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The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek Law


  • Page extent: 496 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.72 kg


 (ISBN-13: 9780521521598 | ISBN-10: 0521521599)

This Companion volume provides a comprehensive overview of the major themes and topics pertinent to ancient Greek law. A substantial introduction establishes the recent historiography on this topic and its development over the last 30 years. Many of the 22 essays, written by an international team of experts, deal with procedural and substantive law in classical Athens, but significant attention is also paid to legal practice in the archaic and Hellenistic eras; areas that offer substantial evidence for legal practice, such as Crete and Egypt; the intersection of law with religion, philosophy, political theory, rhetoric, and drama, as well as the unity of Greek law and the role of writing in law. The volume is intended to introduce non-specialists to the field as well as to stimulate new thinking among specialists.

• Comprehensive study of Greek law from the beginning through the Hellenistic period • Chapters by twenty recognized authorities from the US, UK and Europe • Suitable for beginners and specialists alike


Part I. Law in Greece: 1. The unity of Greek law; 2. Writing, law and written law Rosalind Thomas; 3. Law and religion Robert Parker; 4. Early Greek law Michael Gagarin; Part II. Law in Athens I: Procedure: 5. Law and oratory at Athens Stephen Todd; 6. Relevance in Athenian courts Adriaan Lanni; 7. The influence of procedural choice on Athenian court-room strategies Lene Rubinstein; 8. The role of the witness in Athenian law Gerhard Thur; 9. Theories of punishment David Cohen; 10. The rhetoric of law in fourth-century Athens Harvey Yunis; Part III. Law in Athens II: Substantive Law: 11. Crime, punishment, and the rule of law in Classical Athens David Cohen; 12. Gender, sexuality, and law Eva Cantarella; 13. Family and property law Alberto Maffi; 14. Athenian citizenship law Cynthia Patterson; 15. Commercial law Edward E. Cohen; Part IV. Law Outside Athens: 16. The Goryns laws John Davies; 17. Greek law in foreign surroundings Hans-Alpert Rupprecht; 18. Hellenistic law: general framework Joseph Meleze Modrzejewski; Part V. Other Approaches to Greek Law: 19. Law, Attic comedy, and the regulation of comic speech Robert Wallace; 20. Greek tragedy and law Danielle Allen; 21. Law and political theory Josiah Ober; 22. Law and nature in Greek thought A. A. Long.


'… a fascinating sampling of the stimulating work accomplished so far from the predominantly Anglo-American perspective … individual chapters of this book will inevitably be cited on undergraduate reading lists. Teachers will also benefit from engaging with the 'extraordinary intellectual range of contemporary contributions to the study of Greek legal ideas and institutions.'.' Journal of Classics Teaching

'The book excels substantively in its broad collection of Greek legal and political thought, accessible to the most inexpert of readers. … this collection's great achievement - demonstrating the seemingly innumerable ways in which new light can be shed on well-established themes in this timeless and timely field.' Law and History Review


Rosalind Thomas, Robert Parker, Michael Gagarin, Stephen Todd, Adriaan Lanni, Lene Rubinstein, Gerhard Thur, David Cohen, Harvey Yunis, Eva Cantarella, Alberto Maffi, Cynthia Patterson, Edward E. Cohen, John Davies, Hans-Alpert Rupprecht, Joseph Meleze Modrzejewski, Robert Wallace, Danielle Allen, Josiah Ober, A. A. Long

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