Unlike its predecessors, this systematic survey of the law of Athens is based on explicit discussion of how the subject might be studied; and it incorporates topics like the democratic political system and social structure, which are too often regarded as being outside the scope of law. At its heart lies an attempt to reshape our understanding of how the Athenian legal system operated; but it also deals extensively with subjects such as slavery, inheritance,
maritime trade, and patterns of land-holding. The author draws primarily on the hundred or so surviving law-court speeches of the Attic orators, but also uses Athenian comedy, public inscriptions, and
various historical and philosophical texts. Technical and legal terms, ancient and modern, are explained in a comprehensive glossary. This book should be accessible to those interested in social history and the anthropology of law, as well as to historians of the ancient world.
`Todd has achieved a difficult feat, presenting an innovative approach to Athenian Law which manages at the same time to be a useful handbook. There are more comprehensive studies perhaps, but Todd's nevertheless manages to cover a huge area, with judicious assessment of old consensuses and more recent debates. Each topic is aporoached meticulously, with circumspection, clarity and care, a characteristic, it should be said, that is no less evident in the
quality of publication.'
James Davidson, Cambridge Law Journal, 53(2), July 1994
'Essential reading ... Time and time again when reminded of familiar facts, I was made to realise that I had failed to appreciate the full significance of those facts, and for that I and, i suspect, a good many others too are likely to remain long in debt to the author. This book should go to the top of everyone's list as much as an example of critical method as a mine of precious information and deduction from that information.'
Greece and Rome
`it is comforting to be able now to cite such a lucid, thoughtful, and theoretically sophisticated supporter as Dr Todd.'
`for anyone who wants a real understanding of Athenian law - why it was constructed as it was and how well it worked for Athenians - this is by far the best study to date.'
`Todd has presented a large body of material collected from disparate sources in an accessible form without the oversimplification that is a characteristic problem in books like this...to study it is to study Athenian democratic culture'
Ancient Review of Books
`a work offering the best discussion on the practice and substance of Athenian law in the ages of Pericles and Demosthenes.'
Social and Behaviorial Sciences
`It is a book which can be strongly recommended to anybody who is interested in Athenian law and Athenian society.'
`It is a pleasure ... to welcome a new book-length study ... this is a wide ranging book. T.'s knowledge of modern scholarship on Athenian law is comprehensive. He combines a sound grasp of the landscape of the subject with a detailed knowledge of issues, arguments and evidence. He brings to the study of Greek law a good working knowledge of Roman law and a knowledge of a range of modern scholarship on common law and civil law systems, all of which he uses
effectively for orientation. This learning however is worn very lightly. The volume is eminently readable, which given the subject is no small feat. The stye is lucid and not infrequently witty. This is a
valuable book, which will be of use to a varied audience ... the volume admirably complements its two predecessors and is warmly to be welcomed.'
Christopher Carey, Royal Holloway, University of London, Vol. XLVI, No. 1, '96