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Filonik J. (Warsaw) Athenian Laws On Impiety – Some Notes On The Procedures


J. Filonik *

ATHENIAN LAWS ON IMPIETY –
SOME NOTES ON THE PROCEDURES **

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SUMMARY

The text is given in author’s edition. Текст приводится в авторской редакции.

In the sources from various periods of antiquity we see numerous remarks about the trials for ἀσέβεια, “impiety”, which were said to have taken place in 5th— and 4th-century1 democratic Athens. Apart from the several trials well attested in the contemporary accounts, these remarks come mostly from the times a few centuries later than the events which they describe, some of them being first mentioned by biographers as late as Plutarch (1st-2nd centuries A.D.) or Diogenes Laertius (3rd century A.D.).

These trials have attracted considerable attention, and the historicity of most of them has been put in doubt by some of the scholars2. It is not the place to discuss the issues of authenticity in detail3, but let it be enough for current purposes to state that we have to be very cautious in dealing with the late sources regarding this matter. However, there are some legal procedures and regulations already mentioned in Classical literary and epigraphic sources, which are not discussed fully in handbooks on ancient Greek law4. This paper aims at discussing them, while focusing on the cases which actually mention the procedure involved.

Unfortunately, we lack the precise definition of the Greek term ἀσέβεια, and, especially, its possible legal scope. It has been opposed to piety, εὐσέβεια, the term which could mean (showing) reverence in agreement with the tradition towards the gods, parents, dead or even the fatherland5, but we have to accept that the legal term of the actual accusation was considerably narrower6. We find the words from this stem already in the fragments of Hipponax’s poetry (fr. 85. 4 West) and in the Theognidea (1179f.), but within the surviving sources they appear commonly only since the 5th century. In the texts of Classical period the noun ἀσέβεια and the verb ἀσέβεῖν usually signify lack of reverence towards and profanation of the “sacred matters”7 (the temples, monuments of gods, religious festivals or functions). The charge of impiety would thus simply mean the charge of desecration of the sacred. It has happened, however, that these accusations were sometimes meant as a way of dealing with transgression against a certain tradition and world view, and against the state laws which inherited the latter two. It could simply mean lack of acceptance of the cult officially recognised by the polis, as in the accusation against Socrates (Xen. Mem. I. 1. 1).

What we can infer from the sources about the legal procedure appropriate for prosecuting ἀσέβεια leaves us with much uncertainty. The only definite legal remarks which survived from the 5th century are those connected with the Hermocopidae affair8 and the profanation of the Mysteries in 415. The εἰσαγγελία procedure was applied in this case9, which normally required a preliminary hearing in the ἐκκλησία, before the actual trial in a δικαστήριον10. It seems, nevertheless, that the regular forensic procedure in prosecuting ἀσέβεια would be a γραϕή, a procedure employed ordinarily in the “public” cases, and the one which could be initiated by anyone, not only by the party of a dispute, and would be then formally brought before a δικαστήριον by a relevant magistrate. However, we actually hear of the γραϕαί in the impiety trials only in the 4th century, beginning with Socrates’ trial in 399. Probably less frequently such cases were brought before the Areopagus Council, consisting of the ex-archons, in which power lay judging some religious offences, at least in the 4th century11. It is plausible that the reforms after the restoration of democracy in 403 influenced the legal system in this respect, but we cannot be sure as to the extent and rapidity of these changes.

Along with lack of definition of the term, we are given no precise basis for the charges for impiety in Athenian law, which is actually sometimes argued to have been a typical trait of Greek law in general, whether we believe it to have been of a “substantive” or rather “procedural” nature12, or as consisting of an “open texture”13. Presumably the prosecutors had a wide choice of possibilities, just as in case of the suits for attempts to overthrow democracy, κατάλυσις τοῦ δήμου, for which the punishment was death. The latter was in fact linked to ἀσέβεια accusations in the trials for desecration of the Mysteries of 415, so the courts would gain additional powers to prosecute14. R. Bauman compares it to the crimen maiestatis accusation in the Roman Empire and stresses the fact that it was the only possible way to interrogate (through torture, βάσανος) tens of slaves, who were brought to courts as witnesses, without the approval of their masters and without further “formalities”15. As a result, 22 persons were sentenced to death and confiscation of property, some of whom have fled Athens16. The use of the εἰσαγγελία procedure and the general anxiety of 415 can be partly explained by the justified fear of the secret ἑταιρείαι, responsible for both oligarchic coups d’état of 411 and 404.

In case of the trial of Socrates in 399 we can be sure that the γραϕή procedure was applied17. Most of the sources speak of Meletos as an accuser and of the charges of corrupting the youth and of impiety (i.e. introducing new gods in place of the ones recognised by the polis)18. From Plato’s Apology we learn that Socrates first had to stand before an ἄρχων βασιλεύς, a magistrate responsible for some religious regulations19, and then before the δικαστήριον consisting of 500 dicasts20. The amnesty based on the Patrocleides’ decree21 of 403/2, which was still in force in 399, did not have to be broken, but was rather bypassed, as Socrates could have been charged for the things said publicly between 403 and 399, if we presume he continued his teachings, and not for the events which happened until 403/2 and were covered by the amnesty. In Against Androtion (Dem. XXII. 2) we hear of a failed γραϕὴ ἀσεβείας against a certain Euctemon, whose prosecutor, Androtion, did not even obtain a fifth part of the votes (which is mentioned in the oration, as it would bring the imposition of ἀτιμία and a 1000-drachma fine on him). It seems that a γραϕὴ ἀσεβείας could be brought against both men and women, as we can infer from the charge against Lacedaimonius’ sister mentioned in Against Eubulides (Dem. LVII. 8), and probably against the non-citizens, as there was no obvious reason to restrain it (however we cannot be sure of it, as the charges against the non-citizens in our sources do not state the procedure involved explicitly in the cases which seem to have been γραϕαί).

Nevertheless, there were certain other procedures possible in prosecuting impiety, apart from the γραϕὴ ἀσεβείας. The trial for ἀσέβεια against Andocides in 399 or 40022 involved the procedure of ἔνδειξις, employed when someone benefited from the rights which he has already lost23. The prosecutor Cephisius argued that Andocides did not have the citizen (and thus religious) rights in Athens because of the decree of Isotimides’ from 415 (And. I. 132) which Cephisius believed to have been still valid in spite of the amnesty of 403/224. Andocides was charged with impiety not only for illegally entering the temples, which he was prohibited earlier by the Isotimides’ decree, but also for presumably leaving the branch on the altar of the two goddesses in Eleusinion (And. I. 113), for which the punishment was death. Because of the religious character of the trial it has been introduced by the ἄρχων βασιλεύς ([Lys.] VI. 11), and the dicasts unusually consisted only of the citizens who had been initiated into the Mysteries (And. I. 29).

