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Demetrius The Law-Giver: The Moral Programme

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Chapter Summary

This chapter delineates the extent of Phalerean legislation and assesses its intent. The concern for religious propriety and for decorous behaviour that appears to have been the primary force behind the burial laws may be at the core of other elements of Demetrius of Phalerum's administration. This may be the case with the gunaikonomoi, or censors of women. The most interesting-and controversial-of Demetrius' institutions is that of the board of so-called 'law-guardians', the nomophulakes. It is unsurprising that Demetrius has been credited with some modification of the ephêbeia, that programme of military, moral, religious and civic education instituted in the Lycurgan era and undertaken by Athenian youths on the brink of manhood. The reforms enacted by Demetrius, and the magistracies he created to enforce them, present a coherent programme in which moral and religious propriety were enshrined in law.

Keywords: burial laws; Demetrius of Phalerum; ephêbeia; gunaikonomoi; nomophulakes; Phalerean legislation



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