Law's Cosmos: Juridical Discourse in Athenian Forensic Oratory

Law's Cosmos: Juridical Discourse in Athenian Forensic Oratory

by Victoria Wohl
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0521110742

ISBN-13: 9780521110747

Pub. Date: 01/31/2010

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Recent literary-critical work in legal studies reads law as a genre of literature, noting that Western law originated as a branch of rhetoric in classical Greece and lamenting the fact that the law has lost its connection to poetic language, narrative, and imagination. But modern legal scholarship has paid little attention to the actual juridical discourse of

Overview

Recent literary-critical work in legal studies reads law as a genre of literature, noting that Western law originated as a branch of rhetoric in classical Greece and lamenting the fact that the law has lost its connection to poetic language, narrative, and imagination. But modern legal scholarship has paid little attention to the actual juridical discourse of ancient Greece. This book rectifies that neglect through an analysis of the courtroom speeches from classical Athens, texts situated precisely at the intersection between law and literature. Reading these texts for their subtle literary qualities and their sophisticated legal philosophy, it proposes that in Athens' juridical discourse literary form and legal matter are inseparable. Through its distinctive focus on the literary form of Athenian forensic oratory, Law's Cosmos aims to shed new light on its juridical thought, and thus to change the way classicists read forensic oratory and legal historians view Athenian law.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521110747
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
01/31/2010
Pages:
376
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Preface: before the law ix

Introduction: the rhetoric of law 1

Part I The Boundaries of Legal Discourse

1 The world of law: oratory and authority 21

On the inside 21

Nomos, demos, polis 26

Rhetoric's unhappy consciousness (Aeschines 1) 37

The iron chain of law (Demosthenes 25) 50

2 Legal violence and the limit of justice 66

Law in a field of pain and death 66

Legal violence and social violence (Demosthenes 54) 71

Touchstone of violence (Antiphon 1) 82

At the limits of the law (Demosthenes 47) 98

Part II The Legal Subject

3 Legal fictions: subjects probable and improbable 115

The legal subject 115

The intentional subject (Tetralogy II) 121

The probable subject (Tetralogy I) 133

Legal anthropology (Tetralogy III) 145

4 Logos biou: law's life stories 155

Tropes of subjectivity 155

Am I that name? Semiotics of the homonym in Demosthenes 39 158

The contract and the courtesan: metaphors of self in Demosthenes 48 167

Impossible metonymies (Lysias 24 via Demosthenes 21) 181

Part III Time, Memory, Reproduction: Law's Past and Future

5 Civic amnesia and legal memory: to remember and forget in the lawcourts 201

Athens' amnesty and law's al?theia 201

Litigating across l&ebar;th&ebar; (Andocides 1) 206

Time on trial (Lysias 13) 217

Traumatic memory and legal historiography (Lysias 12) 226

6 Family/law: legal genealogies 243

Narrative of a family tree 243

Law's full house 250

Living will (Isaeus 1) 257

Feminine fictions and the genealogy of law (Isaeus 3 and 6) 268

Conclusion: the paradigmatic law 287

Law, code 287

The law of law (Demosthenes 24) 292

The letter of the law and its spirit (Lysias 10) 301

The law, the noose, and the one-eyed man 309

Bibliography 317

Index locorum 345

General index 354

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