Curiously enough it was Andocides himself who prosecuted certain Archippus for ἀσέβεια soon after the trial of Hermocopidae and before his own, stating that Archippus has “acted impiously against his own ancestral Herm”25. The case was not even brought to a court, as Andocides agreed to drop the charges in return for a compensation26, clearly already before an ἀνάκρισις ([Lys.] VI. 12). It thus seems that a case for impiety could still be abandoned after initial legal steps, however the possibility of a withdrawal existed probably due to the procedure involved. Pseudo-Lysianic author of Against Andocides calls this trial “δίκη ἀσεβείας before an ἄρχων βασιλεύς” ([Lys.] VI. 11f.), which would make it a somewhat more “private” suit than a γραϕή. We know that in private suits the law system encouraged the involvement of arbitration (πρόκλησις) and agreements to lighten the court’s load27. According to E.M. Harris28, this trial had to be a γραϕή, for it involved βασιλεύς, and even if Pseudo-Lysias’ remark is valid, we could understand it as a γραϕή in connection with Jullius Pollux’s (2nd century A.D.) comment (8. 41) that the γραϕαί are sometimes described as δίκαι, but not vice versa, which would make δίκη a general term with a meaning close to “trial”. However, in case of Archippus we have to accept δίκη as the name of the actual procedure, not only because of the “private” character of the case, but also due to Pseudo-Lysias’ use of the verb λαγχάνειν, which in the legal context always stands along with δίκη29.

In Against Androtion (XXII. 27) from the middle 350s Demosthenes mentions some other less known forensic procedures possible in prosecuting ἀσέβεια. He ascribes these regulations to Solon, following the 4th-century oratorical “fashion”30, and enumerates 1. an ἀπαγωγή31, 2. a γραϕή, 3. the possibility to turn to the Eumolpidae32 through a δίκη33, and 4. bringing the case to ἄρχων βασιλεύς through a φάσις34. Besides the γραϕή, we know of no actual trials involving the other three. Nor do we have any reason to believe that the Eumolpidae would actually have any legal powers in Athens, despite having the right to pass their interpretation as the ἐξηγηταὶ of the sacred matters involving the Mysteries35. Additionally, it is worth noting that in numerous Athenian orations one party calls the other impious (ἀσεβής), but this rarely forms a basis for a legal charge, and should be understood simply as a hyperbole within the rhetorical argumentation.

In the Life of Pericles (32) Plutarch narrates a story about the impiety charges against Pericles’ friends, including Phidias and Anaxagoras, and his concubine, Aspasia. The prosecution was said to have been led by a comic playwright Hermippus and a decree (ψήφισμα) was said to have been proposed by a seer Diopeithes, whose name appears in various comedies of the 5th century. It is our only source of the so-called Diopeithes’ decree, which allegedly proposed prosecuting through εἰσαγγελία anyone accused of not believing in the gods and teaching about the celestial phenomena, which was supposed to lay suspicion on Pericles through his close connection to Anaxagoras (ibid.). All the “comic” circumstances along with the non-existence of any other remarks of this decree in our sources make this story highly doubtful36, and the chronology of the use of the procedure of εἰσαγγελία is even closer to proving it false. Out of almost 150 known cases of the use of εἰσαγγελία only 5 are from before the 430s37, which has to arouse our alertness and give us a good reason to treat this story rather as a Hellenistic or later fiction than a true account of an otherwise unknown political drama.

In the sources as late as Plutarch, Athenaeus and Diogenes Laertius we see a whole list of alleged religious trials against some pro-Macedonian philosophers and politicians, and against Theodorus of Cyrene, all carefully analysed by L. -L. O’Sullivan38. In those half-legendary trials from the late 4th century we see some recognisable persons of Athenian history standing before the Areopagus Council. It is difficult to tell how many of these had some veracity in them, but we can certainly trace the shift in the Areopagus’ powers in the second half of the 4th century (see discussion above, with n. 11). However, at least some of the Areopagus’ capacities concerning prosecuting the religious offences had to be earlier than this. Apparently one earlier religious trial before the Areopagus is Lys. VII On the Olive Stump from the middle 390s. There is no mention of ἀσέβεια in this speech, but it is clear that cutting out the σηκός of the sacred olive was regarded a serious religious offence, for which the punishment before could even be death, and in the time of the trial “only” exile and confiscation of property39. Now it is generally assumed that the procedure of γραϕή has been used, in spite of (and because of) the mention of ἀπεγράφην in Lys. VII. 240.

It seems that there was no law that prohibited introducing new gods to Athens, but, as R. Parker notes, trying to introduce them in the wrong moment could have led to an impiety trial, so it was certainly safer to honour the gods in agreement with the tradition and laws, and introduce new ones with approval of the Ecclesia and oracles41. There existed in Athens various private associations, even though in the late 5th century the elitist clubs called ἑταιρείαι were commonly taken for the birthplace of antidemocratic political thought and even oligarchic coups d'état. Among them there emerged numerous cult associations42, whose members offered sacrifices to a variety of deities in public and in private, among them the widespread ὀργεώνες and now scarcely known θίασοι. We know of no law that would prohibit or limit their existence43, if we count out the late 4th-century laws meant to protect democracy against any attempts to overthrow it (Hyp. IV. 8; SEG XII 87). The first in our sources to speak of the law on associations in Athens is unfortunately a Roman jurist Gaius (2nd cent. A.D.) cited in Digesta (XLVII. 22. 4) from the 6th century A.D. The Solonian law on associations cited there was said to have recognised inner arrangements of the associations as valid until consistent with common Athenian laws (δημόσια γράμματα)44. Moreover, the author of [Lys.] VI Against Andocides mentions the possibility of the use of the ἄγραφοι νόμοι in the ἀσέβεια trials (VI. 10). It has been argued45 to have meant laws “not inscribed in stone” rather than “unwritten”, or to have been linked specifically to the law revision and the Teisamenus’ decree of 403 (And. I. 83f.), but we cannot be sure of its scope or even any actual historical value of this remark.

