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July 08 , 2010

Speeches from Athenian Law


This is the sixteenth volume in the Oratory of Classical Greece. This series presents all of the surviving speeches from the late fifth and fourth centuries BC in new translations prepared by classical scholars who are at the forefront of the discipline. These translations are especially designed for the needs and interests of today's undergraduates, Greekless scholars in other disciplines, and the general public.

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Classical oratory is an invaluable resource for the study of ancient Greek life and culture. The speeches offer evidence on Greek moral views, social and economic conditions, political and social ideology, law and legal procedure, and other aspects of Athenian culture that have recently been attracting particular interest: women and family life, slavery, and religion, to name just a few.

This volume assembles twenty-two speeches previously published in the Oratory series. The speeches are taken from a wide range of different kinds of cases—homicide, assault, commercial law, civic status, sexual offenses, and others—and include many of the best-known speeches in these areas. They are Antiphon, Speeches 1, 2, 5, and 6; Lysias 1, 3, 23, 24, and 32; Isocrates 17, 20; Isaeus 1, 7, 8; Hyperides 3; Demosthenes 27, 35, 54, 55, 57, and 59; and Aeschines 1. The volume is intended primarily for use in teaching courses in Greek law or related areas such as Greek history. It also provides the introductions and notes that originally accompanied the individual speeches, revised slightly to shift the focus onto law.

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