The Negotiation of Obligations

Peter Liddel

in Civic Obligation and Individual Liberty in Ancient Athens

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780199226580
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191710186 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

 The Negotiation of Obligations

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This chapter investigates the negotiation of obligations in the law-courts, assembly (ecclesia) and Athenian public writing and the records of this provided by Attic oratory and epigraphy of the 4th century. Prescriptive statutes (laws (nomoi) and (non-honorary) decrees (psephismata)) and the legal procedures of the Athenians provided the bases of some obligations (4.1.1). Additionally, there was a wide range of values used in the grounding of obligations: piety and adherence to oath, values related to sharing, reciprocity, consensual contribution and the emulation of mythological and historical precedent (4.1.3-8). Forms of argumentation based on ideas such as amplification, evocation of pity and imagery, and oratorical fiat were also extensively employed (4.1.9-11). The Athenians encouraged the competition in the fulfilment of obligations through publication of honorary decrees and lists (4.2-3). Finally, this chapter considers the Athenian dedicatory habit as a popular response to the city’s encouragement of obligations and euergetic behaviour (4.4).

Keywords: law-courts; assembly (ecclesia); laws (nomoi); decrees (psephismata); negotiation; reciprocity; emulation; honorary decrees; lists; dedication

Chapter.  41903 words. 

Subjects: Classical History

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