It seems that in all impiety accusations in democratic Athens the rule of presenting each case before a court and not sentencing anyone to death without a trial (μηδένα ἄκριτον ἀποκτεῖναι) has been preserved, along with relevant forensic procedures ([Lys.] VI. 54; cf. Din. II; Dem. XXV. hypoth. 1-2; XXV. 87). Athens were not the only polis to make use of the impiety accusations in the political struggles, as we learn from Thucydides’ remark about the stasis on Korkyra (III. 70. 3-6). In connection with the obvious prevalence of the Athenian sources, we have to discard Arnaldo Momigliano’s sentiment that the impiety trials were a uniquely Athenian way of dealing with politics46. Unfortunately, we know nothing about the non-Athenian trials for ἀσέβεια, apart from their apparent existence.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR. ИНФОРМАЦИЯ ОБ АВТОРЕ

* Jakub Filonik, PhD. Student, University of Warsaw.


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NOTES. ПРИМЕЧАНИЯ

** I would like to thank Prof. Chris Carey and Dr Marek Węcowski for their time and support in improving various versions of this paper. Needless to say, I am responsible for any mistakes that remain.

1 All dates mentioned will be B.C. unless stated otherwise.

2 See e.g.: Davison J.A. Protagoras, Democritus, and Anaxagoras // CQ. 1953. Vol. 3. P. 33-45; Dover K.J. The Freedom of the Intellectual in Greek Society // Talanta. 1976. Vol. 7. P. 24-54; Lefkowitz M.R. The Lives of the Greek Poets. London, 1981; Stone I.F. The Trial of Socrates. New York, 1988; Cohen D. The Prosecution of Impiety in Athenian Law // Symposion 1985: Vorträge zur griechischen und hellenistischen Rechtsgeschichte. Hrsg. G. Thür. Köln, 1989. S. 99-107; idem. Law, Sexuality, And Society: The Enforcement of Morals in Classical Athens. Cambridge, 1991; Wallace R.W. Private Lives and Public Enemies: Freedom of Thought in Classical Athens // Athenian Identity and Civic Ideology. A.L. Boegehold, A. Scafuro. Baltimore, 1994. P. 127-155.

3 I have done so in the two papers written in Polish, to appear in Meander journal (soon to be translated into English).

4 J. Lipsius, A.R.W. Harrison, D.M. MacDowell and S.C. Todd all treat various aspects of the impiety trials and form a very helpful guide to legal issues concerning impiety, but still do not give a comprehensive account of the procedures and regulations mentioned in the ancient sources and do not include recent discussion on selected questions which these issues raise (Lipsius J. Das attische Recht und Rechtsverfahren. Leipzig, 1905—1915; Harrison A.R.W. The Law of Athens. Vol. 2: Procedure. Oxford, 1971; MacDowell D.M. The Law in Classical Athens. Ithaca, New York, 1978; Todd S.C. The Shape of Athenian Law. Oxford, 1993).

5 See Arist. Vir. 1251a30-33; Thgn. 1179—1180; Lys. XXX. 17-21; Xen. Mem. I. 1. 16, 20; Cyn. XIII. 17; Pl. Eutyphr. 5c, 12e; Crat. 394e; Leg. 716d-718a, 907d-e; Lycurg. Leocr. 93-94; IG II² 204; Polyb. XXXVI. 9. 15.

6 Cf. Cohen D. The Prosecution of Impiety... (incl. the comprehensive selection of sources regarding the meaning of the term).

7 Cf. LSJ, s.v. ἀσέβεια, ἀσεβέω; Burkert W. Greek Religion. Transl. J. Raffan. Oxford, 1985. P. 274f.

8 These events are well attested in the contemporary sources: Thuc. VI. 27, 53, 60; Xen. Hell. I. 4 (both authors, when writing about the profanation of the Mysteries by Alcibiades, use the verb ἀσεβέω; Cf. And. I).

9 Cf. And. I. 43; I. 11f.; Plut. Alc. 22. 3.

10 Hansen M.H. Eisangelia: The Sovereignty of the People’s Court in Athens in the Fourth Century B.C. and the Impeachment of Generals and Politicians. Odense, 1975.

11 Cf. Lys. VII; [Arist.] Ath. Pol. 60. 2; [Dem.] LIX. 78-83; IG II2 204. 16-33. The Areopagus’ supervision over religious and moral matters was significantly broadened in the late 4th century, see e.g.: Din. I. 3-5, 62, 82f.; Lycurg. I. 52; Dem. XVIII. 133f.; Aeschin. I. 81-83; Cf. Dem. XXIII. 65-70; Cf. Sullivan J. Demosthenes’ Areopagus Legislation: Yet Again // CQ. 2003. Vol. 53. P. 130-134.

12 Todd S.C. The Shape of Athenian Law...; Bauman R.A. Political Trials in Ancient Greece. London, New York, 1990. P. 3f.

13 Harris E.M. Open Texture in Athenian Law // DIKE: rivista di storia del diritto greco ed ellenistico. 2000. Vol. 3. P. 27-79; idem. More Thoughts on Open Texture in Athenian Law // Nomos. Direito e sociedade na Antiguidade Clássica. Ed. D.F. Leão, L. Rossetti, Céu G.Z. Fialho. Coimbra, Madrid, 2004. P. 241-262.

14 Cf. And. I. 36; Thuc. VI. 27f.; Cf. Lys. XIII. 20.

15 Bauman R.A. Op. cit. P. 64f.; cf. And. I. 22, 64. Among the accused was Andocides (Cf. [Lys.] VI. 22f.; And. I. 32-46), acquitted for the information provided, only to be tried for impiety again some years later (see below).

16 Hansen M.H. Eisangelia... P. 79f.

17 See e.g.: Pl. Apol. 19b, 26b, 26e, 27a, 27e, 28a, 31d; Euthphr. 2a-c; Tht. 210d; Xen. Mem. I (passim); Cf. Pl. Apol. 18b.

18 See e.g.: Xen. Mem. I. 1. 1; Pl. Apol. 24b, Euthphr. 3b, 5c; for Meletos’ charges of impiety, see Pl. Apol. 35d; cf. Favironus’ account of the document in Metroon mentioned in: D.L. 2. 40.

19 Cf. [Arist.] Ath. Pol. 57. 2; Hyp. IV. 6; Dem. XXXV. 48.

20 This is the number that comes from counting up the 280 voices „for” and 220 „against” the conviction mentioned by Plato.

