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Death to Tyrants!Ancient Greek Democracy and the Struggle against Tyranny$
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David A. Teegarden

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691156903

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691156903.001.0001

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The Law of Eukrates

The Law of Eukrates

(p.85) 3 The Law of Eukrates
Death to Tyrants!

David A. Teegarden

Princeton University Press

In the spring (or summer) of 336 an Athenian named Eukrates successfully proposed a law against tyranny and subversion of the Athenian democracy. Eukrates's law has two peculiar aspects. The first is the date of its promulgation: the ninth prytany in the archonship of Phrynichos (spring/summer 336). The second is its focus on the council of the Areopagos. This chapter has two related objectives, each of which addresses one of the two aforementioned peculiar aspects of Eukrates' tyrant-killing law. The first is to identify the tyrannical threat that the Athenians faced in the spring of 336. It shows that the nature of the threat largely accounts for the fact that Eukrates proposed his law later than one might have expected. The second objective is to explain how the promulgation of Eukrates' law would neutralize the tyrannical threat that confronted the Athenians. The law's sharp focus on the council of the Areopagos played an important role, but so too did the process by which Eukrates's law was ratified and the placement of the two stelai upon which it was inscribed.

Keywords:   Erukrates, tyrant-killing law, ancient Greeks, Athenians, Areopagos council

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