07 March 2018

BOOK: Paula Jean PERLMAN, Ancient Greek Law in the 21st Century [Ashley and Peter Larkin Endowment in Greek and Roman Culture] (Austin: University of Texas, 2018). ISBN 978-1-4773-1521-7, $45.00

The University of Texas Press has published a new book on Ancient Greek Law.

The ancient Greeks invented written law. Yet, in contrast to later societies in which law became a professional discipline, the Greeks treated laws as components of social and political history, reflecting the daily realities of managing society. To understand Greek law, then, requires looking into extant legal, forensic, and historical texts for evidence of the law in action. From such study has arisen the field of ancient Greek law as a scholarly discipline within classical studies, a field that has come into its own since the 1970s.

This edited volume charts new directions for the study of Greek law in the twenty-first century through contributions from eleven leading scholars. The essays in the book’s first section reassess some of the central debates in the field by looking at questions about the role of law in society, the notion of “contracts,” feuding and revenge in the court system, and legal protections for slaves engaged in commerce. The second section breaks new ground by redefining substantive areas of law such as administrative law and sacred law, as well as by examining sources such as Hellenistic inscriptions that have been comparatively neglected in recent scholarship. The third section evaluates the potential of methodological approaches to the study of Greek law, including comparative studies with other cultures and with modern legal theory. The volume ends with an essay that explores pedagogy and the relevance of teaching Greek law in the twenty-first century.


-        Acknowledgments
-        Introduction (Adriaan Lanni and Robert W. Wallace)
-        1. Administering Justice in Ancient Athens: Framework and Core Principles (Robert W. Wallace)
-        2. Revenge and Punishment (Eva Cantarella)
-        3. Hyperides’s Against Athenogenes and the Athenian Law on Agreements (Michael Gagarin)
-        4. Slaves Operating Businesses: Legal Ramifications for Ancient Athens—and for Modern Scholarship (Edward E. Cohen)
-        5. Toward a New Shape of the Relationship between Public and Private Law in Ancient Greece (Alberto Maffi)
-        6. “Heiliges Recht” and “Heilige Gesetze”: Law, Religion, and Magic in Ancient Greece (Martin Dreher)
-        7. Summary Fines in Greek Inscriptions and the Question of “Greek Law” (Lene Rubinstein)
-        8. Soft Law in Ancient Greece? (Julie Velissaropoulos-Karakostas)
-        9. From Anthropology to Sociology: New Directions in Ancient Greek Law Research (Adriaan Lanni)
-        10. Oral Law in Ancient Greece? (Mogens Herman Hansen)
-        11. The Future of Classical Oratory (Gerhard Thür)
-        Contributors
-        Index Locorum
-        Index

For more information, see the website of the publisher.

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