City of Sokrates: An Introduction to Classical Athens by J.W. Roberts

By J.W. Roberts

During this widely up to date moment version, together with an up-dated index and bibliography, J. W. Roberts explores the most positive factors of Athenian lifestyles within the latter half the 5th century BC.

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His official designation was ‘Soand-so, resident in such-and-such a deme’. Certainly, too, a metic needed a citizen patron or prostates, since he would otherwise be liable to prosecution (graphe aprostasiou), with enslavement as the penalty, but the role of the prostates in relation to registration with a deme and appearance in court is obscure. 34). The chief benefit conferred on a metic by his status was his access to Athenian courts. It was the business of the magistrate chiefly concerned with metics, the Polemarch, himself to preside over the court that heard some cases involving metics, such as graphai aprostasiou and cases concerning estates and inheritance, and to pass on others to the appropriate court.

The latter, during the most impressionable years of their lives, were denied the company of girls, had outgrown the supervision of their paidagogoi and were neglected City of Sokrates 24 by their fathers. In these circumstances they might turn their attention to paides, but they also needed to associate with some adult male. At the age when they were considered to be most attractive, Athenian boys were unconsciously looking for men on whom they could model themselves—for surrogate fathers in fact.

Second, while the marriage lasted, the husband was the wife’s master (kyrios): no woman could enter into an important contract or plead her own case in court, and a wife could so act only through her husband. It was for her husband to decide, within ten days of its birth, whether a new-born child should be admitted to the oikos or exposed. Third, though a wife could, with the help of her family, divorce her husband if she laid a written deposition before the Arkhon, it is likely enough that society disapproved of wives divorcing husbands.

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