The ancient period of Greek history, to which this volume is devoted, began in late Bronze Age in the second millennium and lasted almost to the end of the first century BCE, when the last remnant of the Hellenistic empire created by Alexander the Great was conquered by the Romans. Extant texts of law of actual laws are few and often found embedded in other sources, such as the works of orators and historians. Greek literature, from the epics of Homer to the classical dramas, provides a valuable source of information. However, since literary sources are fictional portrayals and often reflect the times and biases of the authors, other more concrete evidence from archaeology has been used throughout the volume to confirm and contextualize the literary evidence about women, crime, and punishment in ancient Greece. The volume is divided into three parts: (I) Mykenean and Archaic Greece, (II) Classical Greece, and (III the Hellenistic Period. The book includes illustrations, maps, lists of Hellenistic dynasties, and Indices of Persons, Place and Subjects.
Crime and punishment, criminal law and its administration, are areas of ancient history that have been explored less than many other aspects of ancient civilizations. Throughout history women have been affected by crime both as victims and as offenders. In the ancient world, customary laws were created by men, formal laws were written by men, and both were interpreted and enforced by men. This two-volume work explores the role of gender in the formation and administration of ancient law and examines the many gender categories and relationships established in ancient law, including legal personhood, access to courts, citizenship, political office, religious office, professions, marriage, inheritance, and property ownership. Thus it focuses on women and crime within the context of women in the society.
Elisabeth Meier Tetlow
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