites to handle local events.

A krites’ functions include investigating crimes, acting as the civil commander of troops keeping the peace, presiding at trials, dispensing justice in non-jury cases, acting as returning officer at elections, organising posses and fire brigades, supervising public works, etc. Although a krites is responsible to the local episkopos for any exercise of his powers outside his home episkopy, as an imperial officer he has formal jurisdiction throughout Gehennum.

In the Decadent Period, a magistrate performing the functions of a Classical Period krites, but appointed by an episkopos, wielding authority derived from that episkopos rather than from the imperial government, and having jurisdiction practically confined to the episkopy in which he was appointed.

Copyright © 1991 by Brett Evill. All rights reserved.