Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rothchild Reviews The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek Law

John Rothchild, Wayne State University Law School, has posted a review essay on The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek Law. It is forthcoming in the American Journal of Comparative Law. Here's Rothchild's abstract:
The book under review, The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek Law, consists of twenty-two essays on various aspects of the law of ancient Greece - principally that of Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries BCE. These essays do a good job of conveying to the reader a sense of the law, in all of its strangeness to modern eyes, that developed in the society often viewed as the birthplace of democracy. The contributors to the volume include the leading scholars in the subject from Europe and the United States. The book will be of interest to comparativists, to classicists with an interest in ancient law, and to legal scholars who wish they had studied classics.

In the review itself, Rothchild finds the book "an enormously worthwhile read for fans of diachronic comparativism, for classicists with an interest in ancient law, and for legal scholars who wish they had studied classics. In general it is quite accessible to the nonspecialist."

Here's the Cambridge University Press book description:
This Companion volume provides a comprehensive overview of the major themes and topics pertinent to ancient Greek law. A substantial introduction establishes the recent historiography on this topic and its development over the last 30 years. Many of the 22 essays, written by an international team of experts, deal with procedural and substantive law in classical Athens, but significant attention is also paid to legal practice in the archaic and Hellenistic eras; areas that offer substantial evidence for legal practice, such as Crete and Egypt; the intersection of law with religion, philosophy, political theory, rhetoric, and drama, as well as the unity of Greek law and the role of writing in law. The volume is intended to introduce non-specialists to the field as well as to stimulate new thinking among specialists.


Part I. Law in Greece:

1. The unity of Greek law;

2. Writing, law and written law Rosalind Thomas;

3. Law and religion Robert Parker;

4. Early Greek law Michael Gagarin;

Part II. Law in Athens I: Procedure:

5. Law and oratory at Athens Stephen Todd;

6. Relevance in Athenian courts Adriaan Lanni;

7. The influence of procedural choice on Athenian court-room strategies Lene Rubinstein;

8. The role of the witness in Athenian law Gerhard Thur;

9. Theories of punishment David Cohen;

10. The rhetoric of law in fourth-century Athens Harvey Yunis;

Part III. Law in Athens II: Substantive Law:

11. Crime, punishment, and the rule of law in Classical Athens David Cohen;

12. Gender, sexuality, and law Eva Cantarella;

13. Family and property law Alberto Maffi;

14. Athenian citizenship law Cynthia Patterson;

15. Commercial law Edward E. Cohen;

Part IV. Law Outside Athens:

16. The Goryns laws John Davies;

17. Greek law in foreign surroundings Hans-Alpert Rupprecht;

18. Hellenistic law: general framework Joseph Meleze Modrzejewski;

Part V. Other Approaches to Greek Law:

19. Law, Attic comedy, and the regulation of comic speech Robert Wallace;

20. Greek tragedy and law Danielle Allen;

21. Law and political theory Josiah Ober;

22. Law and nature in Greek thought A. A. Long.