Lamberton, R. D., Rotroff, S. I. Birds of the Athenian Agora, Lang, M. Life, Death, and Litigation in the Athenian Agora (Agora Picture Book 22-23)
American School of Classical Studies | 1984 | ISBN: 0876616279 | 72 pages | PDF | 16,4 MB
As well as the Little Owl, or glaux, so often seen accompanying the goddess Athena, many other birds played an important role in Greek art and symbolism. This booklet describes the ways in which the Greeks viewed birds, from useful hawks and fowl to exotic parakeets and peacocks. Some of the birds most often depicted are imaginary—from the griffin to the “phallos bird,” whose head and neck consisted of an erect penis. The book ends with a birder’s guide to species likely to be seen on a visit to the Agora archaeological park today.
Athens was a famously litigious city in antiquity, as the sheer quantity of evidence for legal activity found in the Agora makes clear. Every kind of case, from assault and battery to murder, and from small debts to contested fortunes, were heard in various buildings and spaces around the civic center, and the speeches given in defence and prosecution remain some of the masterpieces of Greek literature. As well as describing the spaces where judgments were made (such as the Stoa Basileios, office of the King Archon), the author discusses the progress of some famous cases (known from the speeches of orators like Demosthenes), such as the patrimony suit of a woman named Plangon against the nobleman Mantias, or the assault charge leveled by Ariston against Konon and his sons.