21 Cf. And. I. 77-79; [Arist.] Ath. Pol. XXXIX. 6.

22 See the discussion on the date: Andokides. On the Mysteries. Ed. D. MacDowell. Oxford, 1962. P. 204f.

23 Cf. And. I. 10, 29, 111; cf. [Lys.] VI. 11f. ([Lys.] VI could have been, however, a later rhetorical exercise). Cf.: Hansen M.H. Apagoge, Endeixis and Ephegesis against Kakourgoi, Atimoi and Pheugontes: A Study in the Athenian Administration of Justice in the Fourth Century B.C. Odense, 1976.

24 A similar attitude towards the amnesty can be found for example in Lys. XII, XIII. Andocides, on the contrary, argued in his defence (And. I) that this law was not valid anymore, and that it did not concern him even before.

25 Out of this remark we neither learn whether it was Andocides’, or Archippus’ Herm, nor why was it “ancestral”. Cf. Lysias. Transl. and comment. S.C. Todd. Austin, 2000. P. 67, n. 12.

26 Provided that we believe the story by the author of [Lys.] VI, which might be actually biased, just as the insults found in Aeschin. III. 52 about Demosthenes’ settlement of the dispute with Meidias.

27 Cf. Harris E.M. Democracy and The Rule of Law In Classical Athens: Essays on Law, Society, and Politics. Cambridge, 2006. P. 406.

28 Ibid. P. 417.

29 Cf. LSJ, s.v. λαγχάνω, I. 3: λαγχάνειν δίκην “obtain leave to bring a suit (esp. a private suit)”. I would like to thank Prof. Chris Carey for bringing this to my attention.

30 Cf. Harrison A.R.W. Law-Making at Athens at the End of the Fifth Century B.C. // JHS. 1955. Vol. 75. P. 26-35; MacDowell D.M. Law-Making at Athens in the Fourth Century B.C. // JHS. 1975. Vol. 95. P. 62-74; Clinton K. The Nature of the Late Fifth-Century Revision of the Athenian Law Code // Studies in Attic Epigraphy, History and Topography: Presented to Eugene Vanderpool. Hesperia Supplements. 1982. Vol. 19. P. 27-37.

31 Basically a „citizen’s arrest”, after catching the perpetrator (usually of a theft) in flagrante delicto, and a preliminary questioning before a relevant magistrate. Demosthenes probably meant a procedure employed in the cases of temple robbery. In practice, the procedure has been widely used and abused, just as various others (see e.g.: Lys. XIII). On the procedure see also: Hansen M.H. Apagoge…; Harrison A.R.W. The Law of Athens… P. 221-229; Lipsius J. Op. cit. S. 319.

32 The priestly family in charge of the Eleusinian Mysteries.

33 Applying Pollux’s remark here is also impossible, because of the fact that δίκη is put among other procedures which are named explicitly, and thus it becomes a term signifying a specific procedure.

34 Weil’s correction of MSS (φράζειν) is necessary based on the scholiast’s remarks ad loc. The possibility of the use of φάσις in the ἀσέβεια trials, otherwise unknown, seems plausible when we take into account the (partly damaged) 4th-century inscription describing legal regulations of the Eleusinian Mysteries which speaks of a φάσις in a religious context (cf. Clinton K. A Law in the City Eleusinion Concerning the Mysteries // Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. 1980. Vol. 49. № 3. P. 263, v. 28f.). On the scantly attested procedure of φάσις see: MacDowell D.M. The Athenian Procedure of Phasis // Symposion 1990: Vorträge zur griechischen und hellenistischen Rechtsgeschichte. Hrsg. M.Gagarin. Köln, 1991. S. 187-198; Wallace R.W. Phainein in Athenian laws and legal procedures // Symposion 1999: Vorträge zur griechischen und hellenistischen Rechtsgeschichte. Hrsg. G. Thür, F.J.F. Nieto. Köln, 2003. S. 167-181; cf. [Dem.] LVIII. 8.

35 MacDowell D.M. The Law in Classical Athens… P. 193.

36 Numerous scholars have raised their doubts concerning the historicity of this story, see esp.: Dover K.J. Op. cit.; Lefkowitz M.R. Op. cit. P. 110f.; Wallace R.W. Private Lives… P. 131f.; cf. a remark by Plutarch, quite peculiar in this context: Per. 13. 9f.

37 Hansen M.H. Eisangelia... P. 69ff.

38 O’Sullivan L. -L. Athenian Impiety Trials in the Late Fourth Century B.C. // CQ. 1997. Vol. 47. P. 136-152; Ibid. The Regime of Demetrius of Phalerum in Athens, 317-307 B.C. Leiden, 2009. P. 149ff.

39 Cf. [Arist.] Ath. Pol. 60. 2, Lys. VII. 3, 32; cf. Xen. Hell. I. 7. 20-22.

40 Cf. Todd S.C. A Commentary on Lysias, Speeches 1-11. Oxford, 2007. P. 513. S.C. Todd summarises the long-running discussion on ἀπεγράφην in Lys. VII. 2 (if it was to mean the procedure of ἀπογραϕή, we would have a very untypical example of its use before the Areopagus. It is thus now widely accepted that ἀπογράφομαι here is a synonym of γράφομαι, and could refer to any type of γραϕή; cf. Lysias. Selected Speeches. Transl. and comment. C. Carey. Cambridge, 1989. P. 119).

41 Parker R. Law and Religion // The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Greek Law. Ed. M. Gagarin, D. Cohen. Cambridge, 2005. P. 65-68, 214f.; cf. Wallace R.W. Law, Freedom, And The Concept of Citizens’ Rights in Democratic Athens // Dēmokratia: A Conversation on Democracies, Ancient and Modern. Ed. J. Ober, C. Hedrick. Princeton, 1996. P. 105-119.

42 Cf. Jones N.F. The Associations of Classical Athens: The Response to Democracy. Oxford, 1999. P. 13, 30, 216-220, 249-267 et al.; Calhoun G.M. Athenian Clubs in Politics and Litigation. Austin, 1913.

43 Ismard P. La Construction du Fait Associatif en Droit Athénien et les Limites de la Notion de Personnalité Juridique // DIKE: rivista di storia del diritto greco ed ellenistico. 2007. Vol. 10. P. 57-83.

44 Cf. Jones N.F. Op. cit. P. 33-45, 311-320; cf. Arnaoutoglou I. Ancient Greek Laws: A Sourcebook. London, New York, 1998. P. 37.

