Two Types of Suit

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In ancient Athens, two types of suit could be brought before the court: a civil dispute over some perceived private wrong and a public indictment over a perceived wrong against the state. In either case, a private citizen (or groups of citizens) needed to initiate the process. Socrates, of course, is faced with a public indictment, while Euthyphro, as you will see, is initiating a private suit against his father.