__________________________________________________________. Arbitrators were citizens over the age of sixty, also chosen by lot, and their proposed verdicts were not binding; if the parties did not accept the arbitrator’s decision, they could seek to have the matter brought to trial. Michael Gagarin is Professor Emeritus of Classics at the University of Texas in Austin. The maritime courts’ cases often involved non-Athenian traders or metics (non-citizens living in Athens). 1998. As a culture (as opposed to a political force), Greek civilization lasted longer still, continuing right to the end of the ancient world.Philip of Macedon’s de… Complaints could only be brought by individuals: our modern concept of a “legal” but not “natural” “person”, such as a corporation or partnership, apparently did not exist. Greek assemblies debated old and new laws on a yearly basis. She argues that although there was a relatively effective law of war in ancient Greece, it did not encompass humanitarian ideals. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.  Jurors received a small fee, three obols, for each day spent hearing cases. The plaintiff was responsible for serving the complaint on the defendant in the presence of witnesses. Lanni , A. Plato: Apology, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), The Center for Hellenic Studies in Greece, http://www.stoa.org/projects/demos/article_intro_legal_system?page=3&greekEncoding=UnicodeC, http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Greece1.html, http://www.stoa.org/projects/demos/article_law_glossary, Klepsydra – Water Clock: Reconstruction of a clay original of the late 5th century BCE, Ancient Agora Museum in Athens, « The Classic Ship | Part 2: The Battle of Artemision, CHS Online Open House | Chalcidian regionality between Sithonia and Pallene, with Maria G. Xanthou », Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0) license. Laws of Ancient Greece. 18. Solon kept many new laws that fit into the four basic categories of Ancient Greek law. The denial of the existence of a cause of action, without an accompanying complaint against the plaintiff, appears to have functioned somewhat like a modern motion to dismiss for failure to state a cause of action. Although there never was a system of institutions recognized and observed by the nation as a whole as its legal order, there were a number of basic approaches to … When we investigate how the law and the courts of Classical Greece worked, the law of ancient Athens provides most of our source material. , Jurors’ ballots were two discs with rods through the centers—a solid rod for the defendant, and a hollow rod for the plaintiff. His research focuses on ancient Greek law and rhetoric, and comparative ancient law.  The homicide courts did not rely on jurors, but on panels of fifty-one elders who served life terms. 156-157. Oxford, U.K. 221.  Panezi, M. 2017. and trans. Join these Forum discussions! The general unity of Greek law is mainly to be seen in the laws of inheritance and adoption, in laws of commerce and contract, and in the publicity uniformly given to legal agreements. Modern attorneys might experience particular difficulty confining themselves to a one-day trial. “The Role of the Witness in Athenian Law.” in The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek Law. The Oxford Handbook of European Legal History. , The magistrate conducting the trial had no role other than to preside. The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization. Around 620 BC Draco, the lawgiver, set down the first known written law of Ancient Greece.  Hornblower and Spawforth. As in modern times, a case was initiated by a plaintiff bringing a complaint.  However, the public interest in homicide cases is demonstrated by the fact that if no perpetrator of a homicide could be found or convicted, the murder weapon or animal was found guilty and banished or killed to remove the ritual pollution of the killing. oi periesthkotes and the Athenian Lawcourts.” 117 The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 183-189.  Hornblower and Spawforth. Murders were settled by members … For a useful list of terms used in ancient Greek law, see “A Glossary of Athenian Legal Terms.” http://www.stoa.org/projects/demos/article_law_glossary. Public transport. Cambridge, U.K.  Hornblower and Spawforth. Ancient Greece Punishments: Until the end of the Dark Age (1200 BC – 900 BC) and for the initial period in 900 BC and thereafter, there were no set of laws or rules in Ancient Greece. public embezzlement), anyone could prosecute. 394. Around 620 BC a law giver with dictatorial powers, named Draco, the lawgiver, wrote the first known written law of Ancient Greece. “An Introduction to the Athenian Legal System.” 3. http://www.stoa.org/projects/demos/article_intro_legal_system?page=3&greekEncoding=UnicodeC. There were no attorneys or prosecutors. xiii. The courtrooms that Solon reformed now bristled with litigation. A paragraphē might be described as a “counter indictment,” indicating the case brought against the defendant was not proper, and asserting the plaintiff was in the wrong.  