45 See: Andokides. On the Mysteries… P. 202; Ostwald M. Was There a Concept ἄγραφος νόμος in Classical Greece? // Exegesis and Argument. Studies in Greek Philosophy presented to G. Vlastos. Ed. E.N. Lee, A.P.D. Mourelatos, R.M. Rorty. Assen, 1973. P. 89-92; cf. Carey C. Legal Space in Classical Athens // G&R. 1994. Vol. 41. № 2. P. 185; idem. Nomos in Attic Rhetoric and Oratory // JHS. 1996. Vol. 116. P. 34f.

46 Momigliano A. Impiety in the Classical World // Dictionary of the History of Ideas. Vol. II. New York, 1973. P. 566.


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REFERENCES. БИБЛИОГРАФИЯ

Andokides. On the Mysteries. Ed. D. MacDowell. Oxford, 1962.
Arnaoutoglou I. Ancient Greek Laws: A Sourcebook. London, New York, 1998.
Bauman R.A. Political Trials in Ancient Greece. London, New York, 1990.
Burkert W. Greek Religion. Transl. J. Raffan. Oxford, 1985.
Calhoun G.M. Athenian Clubs in Politics and Litigation. Austin, 1913.
Carey C. Legal Space in Classical Athens // G&R. 1994. Vol. 41. № 2. P. 172-286.
Carey C. Nomos in Attic Rhetoric and Oratory // JHS .1996. Vol. 116. P. 33-46.
Clinton K. A Law in the City Eleusinion Concerning the Mysteries // Hesperia: The Journal of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. 1980. Vol. 49. № 3. P. 258-288.
Clinton K. The Nature of the Late Fifth-Century Revision of the Athenian Law Code // Studies in Attic Epigraphy, History and Topography: Presented to Eugene Vanderpool. Hesperia Supplements. 1982. Vol. 19. P. 27-37.
Cohen D. Law, Sexuality, And Society: The Enforcement of Morals in Classical Athens. Cambridge, 1991.
Cohen D. The Prosecution of Impiety in Athenian Law // Symposion 1985: Vorträge zur griechischen und hellenistischen Rechtsgeschichte. Hrsg. G. Thür. Köln, 1989. S. 99-107.
Davison J.A. Protagoras, Democritus, and Anaxagoras // CQ. 1953. Vol. 3. P. 33-45.
Dover K.J. The Freedom of the Intellectual in Greek Society // Talanta. 1976. Vol. 7. P. 24-54 (=Dover K.J. The Greeks and Their Legacy. Oxford, 1988. P. 135-158).
Hansen M.H. Apagoge, Endeixis and Ephegesis against Kakourgoi, Atimoi and Pheugontes: A Study in the Athenian Administration of Justice in the Fourth Century B.C. Odense, 1976.
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Back to the beginning. К началу статьи

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS. СПИСОК СОКРАЩЕНИЙ

CQ – Classical Quarterly
G&R – Greece & Rome
JHS – Journal of Hellenic Studies
IG – Inscriptiones Graecae
LSJ – Liddell H.G., Scott R., Jones H.S., McKenzie R. A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford, New York, 1996.
SEG – Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum


Back to the beginning

SUMMARY

J. Filonik

ATHENIAN LAWS ON IMPIETY – SOME NOTES ON THE PROCEDURES

In the sources from various periods of antiquity we see numerous remarks about the trials for ἀσέβεια, “impiety”, which were said to have taken place in 5th— and 4th-century B.C. democratic Athens. They have attracted considerable attention and the historicity of most of them has been put in doubt by part of the scholars. Thus we have to be very wary of using the late sources which describe Athenian impiety trials and peculiar events, for example when dealing with the so-called Diopeithes decree cited in Plutarch’s Life of Pericles. However, there are some legal procedures and regulations already mentioned in Classical literary and epigraphic sources, which are not discussed fully in handbooks on ancient Greek law. This paper will discuss these remarks, focusing on the cases where the procedure involved has been stated.

The first procedure which appears in our sources is an εἰσαγγελία, “impeachment”, brought against the Hermocopidae in 415 B.C. However, the most popular Athenian procedure in prosecuting impiety in the 4th century was certainly a γραφή, and so the cases involving it are our main point of reference. Despite these two, this paper aims at briefly discussing some procedures less frequently employed in prosecuting impiety, mentioned in the surviving ancient sources, such as ἔνδειξις, ἀπαγωγή, δίκη before an ἄρχων βασιλεύς, γραφή before the Areopagus, φάσις, and turning the case to the Eumolpidae. Further, it discusses some general rules concerning the Athenian laws on associations and common legal attitudes which we find in the sources from Classical Athens.



Комментарии

Оксана Григорьевна Цымбал, аспирант (Ярославль) 21.04.12, 20:53

Dear Mr. Filonik,

thank you for your report, that is devoted to the very interesting and actual problem. Could you answer my question, please? You have noted that we can’t find any precise definition of the term ἀσέβεια in our sources and it is difficult to determine accurately the legal procedure appropriate for prosecuting ἀσέβεια. In your opinion, what is the main reason for such situation? Is this uncertainty mostly caused by the contradictoriness of our sources or by the very character of the Athenian law and judicial system?

Thank you.

Oxana Tsymbal.

Jakub Filonik, PhD. Student (Warsaw) 23.04.12, 15:23

Dear Ms. Tsymbal,

Thank you for your comment, this is a very good question. I am not sure as to the extent to which I can answer it, but it touches the very point of an ongoing discussion, which I tried to summarise too briefly in one sentence in my paper. In the recent decades there has been a shift in scholarship from looking at Greek law in terms of Roman («substantive», clearly defined) law towards describing it in the categories of the «procedural» law, as has been argued to be more relevant in Greek or at least Athenian case by Todd and others (the Symposia monographs and DIKE journal have been a fair part of this discussion).

There has been an important recent addition to this discussion by E.M. Harris (cited in my paper), who argued in two articles that what we in fact see in the sources is an «open texture» of Greek law, and that the magistrates themselves formed a vital decisive factor in the forensic process, as they were those who accepted or (rarely?) rejected the cases within the anakrisis and other preliminary procedures.

On one hand we see a whole list of procedures available in prosecuting asebeia and other offences listed in Dem. 22 Against Androtion. On the other, most cases seemed to fall within certain boundaries. Unfortunately, we know very little about the circumstances which could lead to using one procedure rather than another (apart from the question of the person involved in case of dikai vs graphai, which could also be abused, as shown by Dem. 21 and some other trials). However, this list itself (and other remarks on many possible procedures in prosecuting an offence) may indicate that the procedures for certain offences were rather loosely, but still defined to follow certain patters, like — in cases of prosecuting asebeia — the involvement of state/religious officials, the circumstances such as a religious festival, or link to hierosylia.

