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Article

incest  

Mark Golden

Incest, sexual intercourse or marriage with close kin, was restricted throughout classical antiquity. However, terminology and the particular relations prohibited varied with place and time. Though μητροκοίτης, ‘mother's bedmate’, occurs in *Hipponax, most of the Greek words referring to specific close-kin unions are much later in date and no general word for incest is found before the Byzantine period. Incestum, attested as a Latin technical term from the late republic, carries connotations of impurity absent from the Greek vocabulary. Sexual relations involving parent and child were forbidden everywhere we have evidence; their occurrence in Greek myth generally evokes horror, yet the participants are sometimes marked as numinous by their transgression of the usual limits of human conduct. Siblings of the same father could marry at *Athens, of the same mother at *Sparta. Even marriages between full siblings were recognized among the Greeks of Hellenistic and Roman *Egypt, an unusual practice perhaps intended to preserve the ethnic identity of a small and isolated settler élite and the privileges to which it provided access.

Article

Robert Sallares

Infanticide, killing of infants (ἔκθεσις, expositio, ‘putting outside’, probably a euphemism), a method of family limitation. The term as generally used by historians also covers exposure of infants, because it is seldom possible to ascertain what actually happened in specific cases. Infanticide is commonly mentioned in myths and legends, e.g. *Oedipus, *Cyrus(1) the Great, *Romulus and Remus. Its frequency probably varied temporally and regionally. For example, *Polybius(1) (36. 17) attributed population decline in Hellenistic Greece (see population, greek) to family limitation, but there is little evidence for it in earlier periods, especially in Athens. The Egyptians and the Jews were said to rear all their children, while the Carthaginians sacrificed children to Moloch (see carthage). *Soranus (Gyn. 2. 10: Eng. trans., O. Temkin, 1956) discussed reasons for not bringing up infants. Infants might have been exposed if they were deformed (see deformity), as in Sparta and Rome, or if they were the product of rape or *incest.

Article

D. M. MacDowell

In Athens, if a deceased man left legitimate sons, they shared the property equally; if a son predeceased his father leaving sons of his own, those sons inherited their father's share. If the deceased man left a daughter but no son, the daughter's sons inherited. If she did not yet have a son, she was epiklēros (imprecisely translated ‘heiress’) and could be claimed in marriage by the nearest male relative, who took charge of the property until their son was old enough to take it over. If there were no legitimate children, relatives within the *ankhisteia could claim. A man without sons could in effect choose an heir by adoption: the adoptee became legally the son of the adopter and so inherited the property, but could not oust an epiklēros; he might marry her himself, but anyway her son inherited eventually. A law introduced by *Solon permitted adoption by will, taking effect only on the testator's death. Another possibility was posthumous *adoption, by which the relatives arranged for one of themselves to become legally the deceased man's son.

Article

The skimpy ancient biographical tradition ([Plut.] Mor. 839e–f, *Dionysius(7) of Halicarnassus' critical essay Isaeus, and a Life preceding the speeches in the main MSS) preserves his father's name, Diagoras, but was uncertain whether he was Athenian or from *Chalcis in Euboea. *Isocrates reportedly taught him, but he plainly also studied *Lysias speeches and was himself a teacher of *Demosthenes(2) and author of a technē, a speech-writer's manual. His working life extended from c.389 to the 350s, perhaps to 344/3 if a lengthy quotation by Dionysius traditionally printed as speech 12 was by him and is correctly dated. The ancient tradition had his activity extend down to the reign of *Philip (1) II of Macedon.As a professional speech-writer (logographos) in Athens, he specialized in inheritance cases. Some 64 speech-titles were known in antiquity, 50 of which were reckoned genuine. Eleven survive complete, of which four can be internally dated (speech 5 in .

Article

J. D. Mikalson

Isocrates (436–338 bce) of Athens is generally classified as an orator, although because of a weak voice and a lack of confidence, he never delivered an oration to a legislative or legal assembly. He wanted and practised a quiet life, free from political and legal wranglings. Early in his career he wrote legal speeches for others, but soon turned to moral and sophistic essays and pseudo-orations epideictic in style but serious in purpose. He earned a fortune as a teacher of rhetoric for elite local and foreign youth. His teachings included a philosophy directed to practical, conventional morality intended to produce good citizens and future leaders. From the Panegyricus of 380 bce to the end of his long life, he promoted in various writings the idea of a Panhellenic expedition, always with some form of Athenian leadership, to Asia Minor to free the Greeks living there from Persian domination. For military leadership of the expedition he appealed over the years, successively and unsuccessfully, to Dionysius I of Sicily, Archidamus of Sparta, and finally Philip of Macedon. In the 350s bce he unfavourably compared the current Athenian democracy with that established by Solon and Cleisthenes and decried Athenian mistreatment of their allies in the Second Athenian Confederacy.

