Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 19 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Most evidence for impiety in ancient Greece comes from Athens, and relates to trials under the graphe asebeias (a public prosecution for impiety). The evidence is not straightforward, and there is debate in modern scholarship about what the term asebeia referred to. Inscriptions from outside Athens suggest that asebeia was seen as a condition rather than an offence, as was the case with atimia (loss of civic rights) in Athens. The trial of Andocides in 400 BCE can be read in this way: the issue was Andocides’ involvement in Athenian politics while he was (supposedly) in a state of asebeia. Accusations of atheism were closely related to notions of asebeia: Athenians did not distinguish clearly between thought and action, and assumed someone who did not believe in the gods was likely to act impiously, and thus endanger the city. The charges brought against Sokrates can be understood in this light.

Keywords: Andocides, atheism, Sokrates, trials, impiety, impiously, charges, accusations, politics, prosecution, graphe asebeias, asebeia, atimia

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.