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date: 19 October 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the development of ideas about legislation and legislative procedures in ancient Athens. It isolates in Solon and in the Archaic lawgivers an ideology of legislation that mistrusted legal change. This ideology of legislation was still dominant throughout the fifth century BCE, but progressively came into conflict with democratic ideas and practices. The chapter examines how this conflict played out in the oligarchic revolutions and the democratic restorations at the end of the fifth century, and then discusses the creation of nomothesia procedures that reconciled the need for legal change with that for consistent and stable laws. The last part of the chapter follows the workings of these procedures throughout the fourth century BCE, and their progressive disintegration after the Lamian War.

Keywords: Legal change, nomothesia, graphe paranomon, oligarchic revolutions, Athenian democracy, Solon, graphe paranomon

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