Probably some «subjective» factors might play a role, such as a general political atmosphere or a subjective feeling of the case involving rather a major part of the polis than only private citizens (as in the eisangeliai of the 415). In fact, we can see a lot of procedures being misused or abused, as for example the paragraphe cases, but to some extent also graphai and eisangeliai in the private disputes. In case of the subjective/procedural division and the question of open texture, I would be inclined to believe that the dikasts and various magistrates were taking the case of following the letter of law seriously (as well as the dicastic oath, but this is a very delicate point to make and still probably needs a lot of anthropological studies and... intuition), while the Athenians were not so much interested in forming a law which would have the boundaries very clearly set, as in the Roman manner of law-giving.

In respect to this, I feel that the Athenian law was subjective in terms of having a more or less vague idea of an offence for which someone should be punished, and mainly procedural in terms of the gradation of possible disputes and punishments involving certain procedures, both of which fall into the general sphere of an «open texture», to certain limits (you could not go with an eisangelia for having 10 drachmae stolen, but you could bring in a dike for asebeia, as attested for instance by Dem. 22, whatever it would mean in this case in practical terms, apart from a fine rather than, for instance, a capital punishment).

I still think that the best answers are given by Todd, Harris, Carey and MacDowell in their detailed discussions and commentaries to the selected orations. On the other hand, I do not think that our sources concerning asebeia are contradictory. Nor do I think that the definition of the offence was needed, just as you mentioned — because of the nature of the Athenian legal system. This is probably something which I should mention in my paper, but I do not believe that the definition or lack of it was really that important. Probably the time and circumstances of the offence would count even more. Timarchus probably would have never been prosecuted if he had not been an envoy in Macedonia along with Aeschines and Demosthenes. And this probably creates a need to look at each trial separately in detail, perhaps not unlike in the present days.

I am not sure, if I answered your questions. Please feel free to write back with any further comments. I am sorry for the delay (and any that might follow), but I am currently on a rather intense research leave until the end of the week.

Best wishes, Jakub.

Роман Михайлович Фролов, аспирант (Ярославль) 26.04.12, 23:14

Dear Jakub,

thank you for the paper and the comments. Although my interests lie in a little bit another area of research, I think there might be (as always) interesting connections between the study of Greek and Roman practices. Thus, your note on use of the impiety accusations in the political struggles reminds me the situation with trials for crimen maiestatis in Rome. Is there any information of how exactly trials for ἀσέβεια were used in politics, and what was here the impact of “procedural” nature and “open texture” of the Greek law?

Best wishes, Roman Frolov.

    Jakub Filonik, PhD. Student (Warsaw) 01.05.12, 01:32

    Dear Roman,

    Thank you, this is a very good point to make. Actually, the similarity between the two has been already observed by Richard Bauman (1990: 64-5) in connection with the 415 trials, but not solely because of the asebeia accusations, but rather because of their being connected with the katalysis tou demou accusations in these trials. In fact, it seems that in the 4th century BCE many cases fell under the accusation of the asebeia for (various) political reasons (we lack sources certain enough to be sure as to the 5th century). There is a great paper by Lara O'Sullivan (1997) on the late 4th-century impiety trials in Athens and their political aspect. Of course this might be different in case of pre-Chaeronea Athens.

    I believe that most of the impiety accusations in Athens which we hear about were in some way «political» and wouldn't have happened if not for that aspect of these cases (this takes us back to the problem of Athenian «politicians» [strategoi, rhetores etc.] and the note on the politicians vs. private citizens in Aeschin. 1. 195, politeumenoi idioteuontes). Of course we do not get to know how these accusations exactly worked, but we have a fair reason to enumerate the political aspect of the cases such as Socrates' trial (the Thirty, Critias, staying in the city etc., in this respect probably similar to Lys. 7) or the late 4th century trials against the «pro-Macedonian» politicians.

    In Demosthenic corpus we hear of some private matters settled in a similar fashion within various extensions of diabole too. There had to be more of these which we do not know of now. There are of course some uncertain questions as to their political aspect, as Ninos' and Theoris' or Theodorus' trials. The sources are too vague and scattered for us to form a general rule, but this is an important point which you have raised - it had to feel convenient to link one's opponents' actions with misbehaving towards the city, the gods, the fellow citizens etc., it was a popular aspect of a rhetorical-oratorical diabole, which could in some cases lead to a formal accusations (in most of them, however, it probably would not). The way Demosthenes gives the list in 22.27 makes one think how common it appeared to think of all these, while we do not know have any surviving instances of most of these procedures... and this perhaps brings us to the very nature of our surviving sources, which are the political trials, important both for the contemporary Athenian citizens and later readers. And this in turn brings us to yet another more general question: to what extent our «political» sources reveal the «true» nature of the Athenian society, everyday forensic and non-forensic life etc.? We may have an «overpoliticised» version of Athens just because of the selection of the surviving sources.

    As to the nature of Athenian law (as far as we can grasp it), its open texture had to be in a great favour of all those trying to accuse their opponents for various reasons, not least for the impiety in the political struggles. I am not sure as to the procedural aspect, especially for the selective nature of our sources, but certainly the procedures for which the capital punishment or exile could be adjudicated, as in the case of the popular graphe, it had to play a certain role in the political arena.

    I am not sure, if this is what you meant by the political use of these trials. I hope to finish my papers on the historicity of and the sources to 5th— and 4th-century trials by the end of the Summer, perhaps one has to draw his/her conclusion him/herself after going through all of these.

    Please excuse my delays in replying, I am back home and should be able to catch up with everything eventually.

    Best wishes,

    Jakub.

      Роман Михайлович Фролов, аспирант (Ярославль) 01.05.12, 20:40

      Dear Jakub,

      Thank you. I would like especially to support your point about possibility to get the «overpoliticised picture» of Athens. Indeed, taking into account what you said about available sources, how can we be sure that those trials for asebeia were in most cases connected with aspiration for destroing one's political enemies, rather than were provoked simply by desire to defend sacred objects and beliefs (if I understand you rightly).

      Best wishes,

      Roman.

