The family and gender relations in the speeches of Isaeus
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This dissertation investigates the wealth of information regarding the Classical Athenian family, gender relations, and law found in the inheritance speeches of Isaeus. In examining Isaeus as a corpus of evidence, this thesis reveals both general conceptions of the family and the rules and customs that governed the sexual, legal, and economic relations within it. Inherent in its context-based approach to interpretation is a consideration of the Athenian legal system, specifically the forensic arena, and how it influenced disputes over the transmission of property in the polis. Isaeus illustrates the legal and economic capabilities of female citizens in fourth century Athens, the use of their sexuality as a weapon in court, the opportunities for and restrictions on exploitation within the citizen family, the role of the logographos in attaining and preventing that exploitation, and the simultaneous zeal and ambivalence of the Athenian legal system regarding familial and societal conflict.
Thesis, MPhil Master of Philosophy
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