Law's Cosmos: Juridical Discourse in Athenian Forensic Oratory
Cambridge University Press, New York, 2010, xiv+ 362 pp.
ISBN 13: 9780521110747
Recent literary-critical work in legal studies reads law as a genre of literature, noting that Western law originated as a branch of rhetoric in classical
The courtroom speeches of classical
Preface: before the law, IX
Introduction: the rhetoric of law, 1
Part I The Boundaries of Legal Discourse
1 The world of law: oratory and authority, 21
On the inside, 21
Nomos, demos, polis, 26
Rhetoric's unhappy consciousness (Aeschines 1), 37
The iron chain of law (Demosthenes 25), 50
2 Legal violence and the limit of justice, 66
Law in a field of pain and death, 66
Legal violence and social violence (Demosthenes 54), 71
Touchstone of violence (Antiphon 1), 82
At the limits of the law (Demosthenes 47), 98
Part II The Legal Subject
3 Legal fictions: subjects probable and improbable, 115
The legal subject, 115
The intentional subject (Tetralogy II), 121
The probable subject (Tetralogy I), 133
Legal anthropology (Tetralogy III), 135
4 Logos biou: law's life stories, 155
Tropes of subjectivity, 155
Am I that name? Semiotics of the homonym in Demosthenes 39, 158
The contract and the courtesan: metaphors of self in Demosthenes 48, 167
Impossible metonymies (Lysias 24 via Demosthenes 21), 181
Part III Time, Memory, Reproduction: Law's Past and Future
5 Civic amnesia and legal memory: remembering and forgetting in the lawcourts, 201
Litigating across lēthē (Andocides 1), 206
Time on trial (Lysias 13), 217
Traumatic memory and legal historiography (Lysias 12), 226
6 Family/law: legal genealogies, 243
Narrative of a family tree, 243
Law's full house, 250
Living will (Isaeus 1), 257
Feminine fictions and the genealogy of law (Isaeus 3 and 6), 268
Conclusion: the paradigmatic law, 287
Law, code, 287
The law of law (Demosthenes 24), 292
The letter of the law and its spirit (Lysias 10), 301
The law, the noose, and the one-eyed man, 309
Index locorum, 345
General index, 354
Victoria Wohl. BA summa cum laude Harvard College (1988); MSt Oxford University (1989); MA University of California, Berkeley (1990); Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley (1990). Professor of Classics. Department of Classics.
Victoria Wohl works on the literature and culture of classical
and Love Among the Ruins: The Erotics of Democracy in Classical
Wohl received her BA (summa cum laude) from
Articles on Athenian tragedy, comedy, oratory, philosophy, and cultural history:
“Comedy and Athenian Law.” Forthcoming in M. Revermann, ed. The
“The Politics of Enmity in Euripides’ Orestes.” Forthcoming in D. Rosenbloom and J. Davidson, eds. Greek Drama IV (Oxbow)
“A Tragic Case of Poisoning: Intention Between Tragedy and the Law.” Forthcoming in TAPA.
“Suppliant Women and the Democratic State: White Men Saving Brown Women from Brown Men.” Forthcoming in K. Bassi and J. P. Euben, eds., When Worlds Elide: Political Theory,
Cultural Studies and the Effects of Hellenism (Rowman and Littlefield).
“Sexual Difference and the Aporia of Justice in Sophocles’ Antigone.” In D. McCoskey and E. Zakin, eds., Bound by the City: Greek Tragedy, Sexual Difference, and the Formation of the Polis (
“Rhetoric of the Athenian Citizen.” In
“Review Essay: The Romance of Tragedy and Psychoanalysis.” Helios 35.1 (2008), 89-110.
“Beyond Sexual Difference: Becoming-Woman in Euripides’ Bacchae.” In V. Pedrick and S. Oberhelman, eds., The Soul of Tragedy: Essays on Athenian Drama (
“Feminism and Tragedy.” In R. Bushnell, ed., A Companion to Tragedy (Blackwell, 2005), 145-60.
“Dirty Dancing: Xenophon’s Symposium.” In P. Murray and P. Wilson, eds., Music and the Muses: the Culture of Mousikê in the Classical
“Time on Trial.” parallax 9.4 (2003), 98-106 (special volume, De-Classifying Hellenism: Cultural Studies and the Classics, eds. K. Bassi and J. P. Euben).
“The Eros of Alcibiades.” Classical Antiquity 18.2 (1999), 349-85.
“Plato avant la lettre: Authenticity in Plato’s Epistles.” Ramus 27 (1999), 60-93.
“Scenes from a Marriage: Love and Logos in Plutarch’s Coniugalia Praecepta.” Helios 24.2 (1997),170-92.
“Eusebeia kai Philotimia: Hegemony and Democracy at the Panathenaia.” Classica et Mediaevalia 47 (1996), 25-88.
“Standing By the Stathmos: The Creation of Sexual Ideology in the Odyssey.” Arethusa 26.1 (Winter 1993), 19-50.