The relevance of liturgies in the courts of classical Athens

Adamidis, V. ORCID: 0000-0001-6347-5327, 2016. The relevance of liturgies in the courts of classical Athens. ATINER'S Conference Paper Series. ISSN 2241-2891

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Abstract

What was the function of classical Athenian courts? Did they intend to enforce the rule of law? The greatest obstacle to accepting an affirmative answer is the wide use of, at first sight and from a modern (sometimes anachronistic) perspective, remotely relevant argumentation by litigants. In this paper, by reference to Greek ideas of personality, I analyse and demonstrate the legal relevance of extra-legal argumentation in classical Athenian courts, using as a case study the widely criticised invocation of liturgies (public services) by litigants. In particular, by applying a model of human action and ethical motivation which is more appropriate to the Greeks (rather that the unsuitable for the ancient context Cartesian / Kantian), a better understanding of forensic rhetoric and argumentation is achieved. Therefore, in accordance with Greek psychology, the admittedly liberal approach to legal relevance of the Athenian courts was a calculated step towards the attainment of legal justice and the rule of law as the Athenians perceived it.

Item Type: Journal article
Description: ATINER'S Conference Paper Series No: HUM2016-2050.
In accordance with Greek psychology (theories of ethical motivation and human action), the admittedly liberal approach to legal relevance of the Athenian courts was a calculated step towards the attainment of legal justice and the rule of law as the Athenians perceived it. This paper, by reference to the invocation of liturgies (public services) by litigants proves the aforementioned hypothesis.
Publication Title: ATINER'S Conference Paper Series
Creators: Adamidis, V.
Publisher: Athens Institute for Education and Research
Date: 14 November 2016
ISSN: 2241-2891
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Law School
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 18 Nov 2016 15:11
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2017 14:51
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/29170

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