Pericles’ Citizenship Law defined an Athenian citizen as the child of an
Athenian father and mother, but real life in classical Athens was much messier
than this clear-cut definition suggests. Court cases from Classical Athens are
full of mistresses and prostitutes, bastard children, and secret love-affairs.
Focusing on Demosthenes’ speech against Neaira and Euripides’ Medea, this
lecture shows how Athenians negotiated the law in everyday life and the tragedy
that ensued when they transgressed it.
Bio: Victoria Wohl is a scholar of the literature and culture of ancient Greece, with a focus on the social relations, political thought, and psychic life of democratic Athens. She is author of Intimate Commerce: Exchange, Gender, and Subjectivity in Greek Tragedy (Texas, 1998), Love Among the Ruins: The Erotics of Democracy in Classical Athens (2002), Law’s Cosmos: Juridical Discourse in Athenian Forensic Oratory (2010), and Euripides and the Politics of Form (2015).
Sponsored by the Ancient Studies Department, the Dresher Center for the Humanities, and the Gender + Women’s Studies Department.