SASA Master Class: Gimme My Money! Lawsuits, Foreigners, and Maritime Contracts in Classical Athens
Time & Location
About the Event
Previous participation and previous knowledge not required.
Have you ever wondered what happened when a ship sank in the ancient Mediterranean? Who lost money from all those sunken treasures? Legal speeches from fourth century Athens explain the various ways in which trade was financed and monitored, as well as shows the sophistication of Athenian laws and courts. When ships sunk or business partners committed fraud, the Athenian legal system was the best recourse for injured parties to receive justice. It did not matter if you were Athenian, a citizen from another Greek city-state, a metic, or a foreigner - everyone had access to the dikai emporikai or the maritime lawsuits.
This idea of equality before the law is idealistic, just as it is today. Anti-foreigner rhetoric could, and would, be used in order to sway the jury – even if not legally relevant. In this reading group, we will look at the Demosthenic speech Against Lacritus in order to understand how contracts were made, enforced, and broken between participants of many different socio-economic groups. Moreover, participants will gain a better understanding of the speeches which provide so much of our historical information about this period, as well as the court and legal system of Athens in the late Classical period. No previous knowledge of the Athenian system is required.
Participants will recieve links to our Live Syllabus where readings and discussions are posted in the confirmation email after registration.