Study Questions #1 with summary - Study Questions David...

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Study Questions: David Cohen’s study of law in ancient Greece1. Athenian litigation is far different from what we have at the modern world. In the AncientAthens, there is no government, no laws, and no legal procedures. First, they do not have abody of government that is responsible in enforcing the law or in protecting the city. Instead,wealthy families take personal responsibility in implementing order. In the article, “Rhetoric,litigation, and the values of an agonistic society”, Cohen stated that in Athenian beliefs, “securityis not found in the law or other civic institutions, but in power and its accoutrements” (Cohen63). Thus, the meaning of equality in Ancient Athens is seen differently. Equality is hierarchical,and those who are rich are less likely to be punish because of their wealth, power, and friends.Second, Ancient Athens does not have written laws. They only have a few laws written down,and the way they ruled is based on their customs/culture. Since they do not have a formal legaltraining, lawyers and other legal professions do not exist. The judges are ordinary citizenselected by the people. They do not have a formal legal training because there are no laws tostudy. The only classification to become a judge is being a part of the community. Cohenexplained that when they are making a decision to a case, “they are constrained only by thelimits of probability and public knowledge” (Cohen 105). Judgments are also based on aperson’s character thus establishing honour is very important in that period.Lastly, Ancient Athens do not have legal procedures like what we have today. Trials are donethrough oration- each side has only one chance of persuading the citizens to be on their side.

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