Chapter 7 considers Demosthenes’ use of court procedures and the role played by arbitration, first by describing the early stage of a dispute. In particular, it examines pre-litigation arbitration, more often known as ‘private arbitration’, and how it could occur at any stage in a dispute, even after formal charges had been filed. It then discusses the steps taken to initiate litigation when efforts to settle a dispute privately failed, such as choosing the kind of offence (for example, assault, theft, or impiety) and the procedure. The chapter goes on to explain private and public procedures, or dikê and graphê, respectively, and the distinction between them. Finally, it looks at the remaining steps in initiating litigation, namely: filing the charge, the preliminary hearing, public arbitration, the trial, presentation of evidence and witnesses, and the jury’s rendering of the verdict.
This handbook examines the rhetorical nature and techniques of Demosthenes’ speeches. It consists of essays written by scholars representing a diverse range of disciplines who offer their insights on the Greek orator, his actions, policies, and works. It also considers Demosthenes’ key institutional, political, social, and cultural contexts in relation to his speeches and actions. This volume shows how these different areas—the man, his rhetoric, his political activity, and the various contexts—are interlinked and illustrate one another.
Chapter 6 examines the role of law and justice in the speeches of Demosthenes and other Greek orators. The Demosthenic corpus consists of 42 judicial speeches in which issues of justice are central and legal cases are assessed for their conformity with the laws of Athens. After discussing how the laws and justice figure in the oratory of Demosthenes, in connection with the judges’ expectations and with the rules and institutional habits that determined how these cases were assessed, the chapter considers the place of law and justice in Athenian trials. It also analyses the ways that the law is applied in the Athenian lawcourts and the importance of laws being consistent among themselves and in the principles they foster.
This chapter focuses on legal education. It surveys Justinian’s command-and-control model of legal education compared to the unstructured, ad hoc and sociable methods of instruction practised under the Republic by a Servius, or, under the Empire, by a Papinian—or, for philosophy, by a Plotinus. For centuries, Romans had operated in line with what had worked for them. Lawyers in their seminars would not necessarily have taught “to” the order of topics present in Scaevola’s treatise on the Civil Law (or Sabinus’ abbreviated version) or to the Edict, but they would have been aware of them as frameworks for the written outcomes of their oral discussions. As the fashion for teaching from core texts and a set syllabus took hold, discussion of written text became the central, but not exclusive focus, of legal instruction and the way was open for the construction of the definitive legal syllabus by Justinian.
This chapter surveys the methods of constructing rational arguments taught in the schools of rhetoric and their impact on juridical argumentation. It surveys: the place of rhetoric in legal education; the basic tools of rhetorical invention, i.e. rhetorical syllogism and induction, general schemes of inference on which singular arguments depended (topoi), and types of questions on which court debates could concentrate (status); the difficulties one is likely to encounter when trying to identify traces of rhetorical teaching in legal sources. It is the contention of this chapter that such attempts are hardly successful, since rhetorical theory codifies, classifies, and to a lesser degree analyses types of argumentation people intuitively use, rather than create them. The mere fact that a jurist applied some pattern of reasoning as described in rhetorical handbooks is insufficient evidence to conclude either that he had some sort of rhetorical education or that he knew rhetorical theory.
The Demosthenic Corpus is the richest source available to us on the social and legal position of foreigners, metics, and slaves in Athenian society. Partly because of its size but also because most of the speeches in it were composed at a critical point in Athenian history documenting the high point of classical culture and literary production but at the same time the dramatic end of the polis, the Corpus is marked by both the complexity and richness of classical culture but also the anxieties and historical conflicts of the times. In this respect it becomes a faithful mirror of fourth-century Athenian society, law, and history. This chapter will explore the social and legal position of foreigners, metics, and slaves in fourth-century Athens through the prism of the Corpus Demosthenicum, cross-referencing with other significant sources on the topic.
Pietro Cobetto Ghiggia
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.