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date: 24 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Chapter 29 examines Demosthenes’ speeches in private prosecutions, beginning with a discussion of his debut in a lawcourt when he was forced to file lawsuits against the relatives who had served as his guardians after his father’s death and who had deprived him of nearly his entire inheritance. It then considers the two personalities on display in the Demosthenic opus: a brilliant and ruthless practitioner of civil law. It also explores the classification and authorship of Demosthenes’ private speeches, the arguments of the speeches in relation to private law in fourth-century Athens, and what Demosthenes’ private speeches say about fourth-century Athenian society.

Keywords: Demosthenes, private prosecutions, lawsuits, guardians, inheritance, civil law, private speeches, private law, Athens, Athenian society

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