Essays on Law, Society, and Politics

Author: Edward M. Harris

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 113945689X

Category: History

Page: 486

View: 6451

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.
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Author: Edward M. Harris

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199899169

Category: History

Page: 475

View: 1306

The Law in Action in Democratic Athens is the first extensive study of the importance of the rule of law in Athenian democracy.
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Rhetoric, Relevance and the Rule of Law

Author: Vasileios Adamidis

Publisher: Taylor & Francis

ISBN: 1317168437

Category: History

Page: 236

View: 8515

There has been much debate in scholarship over the factors determining the outcome of legal hearings in classical Athens. Specifically, there is divergence regarding the extent to which judicial panels were influenced by non-legal considerations in addition to, or even instead of, questions of law. Ancient rhetorical theory and practice devoted much attention to character and it is this aspect of Athenian law which forms the focus of this book. Close analysis of the dispute-resolution passages in ancient Greek literature reveals striking similarities with the rhetoric of litigants in the Athenian courts and thus helps to shed light on the function of the courts and the fundamental nature of Athenian law. The widespread use of character evidence in every aspect of argumentation can be traced to the Greek ideas of ‘character’ and ‘personality’, the inductive method of reasoning, and the social, political and institutional structures of the ancient Greek polis. According to the author’s proposed method of interpretation, character evidence was not a means of diverting the jury’s attention away from the legal issues; instead, it was a constructive and relevant way of developing a legal argument.
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Author: Adriaan Lanni

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139452657

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 3532

In this 2006 book, Adriaan Lanni draws on contemporary legal thinking to present a model of the legal system of classical Athens. She analyses the Athenians' preference in most cases for ad hoc, discretionary decision-making, as opposed to what moderns would call the rule of law. Lanni argues that the Athenians consciously employed different approaches to legal decision-making in different types of courts. The varied approaches to legal process stems from a deep tension in Athenian practice and thinking, between the demand for flexibility of legal interpretation consistent with the exercise of democratic power by ordinary Athenian jurors; and the demand for consistency and predictability in legal interpretation expected by litigants and necessary to permit citizens to conform their conduct to the law. Lanni presents classical Athens as a case study of a successful legal system that, by modern standards, had an extraordinarily individualised and discretionary approach to justice.
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Rhetoric, Ideology, and the Power of the People

Author: Josiah Ober

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400820511

Category: History

Page: 408

View: 2326

This book asks an important question often ignored by ancient historians and political scientists alike: Why did Athenian democracy work as well and for as long as it did? Josiah Ober seeks the answer by analyzing the sociology of Athenian politics and the nature of communication between elite and nonelite citizens. After a preliminary survey of the development of the Athenian "constitution," he focuses on the role of political and legal rhetoric. As jurymen and Assemblymen, the citizen masses of Athens retained important powers, and elite Athenian politicians and litigants needed to address these large bodies of ordinary citizens in terms understandable and acceptable to the audience. This book probes the social strategies behind the rhetorical tactics employed by elite speakers. A close reading of the speeches exposes both egalitarian and elitist elements in Athenian popular ideology. Ober demonstrates that the vocabulary of public speech constituted a democratic discourse that allowed the Athenians to resolve contradictions between the ideal of political equality and the reality of social inequality. His radical reevaluation of leadership and political power in classical Athens restores key elements of the social and ideological context of the first western democracy.
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Innovation and Learning in Classical Athens

Author: Josiah Ober

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9781400828807

Category: Political Science

Page: 368

View: 2066

When does democracy work well, and why? Is democracy the best form of government? These questions are of supreme importance today as the United States seeks to promote its democratic values abroad. Democracy and Knowledge is the first book to look to ancient Athens to explain how and why directly democratic government by the people produces wealth, power, and security. Combining a history of Athens with contemporary theories of collective action and rational choice developed by economists and political scientists, Josiah Ober examines Athenian democracy's unique contribution to the ancient Greek city-state's remarkable success, and demonstrates the valuable lessons Athenian political practices hold for us today. He argues that the key to Athens's success lay in how the city-state managed and organized the aggregation and distribution of knowledge among its citizens. Ober explores the institutional contexts of democratic knowledge management, including the use of social networks for collecting information, publicity for building common knowledge, and open access for lowering transaction costs. He explains why a government's attempt to dam the flow of information makes democracy stumble. Democratic participation and deliberation consume state resources and social energy. Yet as Ober shows, the benefits of a well-designed democracy far outweigh its costs. Understanding how democracy can lead to prosperity and security is among the most pressing political challenges of modern times. Democracy and Knowledge reveals how ancient Greek politics can help us transcend the democratic dilemmas that confront the world today.
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Author: Adriaan Lanni

