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Who Made Laws in Ancient Athens

12/12/2022 | objavio Radio Gradačac

Faced with impending catastrophe, the aristocracy and people of Athens supported the election of Solon as chief archon in 594 BC. The Athenians granted Solon, then about 35 years old, almost unlimited powers to write new laws to end the conditions that had caused all the hatred and fear. Lycurgus finally decided that the only way to avoid being blamed if something happened to the child was to travel until Charilaus grew up and had a son to ensure the succession. Therefore, Lycurgus relinquished all his authority and embarked on a famous, though undoubtedly legendary, journey. His first destination was Crete, like Sparta, a Doric land, where he studied the laws of Minos. During this time, he met a composer named Thales, whose music could calm the masses and inspire his listeners to become better people. [6] Spartan and Cretan institutions did indeed have common characteristics, but although some direct borrowings may have taken place, such similarities are usually due to the common Doric heritage of Sparta and Crete rather than the fact that a person like Lycurgus imported Cretan customs to Sparta. [10] When he then traveled to Asia Minor, the homeland of the Ionian Greeks, he found it instructive to compare the refined and luxurious lifestyle of the Ionians with the strict and disciplined culture of the Dorians. Some say that Lycurgus then traveled as far as Egypt, Spain and India. [11] It was in Ionia that Lycurgus discovered Homer`s works.

Lycurgus collected the scattered fragments of Homer and saw to it that the lessons of the art of governing and morality in Homer`s epics became widely known. According to Plutarch, the Egyptians claim that Lycurgus also visited them,[a] and that he came up with the Egyptians` idea of separating the military from inferior workers, thus refining the later Spartan society in which the Spartans were not allowed to practice crafts. [12] Greek legal life in the 5th and 4th centuries BC. AD was determined by three dominant factors. One was the existence of a multitude of city-states (poleis), each of which possessed and administered its own laws. The second element was the fact that in many, if not most, poleis (some exception was Sparta), laws were set out in written laws, some of which were sophisticated and more or less comprehensive codes that established procedural methods and substantive rules for the administration of justice. This is the result of a major legal codification movement that began on 7 July. The Greek world is set in the nineteenth century. Solon of Athens (594 BC), preceded by Draco in 621, is the best known of a number of famous legislators, the others notable being Zaleucus of Locri Epizephyrii (southern Italy) and Charondas of Cantana; Lycurgus of Sparta is considered legendary. A number of ordinances, rightly or wrongly attributed to Solon, are still known from literary quotations, which render them in a modified form reflecting a legal reform of 403-402 BC. One of the draconian laws was preserved in an Attic inscription, which exists in a revised version from 409 or 408 BC. The Gortyn Code, which is itself a revised version of an older law, is the only one that is even remotely complete.

Modern representative democracies, unlike direct democracies, have citizens who elect representatives who create and enact laws on their behalf. Canada, the United States and South Africa are examples of modern representative democracies. The oldest surviving Greek law is the inscription of Dreros, a seventh-century BC law on the role of the cosmos. [6] This and other ancient laws (such as those preserved in a fragmentary form of Tiryns) are not primarily concerned with regulating people`s behavior, but with regulating the power of officials within the community. [7] These laws were probably enacted by elites to control the distribution of power among them. [8] After completing the drafting of his new code of law for Athens, Solon reflected on its realization: the existence of certain general principles of law was implied by the habit of settling a dispute between two Greek states or between the members of a single state by external arbitration. The general unity of Greek law is manifested above all in the law of succession and adoption, commercial and contract law and in the uniform publication of legal agreements. [1] Lycurgus forbade the writing of the Great Rhetra. Instead of just writing rules for people to follow, he wanted his laws to be rooted in the Spartans as part of their character and form a more important bond with them.

It would also allow flexibility in laws so that they can change and evolve when needed, rather than relying on tougher rules. [6] Ancient Greek dishes were cheap and run by laymen. Court officials were paid little or none, and most trials were completed within one day, with private cases being resolved even more quickly. There were no judicial officials, no lawyers and no official judges. In a normal case, two parties disputed whether an unlawful act had been committed. The jury would decide whether the accused was guilty and, if guilty, what the sentence would be. In the Athenian courts, the jury was composed more of ordinary people, while the litigants came mainly from the elites of society. [14] Private dikai and graphai were to be initiated by summoning the defendant (who may be in custody) before the competent judge and filing a written complaint with him, which would subject him to a preliminary examination (anakrisis). The parties to a civil financial dispute were then referred to a public arbitrator (diaitētēs). If one of them rejects the award or if the case is not subject to compulsory arbitration, the case is referred to a dicastery presided over by the magistrate. After hearing the arguments and evidence presented by the parties, the Dicasts reached their decision, which could only be a choice between the parties` two proposals, in a secret ballot without debate.

Their verdict was final between the parties, but the loser could bring a private tort action (dikē pseudomartyriōn) against a witness whose false testimony had influenced the verdict. A successful plaintiff in a private trial had to execute the judgment himself by seizing the defendant`s property. I did these things with my power, harmonizing power and justice, and I ended them as I promised; and I have made laws equal to the poor and the powerful, which have inflicted impartial justice on all. The dates of Lycurgus were given by ancient and modern authorities as early as the 10th century BC and only in the 6th century BC. Some scholars believe that the most plausible date is given by Thucydides, who said that in his time the Spartan constitution was more than four hundred years old; this would mean a date for Lycurgus, or at least for the reforms attributed to him in the last quarter of the 9th century BC. [4] [5] [7] [8] Although its older forms can be studied through the laws of Gortyn, its influence can be traced back to legal documents preserved in Egyptian papyri, and it can be recognized as a coherent whole in its final relationship with Roman law in the eastern provinces of the Roman Empire, with scholars in the discipline of comparative law aligning Greek law with both Roman and primitive law. Compare the institutions of the Germanic nations. [1] Women and men who were not citizens were not allowed to serve as jurors. Although men over the age of 18 can participate in the drafting of laws, only those over the age of 30 can serve as jurors.

The jury of each day was chosen by lot. Most of the time, many more citizens showed up, hoping to be part of a jury than the number was actually needed. Historians consider that ancient Athenian law is largely procedural and more concerned with the administration of justice than with material force. [2] The laws of Athens are generally drafted in the form that if a crime is committed, the offender will be punished under that law,[3] therefore, they are more concerned with the legal measures that should be taken by the prosecutor than with the strict definition of punishable acts. [4] Often, this would have meant that juries should have decided whether the alleged crime actually violated the law in question. [5] (…) he came first to Crete, where, after examining their various forms of government and making acquaintance with the most important men among them, he greatly approved of some of their laws and decided to apply them in his own country; A good part that he dismissed as useless.

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