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Early Greek Law

Michael Gagarin

Publication Year: 1989

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.

Published by: University of California Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. iii-v


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p. vii-vii

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p. ix-ix

The following study owes more than I can express to the help and guidance of others. I have tried to acknowledge their published work in my notes, though I have frequently, I am sure, failed to cite every source for an idea. The bibliography contains only those items referred to in the notes, although numerous other works not ...

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1. Introduction: Law in Human Society

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pp. 1-18

The recognition that law is a basic feature of human society distinguishing men from animals is at least as old as the Greek poet Hesiod, who says in the Works and Days (lines 276—80): "Zeus established the following way of life [nomos] for men: whereas for fish and beasts and winged birds it is the custom to eat one another, ...

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2. The Settlement of Disputes in Early Greek Literature

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pp. 19-50

I have suggested in the preceding chapter that in the development ofa society formal procedures for settling disputes peacefully mayarise before any rules are written down as statutory laws. This wascertainly the order of events in Greece. The Greeks learned—ormore precisely relearned—the art of writing in about the middle of...

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3. Early Written Laws: The Literary Evidence

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pp. 51-80

We have seen that by the beginning of the seventh century at the latest a formal, public procedure existed in Greece for the peaceful settlement of disputes. The consistency of the testimony of different authors indicates that this practice was not confined to one or two cities but is likely to have been fairly widespread throughout the...

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4. Early Written Laws: The Inscriptional Evidence

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pp. 81-98

Our picture of early law-making in Greece, drawn from the literary evidence, is confirmed and amplified by the inscriptional evidence, which also indicates that the Greeks began to write laws in about the middle of the seventh century and that procedural concerns predominate in laws enacted before 500 B.C. There are, of course, ...

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5. Justice in Early Greece

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pp. 99-120

In the three preceding chapters we have assembled the evidence forlegal procedure and substantive, written law in early Greece, on thebasis of which we may now examine some of the general features ofearly Greek justice. Throughout this discussion I shall be using"justice" in a relatively restricted sense to designate the legal ...

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6. The Emergence of Written Law

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pp. 121-142

We have seen that formal procedures for settling disputes were well established in Greece before the introduction of writing around the middle of the eighth century. We have also seen that Greek cities began to write down laws about the middle of the seventh century and that by the end of the sixth century many cities had some written...

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7. Conclusion

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pp. 143-146

We have seen that the emergence of law in Greece during the archaic period took place in two distinct stages. First in the preliterate period the basic elements of judicial procedure were established, providing a formal means for the public settlement of disputes by recognized third parties. This procedure depended ultimately on the ...

Abbreviations and Bibliography

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pp. 147-156

Subject Index

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pp. 157-161

Index Locorum

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pp. 163-167

E-ISBN-13: 9780520909168
Print-ISBN-13: 9780520066021

Page Count: 180
Publication Year: 1989