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


  • Date Published: November 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107459519

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Clear presentation of complex legal and historical issues
    • Original approach to major topics in Athenian history, law and politics, the nature of the economy, the position of women, and the role of legal systems
    • Close reading of several major texts
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107459519
    • length: 520 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 29 mm
    • weight: 0.76kg
    • availability: Available
  • 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.

  • Author

    Edward M. Harris, City University of New York
    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.

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