How were moral ideas and behaviour in ancient Athens formulated and made manifest? How did democratic Athens defuse the inevitable tensions that surface in society? In this work, Professor Herman argues that rather than endorse the Mediterranean ethic of retaliation, democratic Athens looked to the courts to dispense justice. Drawing on a method of analysis taken from the behavioural sciences, he describes the exceptional strategy of inter-personal relationships that the Athenian democrats developed to resolve conflict, to increase co-operation and to achieve collective objectives. In a departure, this work investigates moral ideas and behaviour alongside each other and expands the focus of the study to include all aspects of Athenian life, be it societal or economic. Highly illustrated throughout and interdisciplinary in approach, this work offers light on society and behaviour in ancient Athens, which might also serve as a model for similar ancient societies.
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