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1316715116

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 2540

The classical Athenian 'state' had almost no formal coercive apparatus to ensure order or compliance with law: there was no professional police force or public prosecutor, and nearly every step in the legal process depended on private initiative. And yet Athens was a remarkably peaceful and well-ordered society by both ancient and contemporary standards. Why? Law and Order in Ancient Athens draws on contemporary legal scholarship to explore how order was maintained in Athens. Lanni argues that law and formal legal institutions played a greater role in maintaining order than is generally acknowledged. The legal system did encourage compliance with law, but not through the familiar deterrence mechanism of imposing sanctions for violating statutes. Lanni shows how formal institutions facilitated the operation of informal social control in a society that was too large and diverse to be characterized as a 'face-to-face community' or 'close-knit group'.
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The Consequences of Litigation in Ancient Athens

Author: Steven Johnstone

Publisher: University of Texas Press

ISBN: 029278855X

Category: History

Page: 223

View: 7835

Athenians performed democracy daily in their law courts. Without lawyers or judges, private citizens, acting as accusers and defendants, argued their own cases directly to juries composed typically of 201 to 501 jurors, who voted on a verdict without deliberation. This legal system strengthened and perpetuated democracy as Athenians understood it, for it emphasized the ideological equality of all (male) citizens and the hierarchy that placed them above women, children, and slaves. This study uses Athenian court speeches to trace the consequences for both disputants and society of individuals' decisions to turn their quarrels into legal cases. Steven Johnstone describes the rhetorical strategies that prosecutors and defendants used to persuade juries and shows how these strategies reveal both the problems and the possibilities of language in the Athenian courts. He argues that Athenian "law" had no objective existence outside the courts and was, therefore, itself inherently rhetorical. This daring new interpretation advances an understanding of Athenian democracy that is not narrowly political, but rather links power to the practices of a particular institution.
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The Challenge of an Ancient Idea

Author: Paul Woodruff

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780198039389

Category: Philosophy

Page: 304

View: 3690

Americans have an unwavering faith in democracy and are ever eager to import it to nations around the world. But how democratic is our own "democracy"? If you can vote, if the majority rules, if you have elected representatives--does this automatically mean that you have a democracy? In this eye-opening look at an ideal that we all take for granted, classical scholar Paul Woodruff offers some surprising answers to these questions. Drawing on classical literature, philosophy, and history--with many intriguing passages from Sophocles, Aesop, and Plato, among others--Woodruff immerses us in the world of ancient Athens to uncover how the democratic impulse first came to life. The heart of the book isolates seven conditions that are the sine qua non of democracy: freedom from tyranny , harmony, the rule of law, natural equality, citizen wisdom, reasoning without knowledge, and general education. He concludes that a true democracy must be willing to invite everyone to join in government. It must respect the rule of law so strongly that even the government is not above the law. True democracy must be mature enough to accept changes that come from the people. And it must be willing to pay the price of education for thoughtful citizenship. If we learn anything from the story of Athens, Woodruff concludes, it should be this--never lose sight of the ideals of democracy. This compact, eloquent book illuminates these ideals and lights the way as we struggle to keep democracy alive at home and around the world.
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Author: Michael Gagarin,David Cohen

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 1139826891

Category: History

Page: N.A

View: 5961

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.
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Law, Society, and Politics in Fifth-Century Athens

Author: Martin Ostwald

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 9780520909687

Category: History

Page: 500

View: 8078

Analyzing the "democratic" features and institutions of the Athenian democracy in the fifth century B.C., Martin Ostwald traces their development from Solon's judicial reforms to the flowering of popular sovereignty, when the people assumed the right both to enact all legislation and to hold magistrates accountable for implementing what had been enacted.
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Essays on Ancient Greek Democracy and Political Theory

Author: Josiah Ober

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691001906

Category: Political Science

Page: 212

View: 4275

Eleven essays on Athenian democracy written and published between 1983 and 1993. They examine a variety of different themes including the development of an ideology of democracy, and how it worked in practice; the Athenian Revolution of 508/7 BC; the rules of war in Classical Greece; Thuycidides, Pericles, and the strategy of defence; power and oratory in democratic Athens; the Polis as a society.
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Author: David Cohen

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 9780521388375

Category: History

Page: 214

View: 5847

This book examines the legal regulation of violence and the role of litigation in Athenian society. Using comparative anthropological and historical perspectives, David Cohen challenges traditional evolutionary and functionalist accounts of the development of legal process. Examining Athenian theories of social conflict and the rule of law, as well as actual litigation involving the regulation of violence, the book emphasizes the way in which the judicial process operates in an agonistic society.
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Author: Peter John Rhodes

