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Ancient Greece: Democracy, Government and the Law

Workings of Ancient Greek Law

  • Aristotle's Athenian Constitution
    Free Resource. Translation from The Avalon Project website. Work attributed to Aristotle detailing the history of the Athenian constitution and the workings of Athenian democractic government.
  • The Trial of Socrates
    Free resource. A section on the famous trials webpage from University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Discussion of ancient Greek criminal procedure in relation to this particular case-study.

Web Sites

The ancient Greek world had no single system of law; individual states instead formed their own political and legal systems, although these were arguably based largely on the same general principles.  Resources for ancient Greek law are plentiful with primary sources able to provide in-depth information

The most widely-known Greek judicial system is that of 4th century classical Athens, traditionally associated with the birth of democracy.  It was primarily the abstract philosophical ideas surrounding law and justice that had the greatest impact on later societies, not the practical aspects of the legal system itself.

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