Law and Society in Classical Athens, first published in 1987, traces the development of legal thought and its relation to Athenian values. Previously Athens’ courts have been regarded as chaotic, isolated from the rest of society and even bizarre. The importance of rhetoric and the mischief made by Aristophanes have devalued the legal process in the eyes of modern scholars, whilst the analysis of legal codes and practice has seemed dauntingly complex.
Professor Garner aims to situate the Athenian legal system within the general context of abstract thought on justice and of the democratic politics of the fifth century. His work is a valuable source of information on all aspects of Athenian law and its relation to culture.