Once again on Aristotle and the identity of the Athenian nomothetai: A response to Gertrud Dietze-Mager

Mirko Canevaro, Alberto Esu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article is a short response to a recent contribution by Dietze-Mager in Erga-Logoi 10.2. There, within a larger discussion of the reliability of the Aristotelian Athenaion Politeia as a historical source, Dietze-Mager argues against our proposed identification of the Athenian nomothetai with a special session of the Assembly. In response, we start with a concise summary of our interpretation of the constitutional stages in the Athenaion Politeia in light of the socio-economic methodology of Politics IV, and clarify the role of Aristotle’s political theory in our reconstruction. We then provide a close reading of some key evidence about the identity of the Athenian nomothetai (particularly Aeschin. III 38-40). We demonstrate that Dietze-Mager’s proposed reading of the relevant passage is linguistically and syntactically problematic, arguing that the only possible interpretation of the relevant procedure as described at Aeschin. III 38-40 involves identifying the nomothetai with a special lawmaking session of the Assembly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-28
JournalErga-Logoi. Rivista di storia, letteratura, diritto e culture dell'antichità
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Aristotle
  • Athenaion Politeia
  • nomothetai
  • Classical Athens
  • lawmaking


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