This essay examines the ways the introduction of writing affected legal process in Greek society from the end of the 8th century B.C. onwards. Part 1 focuses on the transition from oral to written law, starting from the assumption that they coexisted and interacted for a long time. By comparative analysis of Homeric «rules», Draco' s and Solon's laws and some sections of the Gortyn code, it shows that the use of the new «technology» of writing resulted in significant changes both in procedure and substance, and, at least in some cases, in an effort towards «codification». Part 2 deals with judicial procedures at Athens in the 4th century B.C. It is argued that these were complex and entailed a three-stage process. Contrary to what is generally assumed, the written documents drawn by the magistrate or prepared by the litigants during the first two stages – the preliminary hearing and the anakrisis – heavily conditioned the third, «rhetoric» phase that took place in front of the judges i
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