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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : Ancient History

Undergraduate Course: Athenian Law and Economy (ANHI10062)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will contribute to students' understanding of the social dimension of the Greek world through an analysis of the legal system of Classical Athens and the social, and of the economic contexts of Athenian law. The course will focus on the speeches of the Attic orators, and will provide students with the skills necessary to exploit this very rich and distinctive kind of evidence.
Course description This course will introduce students to the study of the orators, examining the corpora, legal processes and technical language. Throughout its history, Athens experienced a high volume of litigation. There were trials of unsuccessful generals and corrupt politicians and disputes arising from family matters like marriage, inheritance, and adoption. The courts also heard cases about citizenship, maritime trade, mining contracts, quarrels between neighbours, treason and murder. The preserved speeches of the Attic orators delivered in court cover all aspects of life in Athens and are one of our richest sources of evidence for life in the Greek world. Through close reading of a selection of speeches of the orators the students will familiarize themselves, and learn to engage with, the social and economic reality of classical Athens, while at the same time acquiring skills necessary to understand and exploit challenging course material. They will be faced with key issues of Athenian and Greek legal, social and economic history that are at the core of the current research of the course organizers.

List of topics:
Solon and the Law in Archaic Greece
Athenian Legal and Political Institutions
Legislative Procedure in Classical Athens
Legal Procedure in Classical Athens
Interpreting the Law: the problem of fairness and consistency
Homicide Law: The Role of Religion
Family, Marriage, and Inheritance
Adoption and Guardianship
Moicheia and Sexual Violence
Is Antigones right? Law and Literature
Prostitution and Citizenship
The State and Sexuality - Same-Sex Relations
Treason and the Duties of Citizenship
Law and Economy
'Feuding' in Athenian Law?
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites It is RECOMMENDED that students have passed Ancient History 2a: Past and Present in the Ancient World (ANHI08014) AND Ancient History 2b: Themes and Theories in Ancient History (ANHI08013)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 3 courses in Classics related subject matter(at least 2 of which should be in Ancient History) at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. a specialist knowledge of the evidence for classical Athenian legal and economic institutions and how these reflect the social reality of classical Athens;
  2. a familiarity with theoretical and conceptual issues such as property, legal procedure, and institutional structures;
  3. the critical ability to analyze alien societies and legal systems in their own terms and discern their distinctive cultural and institutional features;
  4. a familiarity with Athenian legal language and a knowledge of the basis of legal thinking;
  5. improved problem solving skills through study of complex issues such as the nature of crimes of sexual abuse and maritime law in Athens.
Reading List
Required Books (available at Blackwell's):
C. Carey, Trials from Classical Athens. London and New York 1997.
D. M. MacDowell, The Law in Classical Athens. London 1978.

Recommended Books:
M. H. Hansen, Athenian Democracy in the Age of Demosthenes, Oxford 1991.
E. M. Harris, Democracy and the Rule of Law in Classical Athens, Cambridge and New York 2006.
E. M. Harris, The Rule of Law in Action is Democratic Athens, Oxford 2013.
A. R. W. Harrison, The Law of Athens: Family and Property, Oxford 1968.
A. R. W. Harrison, The Law of Athens: Procedure, Oxford 1971.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills In addition to the ILOs described above, students will also demonstrate a number of transferable skills, such as:

* reading skills of a high volume (i.e. the digestion of large quantities of textual material)
* general analytical skills
* written and verbal communication skills
* oral presentation and discussion skills
KeywordsAthenian Law and Economy
Course organiserDr Mirko Canevaro
Tel: (0131 6)51 1256
Course secretaryMs Elaine Hutchison
Tel: (0131 6)50 3582
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