Democracy and the Rule of Law in Classical Athens: Essays on Law, Society, and Politics

Democracy and the Rule of Law in Classical Athens: Essays on Law, Society, and Politics

by Edward M. Harris


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This volume brings together essays on Athenian law by Edward M. Harris, who challenges much of the recent scholarship on this topic. Presenting a balanced analysis of the legal system in ancient Athens, Harris stresses the importance of substantive issues and their contribution to our understanding of different types of legal procedures. He combines careful philological analysis with close attention to the political and social contexts of individual statutes. Collectively, the essays in this volume demonstrate the relationship between law and politics, the nature of the economy, the position of women, and the role of the legal system in Athenian society. They also show that the Athenians were more sophisticated in their approach to legal issues than has been assumed in the modern scholarship on this topic.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107459519
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 11/20/2014
Pages: 520
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 1.14(d)

About the Author

Edward M. Harris is Professor of Classics at the University of Durham. A scholar of Athenian law, economy, and social history, he is the author of Aeschines and Athenian Politics and co-editor (with Lene Rubenstein) of The Law and the Courts in Ancient Greece.

Table of Contents

Part I. Law and Constitutional History: 1. Solon and the spirit of the law in archaic and classical Greece; 2. Pericles' praise of Athenian democracy; 3. Antigone the lawyer, or the ambiguities of Nomos; 4. How often did the Athenian assembly meet?; 5. When did the Athenian assembly meet?; 6. Demosthenes and the Theoric fund; Part II. Law and Economy: 7. Law and economy; 8. When is a sale not a sale? The riddle of Athenian technology for real security revisited; 9. Apotimema: the terminology for real security in leases and dowry agreements; 10. The liability of business partners in Athenian law; 11. Did Solon abolish debt-bondage?; 12. Notes on a lead letter from the Athenian Agora; Part III. Law and Family: 13. Did the Athenians regard seduction as a crime worse than rape; 14. Did rape exist in classical Athens? Further reflections on sexual violence in ancient Greece; 15. Women and leading in classical Athens: a Horos re-examined; 16. The date of Apollodorus' speech against Timotheus and its implications for Athenian history and legal procedure; 17. A note on adoption and deme registration; Part IV. Aspects of Procedure: 18. In the act or red-handed? Furtum manifestum and Apagoge to the eleven; 19. How to kill in attic Greek: the semantic of the verb and its implication; 20. The penalties for frivolous prosecution in Athenian law; Part V. Envoi: Pheidippides the Legislator.

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