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780195221398

Category: Political Science

Page: 358

View: 4117

Athens' democracy developed during the sixth and fifth centuries and continued into the fourth; Athens' defeat by Macedon in 322 began a series of alternations between democracy and oligarchy. The democracy was inseparably bound up with the ideals of liberty and equality, the rule of law, and the direct government of the people by the people. Liberty means above all freedom of speech, the right to be heard in the public assembly and the right to speak one's mind in private. Equality meant the equal right of male citizens (perhaps 60,000 in the fifth century, 30,000 in the fourth) to participate in the government of the state and the administration of the law. Disapproved of as a mob rule until the nineteenth century, the institutions of Athenian democracy have become an inspiration for modern democratic politics and political philosophy. P. J. Rhodes's reader focuses on the political institutions, political activity, history, and nature of Athenian democracy and introduces some of the best British, American, German, and French scholarship on its origins, theory, and practice. Part I is devoted to political institutions: citizenship, the assembly, the law-courts, and capital punishment. Part II explores aspects of political activity: the demagogues and their relationship with the assembly, the maneuverings of the politicians, competitive festivals, and the separation of public from private life. Part III looks at three crucial points in the development of the democracy: the reforms of Solon, Cleisthenes, and Ephialtes. Part IV considers what it was in Greek life that led to the development of democracy. Some of the authors adopt broad-brush approaches to major questions; others analyze a particular body of evidence in detail. Use is made of archeology, comparison with other societies, the location of festivals in their civic context, and the need to penetrate behind what the classical Athenians made of their past.
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Author: David Phillips

Publisher: University of Michigan Press

ISBN: 0472029266

Category: History

Page: 540

View: 1035

The Law of Ancient Athens contains the principal literary and epigraphical sources, in English, for Athenian law in the Archaic and Classical periods, from the first known historical trial (late seventh century) to the fall of the democracy in 322 BCE. This accessible and important volume is designed for teachers, students, and general readers interested in the ancient Greek world, the history of law, and the history of democracy, an Athenian invention during this period. Offering a comprehensive treatment of Athenian law, it assumes no prior knowledge of the subject and is organized in user-friendly fashion, progressing from the person to the family to property and obligations to the gods and to the state. David D. Phillips has translated all sources into English, and he has added significant introductory and explanatory material. Topics covered in the book include homicide and wounding; theft; marriage, children, and inheritance; citizenship; contracts and commerce; impiety; treason and other offenses against the state; and sexual offenses including rape and prostitution. The volume’s unique feature is its presentation of the actual primary sources for Athenian laws, with many key or disputed terms rendered in transliterated Greek. The translated sources, together with the topical introductions, notes, and references, will facilitate both research in the field and the teaching of increasingly popular courses on Athenian law and law in the ancient world.
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A Portrait of the City in Its Golden Age

Author: Christian Meier

Publisher: Metropolitan Books

ISBN: 1627797858

Category: History

Page: 640

View: 2476

A lively and accessible history of Athens's rise to greatness, from one of the foremost classical historians. The definitive account of Athens in the age of Pericles, Christian Meier's gripping study begins with the Greek triumph over Persia at the Battle of Salamis, one of the most significant military victories in history. Meier shows how that victory decisively established Athens's military dominance in the Mediterranean and made possible its rise to preeminence in almost every field of human eavor--commerce, science, philosophy, art, architecture, and literature. Within seventy-five years, Athens had become the most original and innovative civilization the ancient world ever produced. With elegant narrative style, Meier traces the birth of democracy and the flourishing of Greek culture in the fifth century B.C., as well as Athens' slow decline and defeat in the Peloponnesian War. The great figures--from politicians and generals like Themistocles and Alcibiades to the philosophers Socrates and Plato--emerge as flesh-and-blood human beings, firmly rooted in their times and places. This is history in the tradition of Simon Schama and Barbara Tuchman--learned, accessible, and beautifully written.
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Responding to Oligarchy in Classical Athens

Author: Julia L. Shear

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 0521760445

Category: History

Page: 368

View: 8101

This book explores how democracy in Athens was recreated and the city rebuilt following the oligarchic revolutions of the fifth century BC.
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Author: Edward Monroe Harris,Lene Rubinstein

Publisher: Bristol Classical Press

ISBN: N.A

Category: Law

Page: 240

View: 6898

An important synthesis of current scholarship on law and its implementation in Ancient Greece.
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Democracy before Liberalism in Theory and Practice

Author: Josiah Ober

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISBN: 110824890X

Category: Political Science

Page: N.A

View: 5186

What did democracy mean before liberalism? What are the consequences for our lives today? Combining history with political theory, this book restores the core meaning of democracy as collective and limited self-government by citizens. That, rather than majority tyranny, is what democracy meant in ancient Athens, before liberalism. Participatory self-government is the basis of political practice in 'Demopolis', a hypothetical modern state powerfully imagined by award-winning historian and political scientist Josiah Ober. Demopolis' residents aim to establish a secure, prosperous, and non-tyrannical community, where citizens govern as a collective, both directly and through representatives, and willingly assume the costs of self-government because doing so benefits them, both as a group and individually. Basic democracy, as exemplified in real Athens and imagined Demopolis, can provide a stable foundation for a liberal state. It also offers a possible way forward for religious societies seeking a realistic alternative to autocracy.
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Author: Chris Carey,Ifigeneia Giannadaki,Brenda Griffith-Williams

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9004377891

Category: History

Page: 402

View: 8307

This volume brings together leading scholars and rising researchers in the field of Greek law to examine the role played by the law in thinking and practice in the legal system of classical Athens from a variety of perspectives.
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