Ancient Greek Law

History 280A

Spring 2012
7205 Dwinelle
Day & Time: 
Tu 10-1
  • Note new room.
  • What role did the establishment of laws play in the development of the polis in the Archaic period? What was the political impact of the Greeks' practice of writing down laws? How did the process and substance of legislation change over time in relation to shifting internal and external political circumstances? How did the substantive laws of the Greek poleis affect social, economic, and political behavior? How did the politically fragmented Greek world face the problem of settling disputes between states, and between individual citizens of different states? We will address these and other questions through a careful study of the ancient (especially but not exclusively epigraphic) evidence and recent scholarship on it, as well as through some recent theoretical work that seeks to articulate the relationship between law and society more broadly. We will share five or six meetings with a seminar on Greek Law being taught by Professor Josiah Ober at Stanford in their winter and spring quarters. Students should be prepared to make a maximum of three trips to Stanford for this purpose; carpooling will be arranged.