Graeco-Roman New Comedy has traditionally provided a source for legal historians examining the language and operation of law both in Athens in the fourth century and in Rome in the second century BC. Adele Scafuro here provides the first comprehensive treatment in English of one crucial area of this vast field, namely, the way legal disputes are settled out of court in Athens, both on and off the comic stage. Beginning with a close examination of pre-trial scenarios in the Attic orators and looking for comparable ones in pre-classical Roman law, Dr Scafuro then turns to the plays of Greek New Comedy and their adaptations by Plautus and Terence. There she identifies similar scenarios especially in disputes concerning sexual violations, the marriages of heiresses, and divorces. She shows how the recognition of legal procedures aids interpretation of New Comedy texts.
'This is a remarkably learned and elegantly produced volume that is bound to be frequently consulted by scholars and students of law and comedy alike for many years to come.' Brill
"Adele Scafuro has written an ambitious but difficult book, remarkable in the breadth and detail of its scholarship ..." William M. Owens, New England Classical Journal
"Indispensible to serious students of Greek comedy and society, it deserves a wider readership for its expertise and sheer human interest." Elaine Fantham, Classical World
"This important study of law and New Comedy is the first major work on the subject since Paoli's 1962 monograph. [Scafuro] is meticulous in assessing this rich and challenging material...." Bryn Mawr Classical Review
"This book gives a thorough treatment of all scenes and references in Greek comedy and oratory and Latin comedy to public and private arbitration mechanisms. Conclusions are usefully summarized at the end of chapters, and all examples listed in the appendixes. The book is distinguished by admirable common sense." William J. Slater, Religious Studies Review
"...The Forensic Stage is an extremely useful book..." Phoenix