By Brenda Griffith-Williams

In A remark on chosen Speeches of Isaios, Brenda Griffith-Williams bargains a clean perception, available to non-Greek readers, into 4 disputed inheritance instances from the Athenian courts within the 4th century B.C. the one entire English language statement on Isaios (Wyse, 1904) displays a adverse view of the Athenian criminal method as one during which the judges, who had no felony education, can be simply outwitted through an unscrupulous speechwriter without regard for the reality. by way of addressing the complicated interaction of real, criminal, and rhetorical concerns within the chosen speeches, Brenda Griffith-Williams identifies the strengths and weaknesses of every speaker's case and provides a extra balanced evaluate of Isaios's paintings.

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9). In the absence of such modern resources as archival records, and scientific techniques of document analysis or blood testing, Athenian courts and litigants relied on the same means of persuasion (pisteis) in inheritance cases as in other areas of litigation: testimony, laws, arguments from probability, and (in appropriate cases) character. Establishing a claim to an inheritance typically involved genealogical and other information about the claimant’s relationship to the deceased, with testimony on relevant factual matters such as the introduction of an adopted son to the phratry or deme of the deceased.

38 Cf. Rubinstein (1993), 79–80. 39 This classification is based on the subject matter of the dispute—an inheritance—not on the legal procedure adopted, which may be either a diadikasia, a dikē pseudomarturiōn following a diamarturia in which it was claimed that the estate was not adjudicable, or some other form of dikē ancillary to the original claim. 40 Cf. the catalogue of speeches (excluding fragments) in Edwards (1994), 74–79. 12 general introduction ‘lost’ speeches in which the identity of the deceased is unknown.

There is no surviving Attic oration in which the speaker defends a will against an attack by the next of kin,63 but it is reasonable to assume that a litigant in that position would have used similar argumentation to explain why the testator had chosen to disrupt the order of intestate succession. This, indeed, is the line taken by the speaker of Isok. 19, who defends a testamentary adoption under the law of Aegina. In modern contested probate cases, evidence about a testator’s relationships with his beneficiaries and others is frequently deployed because 62 Twining (2006), 121, summarizing the view taken by one school of legal theorists.

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