Игорь Евгеньевич Суриков, д.и.н. (Москва) / Igor E. Surikov — Ph.D., Senior Research Fellow (the Institute of General History, Russian Academy of Sciences) 29.04.12, 21:06

Совершенно верно указание автора (в конце работы) на керкирский инцидент как свидетельство о том, что в эпоху Пелопоннесской войны Афины были не единственным местом, где практиковались «процессы о нечестии». Когда-то (больше 20 лет тому назад) я тоже занимался этой проблематикой и тоже обратил внимание на это место у Фукидида. В целом доклад производит самое благоприятное впечатление. Нам бы в России побольше таких аспирантов.

Quite right is the author's notion (in the end of the paper) of the Korkyra incident as an evidence that in the epoch of the Peloponnesian War Athens was not the only polis where trials for asebeia took place. Long ago (more than 20 years ago), I also dealt with these problems, and my attention was also attracted by Thucydydes' passage in question. In general, the paper makes most favourable impression. A pity that here in Russia there are few PhD students of such a quality.

    Jakub Filonik, PhD. Student (Warsaw) 01.05.12, 01:47

    Dear Dr Surikov,

    Thank you, this is very kind of you to say (but actually I believe this conference has proved there are some very bright Russian PhD students publishing the papers of high quality).

    I am very happy to hear that this passage also attracted your attention in the past. As to the non-Athenians accusations, we have to suspect that at least some of the epigraphic forbidding formulae within the sacred places and events led to the actual accusations, for there are quite many of the former, as searching PHI Greek Inscription shows (there is an interesting new paper on asebeia in inscriptions by Aurian Delli Pizzi in Kernos 24, 2011). Of course this is different than their use in the political struggles or even staseis (the problem raised above by Roman Frolov), which we cannot be sure of, but I believe that the dichotomy in the Greek political world in terms of pro-"democratic"=pro-Athenian and pro-"oligarchic"=pro-Spartan which lasted for some time after the Peloponnesian War had to bring some (nasty) common grounds to these struggles. Of course it could mean something different in other poleis and within other forensic systems (on one hand the Athenian system seems to be the one most highly developed, on the other we see some common notions and attitudes in the lawcode of Gortyna and that of Athens, in the terms of the political [e.g. the division citizen/slave] as well).

    Best wishes,

    Jakub.

Игорь Евгеньевич Суриков, д.и.н. (Москва) 13.05.12, 00:03

Dear Jakub (if I may),

I could repeat again and again: your paper, your deep thoughts (and, besides, your English — unlike mine) — all these make most favorable impression.

You say quite reasonably that there is a difference between «processes on impiety» as such and «processes on impiety» with political ends. I.e., Socrates' process (I think, there is no doubt) was religious in its form, but political in its substance (simply after the 403 amnesty there was no possibility to accuse a person in connection with such things as, say, «Critias was your pupil, and in the days of the cruel tyranny you remained in Athens», and so on). In Athens, I almost don't know religious judicial processes without a political end. Anaxagoras'? There was one. Pheidias'? Of course. Aspasia's? Surely. Protagoras' (if this process was real)? Probably. Diagoras'? Very probably (he was a Melian). The processes of the hermokopidai and «profanators of the Mysteries»? They are absolutely political. The process of the Arginusae generals (also religious in its core, one would think)? Pure politics. Even Andocides' trial of about 399 BC (Andoc. I) was evidently not without political aspect.

Excuse me for a rather long discussion. In conclusion, I can't help noting: I don't believe in «pro-democratic» (pro-Athenian) — «pro-oligarchic» (pro-Spartan) dichotomy. 1) Athens was a democracy, but I am not sure that Sparta was an oligarchy. 2) The struggle between Athens and Sparta was a banal stuggle for hegemony («two bears can not leave in one bear-hole», as a Russian proverb says), not a «war of systems». We are not in the 20th century here.

Best wishes to you too,

Igor

Игорь Евгеньевич Суриков, д.и.н. (Москва) 13.05.12, 00:14

«Two bears can not LIVE», of course. Excuse me for such a lapsus (typically Russian).

Igor

Jakub Filonik, PhD. Student (Warsaw) 13.05.12, 18:51

Dear Igor,

Thank you for your very acute comments and for your kind words again, these are in fact great questions to raise.

As to your first point concerning the political aspect of the trials for impiety in Athens, it seems very convincing, at least in respect to the 5th century BCE. In reference to your examples, I have to admit it is hard for me to believe in the trials of Anaxagoras and the «Periclean circle», and the one of Protagoras, or at least in their circumstances told in most of the surviving sources, which themselves seem highly doubtful. As to the Arginusae generals, this one was not for asebeia, but I believe you meant it as a side-example of the political trials in Athens (it carried some religious aspects, but certainly not more than Lycurgus' speech Against Leocrates, and all of these would be too much to include into the discussion on the particular kind of accusation).

As to Diagoras, it is difficult to tell whether his trial had something to do with the fact of his being a Melian after the Melian massacre, but this aspect is certainly something one would have to take into account while asking the question of the existence of non-political trials for impiety in Athens. In connection with the fact of the higher reward for catching Diagoras alive than bringing his body told by the scholia to Aristophanes allegedly following attidographers who saw in on the stelae, the matter of political circumstances is of course a valid question to ask (Woodbury in Phoenix 19, 1965 suggested it might have something to do with the trials of 415 and Diagoras as a source of information, but this of course is highly hypothetical; and I have some serious doubts as to this higher reward for catching him, as the passages in [Lys.] 6 which follow directly the remark on the accusation against Diagoras mention ONE talent for either catching or killing the accused).

The trial from Lys. 7 had to have its significant political aspects concerning the relation of the accused to the Thirty (as analysed by Carey in his commentary to Lys.), but it seems to have had the «sycophantic» aspect too (which actually might have been possible due to the aura of the post-Thirty Athens, in spite of the amnesty or rather because of it).

Probably the trial for asebeia (of 376/5 BCE) mentioned in IG II2 1635.134-142 would have to count as political too, as it involved the high status of Athenian officials (on Delos) and the means to prevent further staseis in the «allied» poleis (the trial itself would probably have to be held in Athens though).

I believe the non-political trials for impiety (in the meaning of «political» understood as struggles for power and status, not «ta politika») could be those described in respect to the 4th century BCE. We hear of a few trials connected to the cult regulations — 1) of the hierophant Archias of Eumolpidae ([Dem.] 59.116-7, cf. Plut. Pel. 10.3), 2) Ninos (or perhaps Ninon) for leading thiasoi and producing some kind of («magic»?) potions (we have various sources for it and no exact remark on asebeia, but Dem. 19.281 had to refer to some kind of religious prosecutions in the 4th century BCE, whether it concerned Ninos or not), 3) Theoris of Lemnos, again for producing some (magic) potions ([Dem.] 25.77-80 and numerous later sources; this oration could have been a rhetorical exercise, but it doesn't prove the trial itself had to be fictitious).

