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Some Remarks on Homicide and Criminal Responsibility in Ancient Greece

Abstract : In the Homeric poems – although the notion that material and causal responsibility should be separated from moral responsibility begins to emerge – the principle of strict liability predominates. This is moreover true as far as homicide is concerned; when a man is killed, whether the killing is intentional or not, the victim’s relatives react with vengeance. With his law on homicide, towards the end of the seventh century BC, the Athenian legislator Drakon was the first to consider mens rea as a criterion to differentiate the penalties. The debate on criminal and, more generally, moral responsibility becomes urgent in the last years of the fifth century, when in the end the idea prevails that a merely material and causal agent can be considered neither responsible nor, consequently, guilty.
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Submitted on : Friday, April 26, 2019 - 10:11:30 AM
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Laura Pepe. Some Remarks on Homicide and Criminal Responsibility in Ancient Greece. Mètis - Anthropologie des mondes grecs anciens, Daedalus/EHESS, 2015, Dossier : Aitia. Causalité juridique, causalité philosophique, N.S.13, pp.45-67. ⟨10.4000/books.editionsehess.3299⟩. ⟨halshs-02111577⟩



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