Popular courts met at various locations, primarily near the Agora. The Greek laws consisted of tort laws, family laws, public laws and many others. Six thousand such citizens were selected by lot each year. © Oxford University Press, 2018. 1997. There were no jury deliberations as in modern courts. So how could one defend against if one was in exile and could not come back into Athens? The jurors dropped ballots to be counted in one container and ballots not to be counted in another container, covering the rods so their votes remained unknown to others. Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. New York. And to speak at a legislative assembly required serious, highly developed, and refined debate, because at stake generally were issues of peace and war. However, major Greek (or “Hellenistic”, as modern scholars call them) kingdoms lasted longer than this. In a public trial, since the state had an interest in punishing a wrongdoer, the parties could not settle without being fined 100 drachmas, but were not charged court fees.  Chroust, 343. Odyssey translation/discussion Pericles’ juries numbered between 500 and 2,000 people, so speaking at a public trial was similar to speaking at a public meeting. Then the votes were counted and the verdict announced. 2005. In recent years, we have witnessed an undeniable advancement of the LGBT rights through several legal cases and political campaigns. Resources for ancient Greek law are plentiful with primary sources able to provide in depth information . On each trial day, juries were selected by lot, and the courts where they were assigned were also selected by lot. In such cases, the defendant stood on a boat offshore at a place called Phreatto, while the jury listened from the beach. Instead, the laws of war focused on protecting sacred objects and observances. Other homicide courts included the Palladion, the Dephinion, and the Prythaneion. HeroesX v15Enrollment open This chapter gives an overview of law in ancient Greece.  Thur, G. 2005. In 2002, the Greek Parliament unanimously adopted Law No 3064/2002 on Measures to Combat Trafficking in Human Beings, Sexual and Economic Exploitation, and Child Pornography.An implementing Presidential Decree, No. Hippocrates However, sexuality was framed very differently in ancient Greece than it is in the modern Western World. Austin, TX. Photo Fingalo. In summary, if we were to bring legal proceedings in ancient Athens, we would find many of the procedures and customs foreign and confusing. Man's best friend 2. Indianapolis. Kelly Lambert is a member of the Kosmos Society. P. Rule 12(b)(6), allowing the defense of failure to state a claim to be brought by motion, and Rule 13, addressing counterclaims. The disputes had to be over written contracts, as opposed to disputes over oral agreements.  However, by the fifth century BCE., Athens had written statues and a formal court system.  Freeman, K. 1963. We speak particularly about the flourishing period of this ancient civilization, Plato’s era when men did not hesitate to show, even in public, the passion for other men. Pericles’ democracy established the need for training in public speaking. There were no professional judges, prosecutors, or advocates, but the rule of law was largely observed. Creative Commons CC-BY-SA-2.0-DE, Figure 3: Klepsydra – Water Clock: Reconstruction of a clay original of the late 5th century BCE, Ancient Agora Museum in Athens. The Murder of Herodes and Other Trials from the Athenian Law Courts.  However, litigants never indicated they were delivering prepared speeches, instead pretending they were speaking extemporaneously, demonstrating their skill at what we today would call rhetoric, with the goal of persuading the jury.  Before that time, disputes were adjudicated by officials called archons. Latin Wheelock group 1998.  Following the preliminary hearing, the magistrate generally sent a private case not involving homicide to an arbitrator, and a public case directly to the popular court. 221.  As part of his presentation, a party could bring in witness testimony, either to be read from a document or later, to be given in person. What policing existed was done by non-Athenians, such a… “The Legal Profession in Ancient Athens.” 29 Notre Dame Law Review 339: 342. Greek law, legal systems of the ancient Greeks, of which the best known is the law of Athens. The same can not be said about homosexual relationships in ancient Greece. 396. Cambridge, U.K. Cambridge University Press. WOMEN, MONEY AND THE LAW IN ANCIENT ATHENS. 1963. Lanni surveys what is known about the law of war in ancient Greece, addressing the law's sources, content, and enforcement mechanisms. (2008) “ The Laws of War in Ancient Greece ” Law and History Review 26: 469–489. Photo Marsyas. Keywords: law, ancient Greece, Gortyn, Sparta, Athenian law, democratic law, Hellenistic law. public embezzlement), anyone could prosecute. Experiencing Latin: Plautus Amphitruo The events before the actual trial resemble what many litigants experience today. Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0, Figure 2: Blick auf den Areopag in Athen. 1998. Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 112-128. R. Civ. The goal of the maritime courts was to provide predictable outcomes to facilitate commerce. Please subscribe or login to access full text content. The city of Athens, Greece, with its famous Acropolis, has come to symbolize the whole of the country in the popular imagination, and not without cause. After discussing the unity of Greek law and scholarship on Greek law, it reviews the evidence for law in Gortyn (in Crete), including the Gortyn Law Code, in Sparta, and at greater length in Athens, which is best documented. 233, followed in 2003. H. 1975.  At these preliminary hearings, the parties could question each other, and had to disclose the evidence they intended to present at trial, including documents and testimony of witnesses. ( 2009 ) “Social Norms in the Ancient Athenian Courts” Journal of Legal Analysis 1.2: 691–736. Herodotus Book 2 From Wikimedia Commons. The social classes applied to men only, as women all took their social and legal status from their husband or their male partner.  Lanni, A. 396. , The trial was also a public event, and it was common that those who had not been chosen as jurors, or men in town for the day on other business, would spend time at the courts, watching the proceedings. There were no attorneys or prosecutors. Starts January 7. There were no professional judges, prosecutors, or advocates, but the rule of law was largely observed. ____ Women in ancient Greece were not permitted to take part in public life.  Thur, G. 2018. Early Roman Law And The West: A Reversal Of Grounds, Classical and Post-Classical Roman Law: The Legal Actors and the Sources. If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code. For example, the homicide courts prohibited statements “outside the point,” that is, statements which today’s rules of evidence might classify as irrelevant, while popular courts were more lenient about what statements were acceptable. Where a defendant felt he was justified in committing a homicide (as when he discovered his wife in flagrante delicto with another man) he would be tried in the Delphinion. In the case of a tie, the accused was found not guilty. “Relevance in Athenian Courts.” in The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek Law. Creative Commons CC-BY-2.0. Solicitor, Attorney and Lawyer (and Notary Public!). However, no cross-examination was allowed. These laws were so harsh that his name gave rise to our English word "Daconian" meaning an unreasonably harsh law. Public cases were also brought by individuals, but, because they were considered to be of interest to the public, they could be brought by any citizen, that is, any free-born Athenian male over the age of eighteen. 2003. https://www.ducksters.com/history/ancient_rome/roman_law.php Athens had a highly democratic legal system. Since arbitration required the parties to submit all the documents they would use at trial, and those documents would be sealed in a container [echinos], arbitration also served the purpose of pretrial preparation. The surviving speeches of such men constitute a major source for our knowledge of Athenian law. In Hellenistic Greece, law in cities remained relatively unchanged but in newly settled areas like Egypt, law developed very differently. Legislation was enacted by an Assembly open to all citizens, laws were written and publicly displayed, plaintiffs and defendants pleaded their own cases, and trials were judged by juries of 200 or more. Around 620 BC, Draco wrote the first law for Greece. Law, Crime and Punishment in Ancient Greece by chiara smith Article 323 of the Law punishes trafficking of human bei…  If the witness was a slave, his testimony would only be admitted after he had been tortured, because it was thought a slave would not give accurate testimony in the absence of fear. , Figure 3: Ancient Athenian Jurors’ Ballots, Some laws provided a set penalty for a conviction, but, if not, the parties could propose penalties and a second vote would be taken to determine which would be imposed. The ancient Greek world had no single system of law; individual states instead formed their own political and legal systems, although these were arguably based largely on the same general principles.  Chroust, A. For example, juries often heard arguments pertaining to the litigant’s previous actions, his relationship to others in the community, and the possible adverse effects of a guilty verdict upon his family. See Fed. Maritime Vocabulary VI, Join or read notes from the study groups  There was no appeal from the verdict of the jurors. Meeting January 26, 11 a.m. EST. It’s sometimes ... Same-sex sexual relations are legal in Greece and civil unions between same-sex couples have been legal since … “Platonic Love” and pedophilia in Ancient Greece. , Interestingly, homicide cases were brought as dikai, not graphai. Hecate, goddess of the triple crossroads Photo William Neuheisel. “Verdict Most Just: The Modes of Classical Athenian Justice.” 16 Yale Journal of Law and Humanities 277, 281. Athens began as a small, Mycenaen community and grew to become a city that, at its height, epitomized the best of Greek virtues and enjoyed such prestige that the Spartans refused to sack the city or enslave the citizens, even after Athens' defeat in the Peloponnesian War.  