The authenticity of the document at Demosth. 24.20-3, the procedures of nomothesia and the so-called ἐπιχɛιροτονία τῶν νόμων

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Abstract

This article is a response to Hansen’s recent defence of the authenticity of the document at Dem. 24.20-3. It discusses the methodology for assessing the authenticity of the documents in the orators, in particular the role(s) of the stichometry and the importance of the epigraphic evidence. It provides an in-depth analysis of the evidence about the nomothesia procedure provided in Demosthenes’ Against Timocrates, showing, first, that this procedure was one centred on the enactment of new laws, and not, as the document describes, a general review of the laws of Athens; second, that the procedure described in the speech is one that can be initiated at all points of the year (consistently with what the epigraphic evidence shows), whereas the document describes an annual procedure taking place only on the 11th day of the first prytany; third, that the procedure described in the speech was initiated by a simple διαχειροτονία that allowed new proposals to be made, whereas the document describes multiple initial votes kapitelweise to be held in the Assembly on different groups of existing laws. The last part of the article surveys eight specific problems with the text of the document, which confirm that it cannot be an authentic Athenian law.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-124
JournalKlio
Volume100
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jul 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • nomothesia
  • forgeries
  • Athenian law
  • Demosthenes
  • Against Timocrates

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