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The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens
     

The World of Prometheus: The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens

by Danielle S. Allen
 

ISBN-10: 0691094896

ISBN-13: 9780691094892

Pub. Date: 11/25/2002

Publisher: Princeton University Press

For Danielle Allen, punishment is more a window onto democratic Athens' fundamental values than simply a set of official practices. From imprisonment to stoning to refusal of burial, instances of punishment in ancient Athens fueled conversations among ordinary citizens and political and literary figures about the nature of justice. Re-creating in vivid detail the

Overview

For Danielle Allen, punishment is more a window onto democratic Athens' fundamental values than simply a set of official practices. From imprisonment to stoning to refusal of burial, instances of punishment in ancient Athens fueled conversations among ordinary citizens and political and literary figures about the nature of justice. Re-creating in vivid detail the cultural context of this conversation, Allen shows that punishment gave the community an opportunity to establish a shining myth of harmony and cleanliness: that the city could be purified of anger and social struggle, and perfect order achieved. Each member of the city—including notably women and slaves—had a specific role to play in restoring equilibrium among punisher, punished, and society. The common view is that democratic legal processes moved away from the "emotional and personal" to the "rational and civic," but Allen shows that anger, honor, reciprocity, spectacle, and social memory constantly prevailed in Athenian law and politics.

Allen draws upon oratory, tragedy, and philosophy to present the lively intellectual climate in which punishment was incurred, debated, and inflicted by Athenians. Broad in scope, this book is one of the first to offer both a full account of punishment in antiquity and an examination of the political stakes of democratic punishment. It will engage classicists, political theorists, legal historians, and anyone wishing to learn more about the relations between institutions and culture, normative ideas and daily events, punishment and democracy.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780691094892
Publisher:
Princeton University Press
Publication date:
11/25/2002
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
464
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.20(d)

Table of Contents

PREFACE xi

INTRODUCTION 3

PART ONE: THE PRELIMINARIES 13

CHAPTER ONE What Is Punishment? 15

Introduction 15

"Revenge" versus "Punishment": Rereading the Oresteia 18

Studying Punishment as Authority: Reading the Prometheus Bound 25

Precis 35

CHAPTER TWO Institutional Context 39

Introduction 39

Penal Institutions and Democratic Power 40

The Lay Prosecutor and the Parameters of Judgment 45

CHAPTER THREE Cultural Context 50

Anger/Orge 50

ThE Agon and Honor 59

Reciprocity 62

Social Memory, Social Knowledge 65

Language 68

Conclusion 72

CHAPTER FOUR Punishment and Its Tragic Problems 73

The Mythic Imaginary 73

Method 75

Disease and Remedy 77

Power Tyranny, and Law 86

Conclusion 94

PART TWO: THE PROCESS OF PUNISHING 97

CHAPTER FIVE Initiation, Part One 99

Knowledge, Power, Action 99

Investigation 102

Initiation: Metics, Proxenoi, and Xenoi 107

Initiation: Slaves 109

Initiation: Women 111

CHAPTER SIX Initiation, Part Two 122

The Male Citizen Prosecutor 122

Back to the Bees and Wasps Again 128

The Household: Women and Men Together 134

City as Collective 141

CHAPTER SEVEN The Negotiation of Desert, Part One 147

The Magic of Speech 147

Pity and Anger 148

The First Norm of Public Agency: Deserving to Punish and Dispelling

Charges of Sycophancy 151

CHAPTER EIGHT The Negotiation of Desert, Part Two 168

Introduction 168

The Second Norm of Public Agency: Using Social Memory and Law 168

The Rule of Judgment versus the Rule of Law 179

The Rule of Law in Plato and Aristotle 183

The Third Norm of Public Agency: Shaping the Democratic Community 190

CHAPTER NINE Execution 197

War Peace, and the Formalism of Punishment 197

The Details: Punishments and Their Executors 200

Tvo Forms of Memory: Remembering and Forgetting 202

The Symbolism of Remembering and Forgetting 205

War and Peace, the Body and Silence 213

Punishments of Reintegration 224

Punishments that Redefine the "Whole" Community 232

The Amnesty 237

PART THREE: INTERVENTIONS IN THE CONVERSATION 243

CHAPTER TEN Plato's Paradigm Shifts 245

The Symbol of Leontios 245

Reform over Reciprocity 247

The Erasure of Orge 251

Undoing the Athenian "Principle of the Public": The Republic 257

The Just City and the Power of the Symbol 263

The Incurables and the Necessity for Anger/Orge in the Just City of the Laws 277

CHAPTER ELEVEN Aristotle's Compromises 282

On Justice and Desert 282

EPILOGUE: The Reform of Prometheus and Promethean Rebellion 293

APPENDIXES

A. The Number of Magistrates in Athens 305

B. The Nature and Scope of Arbitration in Athens 317

C. The Relative Frequency of Penal Words within Each Orator 323

D. Further Argument about the Decree of Cannonus 324

E. Catalog of Cases of Punishing (or Attempts at Punishing) in Tragedy 326

ENDNOTES 333

BIBLIOGRAPHY 405

INDEX 431

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