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Lysias: Against Simon

3. The Judicial Oath and Types of Speech

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About this Lecture


In this module, we continue to think about Athenian legal procedure, concentrating in particular on the oath taken by the whole body of dikasts (‘judges’), as well as the different kinds of speech in ancient rhetoric and the conventions and expectations attached to each.


In this course, Professor Edward Harris (University of Durham) explores Lysias’ speech Against Simon, a case apparently concerning a fight between two men over a boy, Theodotus. In particular, we think about the rule of law in ancient Athens, the means by which an Athenian could bring a case to court and the legal procedure of the case itself, before providing a close reading of the speech itself.


Edward Harris is Professor of Ancient History; he has published extensively on Athenian political history and institutions, Greek law and the economy of Ancient Greece. He has published Aeschines and Athenian Politics (New York and Oxford 1995) and Democracy and the Rule of Law in Classical Athens (Cambridge and New York 2006). He has co-edited with R. W. Wallace, Transitions to Empire, Essays in Greco-Roman History 360-146 B.C. (Norman OK 1996) and with Lene Rubinstein, The Law and the Courts in Ancient Greece (London 2004). He is also translating Demosthenes 20-26 for the series The Oratory of Classical Greece edited by Michael Gagarin (Texas). He has been a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton and NEH Fellow at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Harris, E. (2018, August 15). Lysias: Against Simon - The Judicial Oath and Types of Speech [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Harris, E. "Lysias: Against Simon – The Judicial Oath and Types of Speech." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,