Athens was a famously litigious city in antiquity, as the sheer quantity of evidence for legal activity found in the Agora makes clear. Every kind of case, from assault and battery to murder, and from small debts to contested fortunes, were heard in various buildings and spaces around the civic center, and the speeches given in defense and prosecution remain some of the masterpieces of Greek literature. As well as describing the spaces where judgments were made (such as the Stoa Basileios, office of the King Archon), the author discusses the progress of some famous cases (known from the speeches of orators like Demosthenes), such as the patrimony suit of a woman named Plangon against the nobleman Mantias, or the assault charge leveled by Ariston against Konon and his sons.
About the Author: Mabel Lang (1917-2010) was the Katharine E. McBride Professor Emeritus and Paul Shorey Professor Emeritus of Greek at Bryn Mawr College. She authored or coauthored nine books published by the ASCSA.