Early Greek Lawgivers

Yesterday, I started reading John David Lewis’ Early Greek Lawgivers, which is just 74 pages of awesomeness.  The table of contents includes:

  1. Approaching Greek Laws and Lawgivers
  2. Early Greek Order, Justice and Law
  3. The Lawgivers and his Laws
  4. Minos and Rhadamanthus of Crete
  5. Lycurgus of Sparta
  6. Solon of Athens
  7. Lesser Known Lawgivers

From the description on the back of the book:

Early Greek Lawgivers examines the men who brought laws to the early Greek city states, as an introduction both to the development of law and to basic issues in early legal practice.  The lawgiver was a man of special status, who could resolve disputes without violence, and bring a sense of order to his community by proposing comprehensive norms of ethical conduct.  He established those norms in the form of oral or written laws.

While I’m just a chapter and a half into it, I’m really enjoying its focus on fundamentals through the examination of these classical examples.  In context, while others are watching the vapid void that is the RNC and DNC, I am enjoying a fundamental examination of the nature of government and the role of law in society.

From my marginalia, I’m seeing that the key topics identified by Lewis are clearly relevant today, but unaddressed explicitly in the book as it is out of his scope.  Therefore, I am going to start a series of posts about the book with a plan for chapter by chapter commentary bringing the ideas into our current context.

This is a test and if it works out well then I may start doing more of it with other books that I am reading.  Further, it is a proof of concept for developing content for a study guide, which could supplement the enjoyment and understanding of the book; thus your thoughtful feedback is welcome.  While it should not be necessary to read the book to benefit from the posts, if you do both, then I would really like your feedback.

John David Lewis’ other books are Solon the Thinker: Political Thought in Archaic Athens and Nothing Less than Victory: Decisive Wars and the Lessons of History.  Before his death, Dr. Lewis was a contributing editor at The Objective Standard, which provides some of Lewis’ content online, including audio from his speech “’No Substitute for Victory’:  The Defeat of Islamic Totalitarianism”.  Further content is available at Dr. Lewis’ website.

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