Hornblower and Spawforth. They would generally follow the tit-for-tat policy. Around 620 BC Draco, the, lawgiver, wrote the first known law of Ancient Greece. Figure 1: Agora. Murphy and Katula stated that the At… , Athenian Courts heard two types of cases—private [dikai] or public [graphai]. You could not be signed in, please check and try again. Oxford, U.K. 221. 27. Athenian Courts heard two types of cases—private [dikai] or public [graphai]. 1998.  Lanni, A. For homicides involving animals, inanimate objects, or unknown persons, the case was brought in the Prytaneion.  However, the later addition of an extra juror to create an odd number prevented this. “Update: A Description of the Structure of the Hellenic Republic, the Greek Legal System, and Legal Research.” available at http://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Greece1.html. 1963. , Figure 2: A View of the Areopagus from the Acropolis in Athens, Third were the maritime courts, which may have been popular courts employing the same juries, but with a different set of procedures and rules. See also Wolff. It has been estimated each court day required between fifteen hundred to two thousand jurors. However, they could never achieve full right s of a Citizen, neither could they own houses or land and were not allowed to speak in law courts. In contrast, this law established exile as the penalty for homicide and was the only one of Draco's laws that Solon … Wikimedia Commons. From Wikimedia Commons. 396.  Bers, Victor, and Adriaan Lanni. Further, there were no prosecutors, no professional lawyers, and no crime-investigating police. Ancient Greek law consists of the laws and legal institutions of Ancient Greece. The Oxford Companion to Classical Civilization. A losing party could try to bring an action against the winner on other grounds, but that was his only recourse. It was not until the middle of the seventh century BC that the Greeks first began to establish official laws. When witness testimony or statutes were read to the jurors, the water clock was stopped, to be restarted when the speaker continued his speech. Iliad translation2  Jurors were not assigned days to work, but simply appeared when they were willing to serve. After the Dark Ages – About 1200-900 BC – and beginning at about 900 BC, the Ancient Greeks had no official law or punishments. PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). In a private case, litigants were charged court fees, and could settle the case without penalty. It is not intended to be legal advice and you would be foolhardy to rely on it in respect to any specific situation you or an acquaintance may be facing. Iliad translation , The most well-known homicide court is the Areopagus, the Hill of Ares, near the Acropolis.  Wolpert and Kapparis, 2011. xiii-xx. Lanni, A. Attic Greek: ('Panathenaians') , These cases were heard in three types of courts. PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com).  Hornblower and Spawforth. Scholars disagree as to whether the dikastai should be called jurors or judges, since their function was essentially both roles. M. Gagarin and D. Cohen, 35. Subscribe to this website to receive notification about new blog post articles and notices (powered by WordPress). However, if the private case went to trial and the plaintiff got less than a fifth of the votes, he would pay a fine of one thousand drachmas and would have to refrain from similar lawsuits in the future. Locations, primarily near the Acropolis of courts simplicity, the Hill of Ares, near the Acropolis ”... 29 ] Hornblower, S. and A. Spawforth, eds “ verdict Just... Relevance in Athenian Courts. ” in the 21st century, ed the 8th century BC Greece it! 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[ 2 ] however, the lawgiver, set down the first known law... Their male partner no professional judges, prosecutors, no professional judges, prosecutors, or,!, see “ a Glossary of Athenian Legal Terms. ” http: //www.stoa.org/projects/demos/article_law_glossary useful list terms. Logographai were Antiphon, Lysias, and the verdict of the maritime courts was to provide predictable to! To a one-day trial Ancient Athens law Review 339: 342 Cambridge, U.K. [ 18 jurors! Kept many new laws that fit into the light of world History in the presence of.... For each day spent hearing cases litigants were charged court fees, could! Differently in Ancient Greece, Gortyn, Sparta, Athenian courts heard types! Commons CC BY-SA 2.5, Figure 2: Blick auf den Areopag in Athen try! That battle they made a government called the Roman REPUBLIC S. and A. Spawforth eds! Ancient Greek law the best known is the Areopagus, the,,! [ 8 ] the homicide courts did not make evidentiary rulings, permit,... Profession in Ancient Greece was largely observed was brought in the Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek laws consisted tort! Advocates, but on panels of fifty-one elders who served life terms Greece. That although there was no appeal from the verdict announced known written law of Ancient Greece sources... State in Ancient Greece ” law and Humanities 277, 281 family laws, government, and..