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The Forensic Stage: Settling Disputes in Graeco-Roman New Comedy

Overview

This book explores the ways in which legal disputes were settled out of court in fourth-century BC Athens and in second-century BC Rome. After examining pretrial scenarios in the Attic orators and comparable ones in Roman legal sources, the author turns to the plays of Greek New Comedy and their later Roman adaptations. There she identifies similar scenarios, especially in disputes concerning sexual violations, the marriages of heiresses, and divorces, and shows that recognition of legal scenarios aids ...

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Overview

This book explores the ways in which legal disputes were settled out of court in fourth-century BC Athens and in second-century BC Rome. After examining pretrial scenarios in the Attic orators and comparable ones in Roman legal sources, the author turns to the plays of Greek New Comedy and their later Roman adaptations. There she identifies similar scenarios, especially in disputes concerning sexual violations, the marriages of heiresses, and divorces, and shows that recognition of legal scenarios aids interpretation of New Comedy texts.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Adele Scafuro has written an ambitious but difficult book, remarkable in the breadth and detail of its scholarship ..." William M. Owens, New England Classical Journal

"Indispensible to serious students of Greek comedy and society, it deserves a wider readership for its expertise and sheer human interest." Elaine Fantham, Classical World

"This important study of law and New Comedy is the first major work on the subject since Paoli's 1962 monograph. [Scafuro] is meticulous in assessing this rich and challenging material...." Bryn Mawr Classical Review

"This book gives a thorough treatment of all scenes and references in Greek comedy and oratory and Latin comedy to public and private arbitration mechanisms. Conclusions are usefully summarized at the end of chapters, and all examples listed in the appendixes. The book is distinguished by admirable common sense." William J. Slater, Religious Studies Review

"...The Forensic Stage is an extremely useful book..." Phoenix

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521607070
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2004
  • Pages: 536
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 1.18 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; Part I. Pre-Trial Plays: 1. The staging of dispute settlement; 2. Initiating justice: threat, summons, and arrest; Part II. Reconciliation and its Rhetoric: 3. Private arbitration and reconciliation in Athens and Rome; 4. Scenarios of arbitration and reconciliation in New Comedy; 5. Redress for sexual offences in Athenian and Roman law; 6. The resolution of seduction and rape in New Comedy; 7. Arguing behind closed doors; Part III. Playing on the Boundaries of the Law: 8. Entrapment and framing; Appendices: 1. Official arbitration in the Attic orators; 2. Private arbitrations and reconciliations in Athens; 3. Remedies for enslavement, kidnapping and slave-stealing in Athens and Rome; 4. Controversial summonses in Rudens and Persa; 5. Threats of lawsuits and self-help remedies in Graeco-Roman New Comedy; 6. Ambiguous arbitri in Roman comedy; 7. Moikhos and moikheia.

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