The oath was once an establishment of basic significance throughout quite a lot of social interactions in the course of the historic Greek international, creating a the most important contribution to social balance and concord; but there was no complete, devoted scholarly examine of the topic for over a century. This quantity of a two-volume research explores the character of oaths as Greeks perceived it, the ways that they have been used (and occasionally abused) in Greek existence and literature, and their inherent binding power.
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Extra info for Oaths and Swearing in Ancient Greece (Beitr GE Zur Altertumskunde)
6. sixteen, Lys. 10. eleven and [Dem. ] fifty nine. 10: the prosecutor swore that the defendant “had killed” and the defendant swore that he “had now not killed”. 127 In traditional trials, litigants exchanged oaths within the initial lawsuits, in a strategy referred to as antōmosia; see Pollux eight. fifty five and cf. S&B 80‒1 and Gagarin 2007. 128 The one exception, Antiphon five. 12 (cf. five. 88), should be stated to turn out the rule of thumb, because the diōmosia is pointed out accurately since it has no longer been taken, this being an ordeal held in a standard court docket lower than the process of endeixis. 129 Martin 2009, 225‒6, 261‒4; yet see his evaluative feedback at the carefulness with which arguments in regards to the offence of perjury are dealt with in the courtroom. an analogous goal to end up that the litigant is a continuing perjurer underlies references made to oaths that have been both taken or provided through the opponent open air courtroom. during this context, self-cursing is suggested in oaths taken 2. 4 The specific self-curse in law-court speeches 41 sole get together after we do get a glimpse of the speaker’s personal conditional selfcurse contains a hypothetical situation that by no means came about: this is often in a personal speech attributed to Demosthenes yet probably written by way of Apollodorus, opposed to Euergus and Mnesibulus ([Dem. ] forty seven. 70, 73), a prosecution for fake witnessing. The speaker claims in entrance of the dicasts that he used to be suggested through the exēgētai to not deliver to courtroom the case of his lady ex-servant’s homicide devoted through his adversaries, given that he was once neither a relative nor the landlord and therefore he had no criminal correct to institute such an motion. He accredited their suggestion, simply because ([Dem. ] forty seven. 73): To mislead you and to take a solemn oath myself and feature my son and spouse accomplish that i wouldn't dare to do, even though I knew good that I may still convict those males. For i don't hate them up to i like myself. The final sentence the following, implying that no-one who enjoyed himself may take such an oath, transparently makes connection with the divine punishment that awaits a fake swearer. however the inspiration is raised purely within the context of a “road now not taken”, to repudiate the hypothetical probability of taking an oath that may have disastrous effects for the litigant himself and his relatives. 2. four. 3 Explicit self-cursing in oath-challenges and witnesses’ oaths an identical use of the categorical self-curse from the speaker’s part and in aid of his case unearths a spot relatively distinctively in a single basic program of oaths: that of introducing facts from a 3rd get together. In S&B 87‒91 and 101‒6, there are vast reports of oath-challenges and the oaths of witnesses, used, more often than not, in help of the speaker’s argument; either techniques concerned the looks of an particular conditional self-curse (Dem. 29. 26, 33, fifty two, fifty four; Lys. 32. thirteen for oath-challenges; Dem. fifty seven. 22, fifty three for oaths made through witnesses). As might be proven, all of those instances hindrance oath-taking raised as attainable yet now not unavoidably taking place, and/or contexts of capability perjury shunned by means of the swearers. speeches opposed to kinsmen at the factor of inheritance contain a conditional self-curse that issues an oath-challenge made via the mum of the litigant.