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The Rule of Law in Action in Democratic Athens$
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Edward M. Harris

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199899166

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199899166.001.0001

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Feuding or the Rule of Law?

Feuding or the Rule of Law?

An Essay in Legal Sociology

(p.60) 2 Feuding or the Rule of Law?
The Rule of Law in Action in Democratic Athens

Edward M. Harris

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores the social context of Athenian law. It examines Athenian attitudes toward the duties of private individuals, and anger and enmity as motives for litigation. It shows that the Athenians enacted several laws to discourage frivolous prosecution and lawsuits brought for the sole reason of harassing enemies and intimidating opponents. It considers the quarrels between Athenian citizens and shows how social attitudes and public statutes worked to restrain litigiousness and resolve conflict.

Keywords:   Athenian legal system, Athenian law, social context, private citizens, litigation, social attitudes, public statues

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