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date: 07 December 2022



  • D. M. MacDowell


Nomothetai (νομοθέται), ‘law-makers’, were usually individuals like *Draco and *Solon, but in Athens in the late 5th and the 4th cent. bce large groups with this title were appointed. The earliest known was appointed in 411 in connection with the Five Thousand (Thuc. 8. 97. 2) and must have lapsed when that regime fell. In 403, when democracy was restored, one group of nomothetai was appointed by the *boulē to draft and display proposed additions to the laws, and another body of 500 nomothetai was elected by the demes to consider these proposals in conjunction with the boulē (Andoc. 1. 82–4).Thereafter nomothetai were appointed regularly to consider proposed changes in the laws, on which they, not the *ekklēsia, now took the final decisions. In some cases (or in all, according to one view) they were drawn by lot from the list of 6,000 jurors; thus they were ordinary citizens, without special expertise, but their function was to examine proposals more closely than the ekklēsia would do.


  • Greek Law

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