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The World of Prometheus : The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens - Danielle S. Allen

The World of Prometheus

The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens

Paperback Published: 15th December 2002
ISBN: 9780691094892
Number Of Pages: 464

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For Danielle Allen, punishment is more a window onto democratic Athens' fundamental values than simply a set of official practices. From imprisonment to stoning to refusal of burial, instances of punishment in ancient Athens fueled conversations among ordinary citizens and political and literary figures about the nature of justice. Re-creating in vivid detail the cultural context of this conversation, Allen shows that punishment gave the community an opportunity to establish a shining myth of harmony and cleanliness: that the city could be purified of anger and social struggle, and perfect order achieved. Each member of the city--including notably women and slaves--had a specific role to play in restoring equilibrium among punisher, punished, and society. The common view is that democratic legal processes moved away from the "emotional and personal" to the "rational and civic," but Allen shows that anger, honor, reciprocity, spectacle, and social memory constantly prevailed in Athenian law and politics.

Allen draws upon oratory, tragedy, and philosophy to present the lively intellectual climate in which punishment was incurred, debated, and inflicted by Athenians. Broad in scope, this book is one of the first to offer both a full account of punishment in antiquity and an examination of the political stakes of democratic punishment. It will engage classicists, political theorists, legal historians, and anyone wishing to learn more about the relations between institutions and culture, normative ideas and daily events, punishment and democracy.

"A very impressive debut, rich enough in arguments, approaches, theories, and facts that one can disagree with a lot of it and still find much which is useful and convincing."--James Davidson, London Review of Books

Prefacep. xi
Introductionp. 3
The Preliminariesp. 13
What Is Punishment?p. 15
Introductionp. 15
"Revenge" versus "Punishment": Rereading the Oresteiap. 18
Studying Punishment as Authority: Reading the Prometheus Boundp. 25
Precisp. 35
Institutional Contextp. 39
Introductionp. 39
Penal Institutions and Democratic Powerp. 40
The Lay Prosecutor and the Parameters of Judgmentp. 45
Cultural Contextp. 50
Anger/Orgep. 50
ThE Agon and Honorp. 59
Reciprocityp. 62
Social Memory, Social Knowledgep. 65
Languagep. 68
Conclusionp. 72
Punishment and Its Tragic Problemsp. 73
The Mythic Imaginaryp. 73
Methodp. 75
Disease and Remedyp. 77
Power Tyranny, and Lawp. 86
Conclusionp. 94
The Process of Punishingp. 97
Initiation, Part Onep. 99
Knowledge, Power, Actionp. 99
Investigationp. 102
Initiation: Metics, Proxenoi, and Xenoip. 107
Initiation: Slavesp. 109
Initiation: Womenp. 111
Initiation, Part Twop. 122
The Male Citizen Prosecutorp. 122
Back to the Bees and Wasps Againp. 128
The Household: Women and Men Togetherp. 134
City as Collectivep. 141
The Negotiation of Desert, Part Onep. 147
The Magic of Speechp. 147
Pity and Angerp. 148
The First Norm of Public Agency: Deserving to Punish and Dispelling Charges of Sycophancyp. 151
The Negotiation of Desert, Part Twop. 168
Introductionp. 168
The Second Norm of Public Agency: Using Social Memory and Lawp. 168
The Rule of Judgment versus the Rule of Lawp. 179
The Rule of Law in Plato and Aristotlep. 183
The Third Norm of Public Agency: Shaping the Democratic Communityp. 190
Executionp. 197
War Peace, and the Formalism of Punishmentp. 197
The Details: Punishments and Their Executorsp. 200
Tvo Forms of Memory: Remembering and Forgettingp. 202
The Symbolism of Remembering and Forgettingp. 205
War and Peace, the Body and Silencep. 213
Punishments of Reintegrationp. 224
Punishments that Redefine the "Whole" Communityp. 232
The Amnestyp. 237
Interventions in the Conversationp. 243
Plato's Paradigm Shiftsp. 245
The Symbol of Leontiosp. 245
Reform over Reciprocityp. 247
The Erasure of Orgep. 251
Undoing the Athenian "Principle of the Public": The Republicp. 257
The Just City and the Power of the Symbolp. 263
The Incurables and the Necessity for Anger/Orge in the Just City of the Lawsp. 277
Aristotle's Compromisesp. 282
On Justice and Desertp. 282
Epilogue: The Reform of Prometheus and Promethean Rebellionp. 293
Appendixes
The Number of Magistrates in Athensp. 305
The Nature and Scope of Arbitration in Athensp. 317
The Relative Frequency of Penal Words within Each Oratorp. 323
Further Argument about the Decree of Cannonusp. 324
Catalog of Cases of Punishing (or Attempts at Punishing) in Tragedyp. 326
Endnotesp. 333
Bibliographyp. 405
Indexp. 431
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780691094892
ISBN-10: 0691094896
Series: Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 464
Published: 15th December 2002
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.86 x 15.24  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.64