Horkos: Oath in Greek Society

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The importance of oaths to ancient Greek culture can hardly be overstated, especially in the political and judicial fields; but they have never been the object of a comprehensive, systematic study.This volume derives from a research project on the oath in ancient Greece, and comprises seventeen chapters by experts in law, in political and social history, in literary criticism, and in cross-cultural studies, exploring the subject from a broad spectrum of positions. Topics covered include the nature of ancient ...
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Overview


The importance of oaths to ancient Greek culture can hardly be overstated, especially in the political and judicial fields; but they have never been the object of a comprehensive, systematic study.This volume derives from a research project on the oath in ancient Greece, and comprises seventeen chapters by experts in law, in political and social history, in literary criticism, and in cross-cultural studies, exploring the subject from a broad spectrum of positions. Topics covered include the nature of ancient Greek oaths; the functions they performed within communities and in relations between them; their exploitation in literary texts and at critical moments in history; and connections between Greek oath phenomena and those of other cultures with which Greek came into contact, from the Hittites to the Romans.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781904675679
  • Publisher: Liverpool University Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 9.30 (w) x 6.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan Sommerstein is Professor of Greek at the University of Nottingham and Director of the 'Oath in Archaic and Classical Greece' project. He has published widely on Aeschylus, Aristophanes and other Greek dramatists. Judith Fletcher is Associate Professor of Archaeology and Classical Studies at Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, and co-editor with Bonnie MacLachlan of 'Virginity Revisited: The Autonomy of the Unpossessed Body' (2006).

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Table of Contents

Preface
Notes on Contributors
Introduction
       Alan H. Sommerstein

Part I: Oaths and their Uses
1. Oaths in political life
       P. J. Rhodes
2. Oaths in Greek international relationships
       Sarah Bolmarcich
3. Litigants’ oaths in Athenian law
       Michael Gagarin
4. The dikast’s oath and the question of fact
       David C. Mirhady
5. Could a Greek oath guarantee a claim right? Oaths, contracts and the structure of obligation in classical Athens
       David Carter
6. Oath and contract
       Edwin M. Carawan
7. ‘An Olympic victory must not be bought’: oath-taking, cheating and women in Greek athletics
       Jonathan S. Perry
Part II: Case Studies
8. Epinician swearing
       Bonnie MacLachlan
9. Horkos in the Oresteia
       Judith Fletcher
10. Masters of manipulation: Euripides’ (and Medea’s) use of oaths in Medea
       Arlene Allan
11. Cloudy swearing: when (if ever) is an oath not an oath?
       Alan H. Sommerstein
12. Thucydides and Plataian perjury
       Simon Hornblower
13. The oath of Demophantos and the politics of Athenian identity
       Julia L. Shear
14. Hierophantic performances: the Syracusans’ Great Oath and other examples
       Tarik Wareh
Part III: From East, to West
15. Oath and allusion in Alcaeus fr. 129
       Mary R. Bachvarova
16. Cosmological oaths in Empedocles and Lucretius
       Myrto Garani
17. ’ Ομν?ω α’υτòν τòν Σεβαστ?ν [‘I swear by Augustus himself’]: The Greek oath in the Roman world
       Serena Connolly

Notes
Bibliography
General Index
Index Locorum

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