Envy, Poison, and Death: Women on Trial in Ancient Athens by Esther Eidinow

By Esther Eidinow

On the middle of this quantity are 3 trials held in Athens within the fourth century BCE. The defendants have been all ladies and in each one case the fees concerned a mixture of formality actions. have been condemned to demise. due to the brevity of the traditional assets, and their loss of contract, the fitting fees are uncertain, and the explanations for those women's trials stay mysterious.

Envy, Poison, and Death takes the complexity and confusion of the proof now not as a riddle to be solved, yet as a revelation of social dynamics. It explores the altering factors--material, ideological, and psychological--that could have provoked those occasions. It focuses, particularly, at the twin position of envy (phthonos) and gossip as strategies wherein groups pointed out humans and actions that have been harmful, and examines how and why these neighborhood, even person, dynamics could have come to form respectable civic judgements in the course of a time of perceived hardship.

At first sight so perplexing, those trials demonstrate a vibrant photo of the socio-political setting of Athens through the early-mid fourth century BCE, together with responses to alterations in women's prestige and behaviour, and attitudes towards ritual actions in the urban. the quantity unearths many of the characters, occasions, or even feelings that might aid to form an emergent suggestion of magic: it means that the boundary of appropriate habit used to be transferring, not just in the felony area but in addition in the course of the lively involvement of society past the courts.

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Lys. 1–5. 69 See Jones 1999: 307–10 (App. 1). 105, although the end of the word here is supplemented; IG II2 2347 (Salamis, second half of the fourth century, but see Threatte 65 OUP CORRECTED PROOF – FINAL, 20/11/2015, SPi The Evidence 29 offer some insight. 70 In another source, Harpocration, a different kind of disapproval of these gatherings is evinced. They are now described as single-sex, but comprise women of much lower status and, Harpocration suggests rather coyly, of doubtful virtue: Ὑπερείδης ἐν τῷ ὑπὲρ Φρύνης.

49 50 Tr. Fowler 1936. Hermippos FGrH 1026 F 46 (= 68a I Wehrli). 51 Plutarch stresses the impact of her beauty, but Athenaeus gives the scene a distinctly religious tinge. 53 In relating this detail, Athenaeus does not condemn Phryne’s behaviour; rather the implication is that this woman, in her body and behaviour, and above all in her beauty, teetered on the divine. And finally, according to Athenaeus, the plaintiff Euthias was apparently so upset by the outcome of the trial that he never prosecuted again.

94 Parker (2005a: 133 n. 72) links the example in the Magna Moralia with the case discussed in Antiphon’s speech. However, although he discusses these examples alongside the historical cases, he makes no mention of any association between them. 95 Plut. De mul. virt. 256b–c: καρποῦμαι πολλαῖς ἐπίçθονος οὖσα κακαῖς γυναιξὶν ὧν çάρμακα δεδοικυῖα καὶ μηχανὰς ἐπείσθην ἀντιμηχανήσασθαι, μωρὰ μὲν ἴσως καὶ γυναικεῖα, θανάτου δ᾽ οὐκ ἄξια· πλὴν εἰ κριτῇ σοι δόξειε çίλτρων ἕνεκα καὶ γοητείας κτεῖναι γυναῖκα, πλεῖον ἢ σὺ βούλει çιλεῖσθαι δεομένην.

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