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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.
Drawing on the evidence of anthropology as well as ancient literature and inscriptions, Gagarin examines the emergence of law in Greece from the 8th through the 6th centuries B.C., that is, from the oral culture of Homer and Hesiod to the written enactment of codes of law in most major cities.
This edition of early Greek writings on social and political issues includes works by more than thirty authors, including the sophists, poets, tragedians, historians, medical writers and pre=Socratic philosophers. Besides political theory, ancient political thought includes early sociology, anthropology, ethics and rhetoric, and the wide range of issues discussed includes the origin of human society, the origin of law, the nature of justice, the forms of good government, and the distribution of power among genders and social classes.
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