sortition

sortition

[sawr-tish-uhn]
noun
the casting or drawing of lots.

Origin:
1590–1600; < Latin sortītiōn- (stem of sortītiō), equivalent to sortīt(us) (past participle of sortīrī to draw lots, derivative of sors lot, portion; see sort, -ite2) + -iōn- -ion

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World English Dictionary
sortition (sɔːˈtɪʃən)
 
n
the act of casting lots
 
[C16: from Latin sortitio, from sortiri to cast lots]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
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sortition

election by lot, a method of choosing public officials in some ancient Greek city-states. It was used especially in the Athenian democracy, from which most information about the practice is derived. With few exceptions, all magistrates were chosen by lot, beginning with the archons in 487-486 BC; likewise the Boule (council) of 500 and the juries of the law courts were chosen by lot. The practice of sortition obviated electoral races and provided for the regular turnover of officeholders. The operations of government were thus not in the hands of experts, but, through the system of sortition, the Athenian democracy provided at least some practical political education for its citizens

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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