Article

P. J. Rhodes

Seems, along with other compounds of iso-, to have been a prominent term in Greek political discourse in the late 6th and early 5th cents. bce. *Herodotus(1) uses isonomia in his Persian debate to refer to *democracy (3. 80. 6, 83. 1), and elsewhere to refer to constitutional government as opposed to *tyranny (3. 142. 3, 5. 37. 2); in the second sense he also uses isegoria (‘equality of speech’) and isokratia (‘equality of power’) (5. 78, 92. α 1). For *Thucydides(2)isonomia is a term which can be applied to a respectable and broadly based *oligarchy (3. 62. 3, 4. 78. 3) as well as to a democracy. The *scolia (‘drinking-songs’) celebrating Harmodius and *Aristogiton praise them both for killing a tyrant and for giving Athens isonomia (Page, PMG893–6): the word was probably used at first to advertise Athens' freedom from *tyranny, but may have been taken over by *Cleisthenes(2) as a slogan for his reforms.

Article

Jakob Aall Ottesen Larsen and P. J. Rhodes

Isopoliteia (‘equal citizenship’) is a term used from the 3rd cent. bce, either instead of politeia (‘citizenship’) for grants of *citizenship by a Greek state to individuals (e.g. IG 5. 2. 11 = Syll.3501) or, particularly, for grants to whole communities (e.g. IG 5. 2. 419 = Syll.3472). Modern scholars distinguish between isopoliteia, by which states which were to remain independent exchanged rights, and *sympoliteia, by which two or more states combined to form a single state, but the language of ancient texts is more varied. The citizens of *Plataea may have been given a form of actual or potential Athenian citizenship when they became allies of *Athens in 519 (Thuc. 3. 55. 3), and after the destruction of their city in 427 they were given Athenian citizenship with certain limitations ([Dem.] 59. 104–6); in 405 the Samians (see samos) were given the right to act as Athenian citizens in Athens, though Samos was to remain an independent state (IG 22.

Article

Antony Spawforth

Modern coinage to describe a judge or panel of judges (xenikon dikastērion) sent by one Greek city to hear lawsuits in another, often on the basis of a shared tie of *kinship (syngeneia). Attested mainly from honorific decrees on stone, these judges—commonly between one and five with a secretary—are known from the 4th cent. bce until the Antonines, but above all in Hellenistic times (see hellenism), when their dispatch could be orchestrated by kings or royal officials, as well as the Greek leagues (koina). They are found hearing both public and private suits, including disputes over written contracts (sumbolaia); long backlogs in local courts are a frequently cited reason for their presence. References to foreign judges who restored concord (*homonoia) among citizens link this demand for impartial jurisdiction with the internal unrest (*stasis), often based on the indebtedness of the poor to the rich, which marked many Greek cities in Hellenistic times. See arbitration, greek.

Article

Oswyn Murray

Kingship (basileia). The Mycenaean political system (see mycenaean civilization) was monarchic, with the king (wanax) at the head of a palace-centred economy; the 10th-cent. bce ‘hero's tomb’ at *Lefkandi may imply some limited continuity into the Dark Age. Kingship appears to have been rare later: *Homer borrows elements from Mycenae and the near east, but seems essentially to be describing an aristocratic world, in which the word basileus is often used in the plural of an office-holding nobility. The earliest true monarchies were the 7th–6th-cent. *tyrannies, which were regarded as aberrations; the Spartan dual ‘kingship’ (see sparta) is a form of hereditary but non-monarchic military leadership. The Classical period knew kingship only from myth and as a *barbarian form of rule, found in tribal areas and in the near east. *Sophists established a theoretical table of constitutions, with kingship and tyranny as the good and bad forms of monarchy, opposed to the rule of the few and the rule of the many (see oligarchy; democracy; political theory).

Article

kinship  

S. C. Humphreys

In antiquity constituted a network of social relationships constructed through marriage and legitimate filiation (including *adoption). It stretched beyond the *household (which usually included non-kin, especially *slaves), and also extended through patrifiliation to form corporate descent groups (tribes, etc. ) recognized as subdivisions of the state.Indo-European kinship seems generally to have been bilateral (with more agnatic bias in Roman law), without any prescriptive marriage rule (the range of kin with whom marriage was prohibited varied, being wider in Rome than in Greece).Association between tribes and their named sub-groups may have stabilized only as the city-state developed. Momigliano (below) argued that early Roman pairs of social categories (patricians/plebeians, gentiles/clients, classis/infra classem) overlapped, being used in different contexts. In early Greece the same sets of ‘Ionian’ and ‘Dorian’ tribe names (see phylai) recur from the mainland to the Anatolian coast; the *phratry also seems to be an early and widespread institution, but phratry names are local.

