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By Zinon Papakonstantinou
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Parallels can also be detected with regard to the behaviour of the spectators of the lawsuit and the conduct of the people (whether the dēmos of a civic community or the Greek army in Troy) in political assemblies. The format 34 II. Law and Justice in Early Archaic Greece of these assemblies usually allows for a certain degree of informal popular participation in deliberation and decision-making. For example, after listening to Agamemnon’s proposal to abandon the siege of Troy and return to Greece, the assembly of the Greeks ‘was shaken’ (Il.
G. Hesiod, Theognis and to some extent Solon) and it is therefore advisable to explore such issues in some detail before proceeding to our examination of law and the administration of justice in early archaic Greece. For many decades generations of ancient historians have attempted to provide an answer to two of the most vexing questions regarding early Iron Age Greece: does Homer depict a coherent world? And if yes, which world, and when can it be dated? I. 5 The impact of Finley’s book was so remarkable (not only regarding the historicity issue) that it has essentially defined historical approaches to the Homeric epics for the last fifty years.
Hence in the personal feud between Agamemnon and Achilles that constitutes the central theme of the Iliad a form of prolonged, indirect mediation is adopted as the best method of dealing with the crisis. g. Il. 225306). On another occasion, following the slaughter of the suitors, a largescale vendetta between the oikos of Odysseus and the relatives of the slain is averted through the mediation of Athena (Od. 413-548). The dispute between Antilochus and Menelaus (Il. 566-611) which occurs during the funeral games of Patroclus in book 23 of the Iliad is more revealing with regard to ideas and practices of administration of justice.