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Esther Sivalingam 216457269 Mitchell Gauvin September 21, 2018 David Cohen’s Study of Law in Ancient Greece HUMA 1825 1. Identify the features of the institution of law that we take for granted today which were absent in Ancient Athens. 2. Explain how the competitions for “honour” shaped social relations among ancient Athenians.
egalitarianism. Egalitarianism is the principle that all people are equal and deserve equal rights and opportunities. In this patriarchal society, “honour was only achieved by men; women, slaves, foreigners, and certain social outcasts were excluded” (Cohen 64). Since they were not seen as Athenian citizens, they were denied the right to compete for honour. “because honour is established through comparison with others, it is a limited good and competition for it can take the form of a zero-sum game. One man enhances his standing at the expense of those who are his rivals; his elevation involves their defeat” (Cohen 63). Your honour was based on those in the same level or standing as you, however, the battle to be the most honourable was challenging. Competing for it results in one man’s gain for honour while the other man loses. “Failure to retaliate for insults or wrongs undercuts one’s claim to honour, whereas successfully exacting vengeance enhances them” (Cohen 66). ‘Men take vengeance because they fear shame and desire to preserve and enhance their honour” (Cohen 67). It is almost essential for men to seek revenge when a rival offends or threatens them in any way, shape or form. By not seeking revenge, they feel like they’re not doing their sacred duty, which will lead to bringing shame and dishonour to family or friends. “Better to die with honour than to live ignobly in defeat” (Cohen 66). Men are caught up with honour being crucial and significant, that they truly believe having an ounce of dishonour and shame is not worth to live for if you’re not plotting a revenge to regain your honour. “Human beings by nature desire to feel superior” (Cohen 66). This competition for honour has further shaped the society to build enmity. The constant battle between rivals to fight through manipulation and violence had lead more and more families to create hatred that was never there to begin with. Honour shaped social relations into a constant competition of warfare

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