Article

Stephen Todd

Modern work on this subject is conditioned by two important considerations. In the first place, it is Rome and not Greece which dominates European legal history: indeed, because the Greek world produced no jurists, its law is perhaps best studied not as a source of juridical principles but rather as a way of understanding how particular ancient societies perceived and regulated themselves. The second constraint is the distribution of our sources, which are rich but geographically and temporally very patchy.Classical Athenian law (see law and procedure, athenian) is well documented from the Attic Orators (c.420–320 bce): over 100 lawcourt speeches survive, though we rarely hear the result or even the opponent's case, and our manuscripts do not usually preserve the texts of witnesses' statements or legal statutes. Further information, particularly about judicial procedure, can be gleaned from Athenian comedy (especially *Aristophanes (1)'s Wasps) and from the Aristotelian *Athenaion politeia (esp.

Article

Jakob Aall Ottesen Larsen and Simon Hornblower

Under this heading law must be taken in its widest sense to include customary, religious, and moral law. Some approach to statutory law can be seen in the amphictionic laws (see amphictiony ), the covenant after the battle of *Plataea of 479 bce (Thuc. 2. 71), and the *King's Peace ; and the relations of states to each other were regulated by treaties. Nevertheless, international law remained essentially customary and, in contrast to the laws of individual states, which also had once been customary, was never officially recorded or codified. The importance of religion is seen in the amphictionic oath (see amphictiony ), the fetial rites (see fetiales ), and the practice of ratifying treaties by *Oaths . There were generally recognized rules about sanctuaries. Thucydides (4. 98. 2) makes Athenians after the battle of *Delium invoke ‘Greek custom’ which dictated that temples on a given piece of land were the responsibility of the people in possession of that land; but there is tendentious rhetoric in this speech.

Article

David M. Lewis

Crete provides historians with a rich fund of legal inscriptions from the Archaic and Classical periods. Although legal inscriptions have survived from several poleis (Axos, Datala, Dreros, Gortyn, Eltynia, Lyktos, Eleutherna, Prinias, Phaistos, and Cnossus), it is Gortyn that has produced the most spectacular finds and in the greatest quantities. These laws provide detailed provisions on various aspects of life, but in particular they deal with property and the family, as well as legal status. Rules on marriage, divorce, adoption, and inheritance all aim to guarantee the stability of families over the long term, whilst numerous laws on debt aim to prevent citizen households from falling below the subsistence margin. Taken as a whole, Crete’s laws provide much evidence for the priorities of male citizens living across the island and the various challenges that they faced.Ancient literary traditions strongly associated Crete with lawgiving through legendary figures such as Minos.

Article

Edward Harris

The Athenians strongly believed in the rule of law and attempted to implement this ideal in their legal procedures. Every year there were six thousand judges, who swore an oath to vote according to the laws and decrees of the Athenian people and to vote only about the charges in the indictment. There was a distinction between private cases (dikai), which could be brought only by the person who was wronged, and public cases (graphai), which could be brought by any citizen and in some cases by metics and foreigners. All cases were tried in one day. There were certain special public procedures for specific types of cases.

The Athenians of the Classical period strongly believed in the rule of law. In his Funeral Oration delivered in 322bce, Hyperides (Epitaphios 25) declares:

For men to be happy they must be ruled by the voice of law, not the threats of a man; free men must not be frightened by accusation, only by proof of guilt; and the safety of our citizens must not depend on men who flatter their master and slander our citizens but on our confidence in the law (trans. Cooper).

Article

Mirko Canevaro

From the earliest stages, the Greeks understood the distinction between legislation and day-to-day administration. They gave laws a special status and often created specific, separate procedures to enact them. In the Archaic period, specially appointed lawgivers were normally in charge of giving laws to the polis; these laws were intended to be immutable, and their stability secured through entrenchment clauses. Making laws was not considered to be among the normal tasks of the government of the polis, and there were no standard procedures to change the laws once these had been given. Assemblies in Greek city-states often enacted rules that had the force of law, but the legislative changes were not institutionally acknowledged, and the laws enacted by the lawgivers could not be changed. This gave rise to significant problems of legitimacy, and it introduced inconsistencies in the legal system of the polis, a problem that we can observe in 5th-century bce Athens.

