Are humans social creatures like bees, as Aristotle thought, or do they behave towards each other like wolves, as Hobbes maintained? Does society, the ordered community, logically come first, and the laws that preserve the peace within it follow, or is law, the social contract, set up first, since only strife and conflict are encountered before its establishment? This question lies behind the title and runs through the pages of the book.
Actually, how much are the active citizens of today interested in ancient Athenian democracy? Some arrogantly dismiss its basic principles as being of interest only to antiquarians. Others, inspired by its tenets, have produced innumerable treatises, tracts, or plays, e.g. on Antigone and political authority, on Oedipus and guilt, on penalty and leniency. The author traces the history of Greek law and the fortunes of its democratic foundations, and gives his own answers: no, leniency does not circumvent justice, but ameliorates it; no, the convergence of the Far Right and the ancient Spartans is not accidental. His findings are numerous and, surprisingly enough, of immediate relevance to current events.
N. Paraskevopoulos is Professor at the Faculty of Law, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.
|Full title||Οι μέλισσες και οι λύκοι. Μελέτες ιστορίας του ελληνικού δικαίου [The bees and the wolves. Studies in the history of Greek law]|
|Editing / Translation|