Then we also have the trial (ca. 309-5) of Theodorus «atheos» of Cyrene who was expelled from Athens (or fled himself) in the late 4th century BCE, as narrated by various sources from late antiquity (analysed in detail by Winiarczyk in Philologus 125, 1981 [in German]; the story seems to have been very popular, and as I am normally very wary of believing sources later than 4th century BCE in this matter, here it would be difficult to raise any serious suspicion concerning the historicity of the trial itself [as also argued by Winiarczyk]). On the other hand, we lack precise information concerning the circumstances, and there is the story about Demetrius helping Theodorus before Areopagus, which raises further questions.

There remains the question of the very peculiar trial of Phryne (this involves the problem of whether we believe the «public morals» to be a political issue during that time — perhaps in the late 4th century BCE it would count as one, we cannot be sure of the date of this trial though). To leave the discussion on the particular aside, in most of the conclusions I follow Cooper (Phoenix 49, 1995), who believes the trial itself could have happened, but the (melo) dramatic circumstances were a latter addition.

Of course it would be interesting to get to know more of the trials for hierosylia, of which we have a few surviving examples, as they might have been closer to the non-political religious trials. We cannot be sure whether in Athens hierosylia would count as asebeia too (probably in religious matters it would, but these would be distinct accusations in the courts). Cohen in his «Theft in Athenian Law» has noted that in some other poleis the two were probably not so clearly distinguished (95ff., 111-114).

Some of these accusations had to concern «private matters» too, but the names of Androtion or Eubulides coming up indicate they could count as political too (e.g. the ones mentioned in Dem. 22.2, 69; 24.7; 57.8; in general terms in 22.27). Perhaps Aeschines was right that the private citizens would normally be left out of such actions in Athens.

In response to your question whether we have an attestation of non-political Athenian trials for impiety, my answer would be: yes, but in fact NOT MANY. This of course brings us back to the question of the «policitised» nature of the surviving sources, but it is probably safer to assume that these accusations were more commonly a part of the political struggles than not.

As to your second point, I agree with the convicing metaphor of two bears, but perhaps these are two different levels of thinking about this problem — the antithesis used within the interstate rhetoric of the empires and the real «Machtideologie» behind it.

My argument in the comment was in fact pretty unclear. I did not mean the actual differences between the political systems (which in this case mattered only to some extent). What I meant was that the ideological, political and military rivalry between the empires itself had to bring many such accusations (political in their very nature!) to numerous poleis of the great part of the Mediterranean. These accusations would be introduced there by the major struggles of the Peloponnesian War which made many poleis copy the political practices of both Athens and Sparta. Of course in reality most of these poleis were moderate oligarchies with military garnisons ensuring their «right order» nevertheless. I believe that in this respect the 20th century beared (pun intented) a similar trait of banality.

Best wishes,

Jakub

    Jakub Filonik, PhD. Student (Warsaw) 13.05.12, 21:32

    And this time I have to correct my typos, «politicised» (or just «political»), not «policitised» of course, and *a* great part of the Mediterranean, not as there was any particular fixed great part of it.

    JF

Игорь Евгеньевич Суриков, д.и.н. (Москва) 23.05.12, 23:13

Dear Jakub,

In fact, here I have another your paper, not simply a comment. And this one, it seems to me, is almost as profound as your main paper for this conference. Your activity (I have read also your comments on some other papers presented here) — your highly professional activity encourages any reader. I will be not surprized if one day (I am sure, rather soon) I (and others) hear of you as one of Europa's prominent ancient scholars.

Surely, papers mentioned in your comment are familiar to me. Winiarczyk's paper was particularly useful. But for me, all this is «interests of yesterday». Later, in 1990s, I studied Athenian ostracism, and now I deal mostly with the Archaic period (also a very intriguing subject).

As to your considerations in your last comment, I think I quite agree with all you said there.

Best wishes,

Igor.

    Jakub Filonik, PhD. Student (Warsaw) 24.05.12, 02:54

    Dear Igor,

    Thank you once again, I am rather overwhelmed with high credit I have been given (probably a risky wording in 2012). My reply was in fact a part of the paper I have been working on for some time now, so I had much aid in Chronos.

    I have recently read your excellent analysis (courtesy of Roman Frolov) of the institution of Heliaia and your very convincing argumentation on the non-existence of the annual body of 6000 heliasts assumed in so many studies (actually, I have just been working on Ar. Wasps with students and I began wondering why Aristophanes would choose the term «phileliastes» to describe Philokleon instead of some «philodikastes», but perhaps it just fit the iambic metre better...). It is a pity I did not get to learn Russian, as there are mostly only excerpts of your work available in English (Russian should be easy for me as a speaker of another Slavonic language, and one from Eastern borders of Poland too, but somehow it still proves to be a challenge). I hope we will meet one day and be able to talk in person.

    Actually, could I take advantage of this opportunity and ask you about something in your area of study? I was wondering about the historicity of the ostracism of Damon of Oe or Oa (or Damonides, probably less likely in spite of what papyrus containing the Ath. Pol. has to say). This looks like a very mysterious use of the procedure, but perhaps the argument behind it seems more strange to us than to at least some of the Greeks, as proved by last chapters of Aristotle's «Politics» (the role of music in the political life; I think this was also Wallace's argument). On the other hand, there is a lot of gossip in Plutarch's account of these events (yet we have some remarks in Plato on Damon's profession). Do you actually consider this story true and the reason of the ostracism to have been performing some kind of «undemocratic music»? (or at least — do you think this argument would count in Athens of the day?). Or perhaps it was rather a way of smacking Pericles without being able to hit the prominent politician himself, provided the account is true? As far as I know, the story itself is normally accepted based on Ath. Pol. In the summary of your book on ostracism you wrote of having some doubts concerning this and two other instances. It is a very peculiar example indeed. You also mentioned rather believing in its historicity, which I find more probable than not too. Could I ask you to share your thought process on this one? I am very much interested in it also because of the need to take one of the sides in the critical approaches towards the sources (especially the later ones) in case of the asebeia trials which I have been dealing with lately. These issues seem to coincide in many respects, not least in the way they are dealt with in the surviving sources.

    [Perhaps some of it should belong to the comments on your paper, but it is a bit of an off topic in both.]

    With best wishes,

    Jakub.



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