Article

Lionel Pearson and Simon Hornblower

The word λογογράφος, as used by the contemporaries of *Demosthenes (2), commonly means a speech-writer for litigants in the courts, or else a writer of prose, as distinct from a poet (cf. Arist. Rh. 2. 11. 7 with the note in Cope's edition). Modern practice, however, has usually followed *Thucydides (2) (1. 21) in applying the term to the predecessors and contemporaries of *Herodotus (1) who were the pioneers of history-writing; but it has been held that even Thucydides uses it in the forensic or Demosthenic sense: Grethlein. Early writers of narrative prose are called λογοποιοί, ‘tellers of tales’, by Herodotus (2. 134, 143). But like the early philosophers and natural scientists, those who claimed to offer a faithful account of human activities considered their task as an investigation (ἱστορία), as scientific rather than poetic.No manuscripts of these authors have survived, but there are numerous references to them and occasional direct quotations in later Greek writers. Some later writers (e.g. Strabo 11. 6. 2, 12. 3. 21) have a low opinion of their accuracy and accuse them of fabricating names and incidents; others stress their lack of critical judgement; all agree that they wrote in simple style and language (cf. esp. Dion. Hal. Thuc.

Article

Lycurgus was one of the ten canonical Attic orators and an influential politician who worked energetically for the regeneration of Athens after the battle of Chaeronea (338) until his death, a period commonly referred to as “Lycurgan Athens.” The principal evidence about him is the “Life” in the Lives of the Ten Orators attributed to Plutarch (841a–844a) and the appended decree of 307/306 bce honouring him posthumously (851f–852e), the inscribed version of which is partially preserved (IG II2 457 + 3207). His one extant speech, “Against Leocrates,” of 331, was directed against a man accused of abandoning Attica in the aftermath of the battle of Chaeronea, and is notable for its moralising tone and extensive use of examples from myth and history, including quotations from poetry. Lycurgus is also prominent in the epigraphical record. He proposed more extant inscribed laws and decrees than any other politician of the classical Athenian democracy, except for his chief rival, Demades.

Article

Stephen Todd

The ancient biographical tradition, that he was born in 459/8 and died c.380 bce ([Plut.] Vit. Lys. 835c, 836a; Dion. Hal. Lys. 1, 12), is clear but problematic. The latter date is plausible; the former less so, and many scholars suggest that a man some fifteen years younger would have been more likely to engage in his range of activities after 403 (the speeches, and cf. also [Dem.] 59. 21–2). He appears as a character in *Plato (1)'s Phaedrus; in the Republic, his father Cephalus is an elderly *Syracusan, resident as a *metic in Athens, and friend of assorted Athenian aristocrats: the search for dramatic dates, however, is probably vain.Lysias and his brother Polemarchus left Athens after Cephalus' death to join the panhellenic colony (see panhellenism) of *Thurii in southern Italy, where he is said to have studied *rhetoric.

Article

Victor Ehrenberg and P. J. Rhodes

Magistracies (archai) in Greek states were the successors of the *kingships, which rarely survived into the Classical period. By a process which cannot now be followed in detail, and which the sources tend to reconstruct in too systematic a fashion, the powers of a hereditary king came to be divided between a plurality of magistrates, normally appointed for one year and often not eligible for reappointment. In addition to general offices of state, more specialized offices were sometimes created, for example to control a treasury or to supervise public works or the market (see agoranomoi). A small state could manage with a small number of magistrates, but in a large one there might be many, and many duties might be given to boards rather than single individuals: Athens in the 5th cent. bce developed a particularly extensive range of offices—700 internal and 700 external, according to the text of Arist. [Ath.

Article

Dominic W. Rathbone

In the ancient Greek and Roman worlds, centred as they were on the Mediterranean, maritime transport was far more practical than land transport for long- and even medium-distance trade. Most ships seem to have been of medium size (around 70 tonnes burden) and to have been owned and run by a shipper who both carried goods as freight and traded on his own account. There were also many individual merchants who hired shipping as needed for their ventures. Then as now, the major expense in trading was the investment in purchasing goods; roughly, one cargo of wheat was worth as much as the ship. Hence a merchant, whether or not also a shipowner, often needed third-party finance, for which, because of the peculiar risks involved, a special type of loan was used. This was the maritime loan—nautikon daneion in Greek, nauticum faenus or mutua pecunia nautica in Latin.The maritime loan is first attested in 4th-century bce Athens, in four speeches attributed to Demosthenes, of which the most informative is the prosecution of the brother of a pair of merchants for fraudulent default on a loan (Dem.