John Lewis on Greek Law

Last year I wrote about historian John Lewis’s trip to Colorado here and here. Now Lewis’s new book, Early Greek Lawgivers, is available. Following is part of a brief review:

This short book is in the publisher’s Classical World Series, which is designed for “students and teachers of Classical Civilisation at late school and early university level.” Lewis discusses the work of the often-shadowy figures that were the early lawgivers set against the background of the societies in which they lived and worked and the development of the legal code. It is an excellent introduction to the topic, which can be comfortably set as additional background reading in undergraduate courses on Greek civilization and law and society. …

There is a lot in this short book, which is succinctly written, stimulating, and introduces to students earlier lawgivers as well as the better known figures of Draco, Solon, and Lycurgus, who all too often are the only ones studied in courses.

What’s more, Lewis’s Solon the Thinker is now available in paperback: “This first paperback edition contains a new appendix of translations of the fragments of Solon by the author.”

The books are enormously helpful in understanding the development of law in Greek society and the origins of law as such.