Adele C. Scafuro
Graeco-Roman New Comedy has traditionally provided a source for legal historians examining the language and operation of law both in Athens in the fourth century and in Rome in the second century BC. Adele Scafuro here provides the first comprehensive treatment in English of one crucial area of this vast field, namely, the way legal disputes are settled out of court in Athens, both on and off the comic stage. Beginning with a close examination of pre-trial scenarios in the Attic orators and looking for comparable ones in pre-classical Roman law, Dr Scafuro then turns to the plays of Greek New Comedy and their adaptations by Plautus and Terence. There she identifies similar scenarios especially in disputes concerning sexual violations, the marriages of heiresses, and divorces. She shows how the recognition of legal procedures aids interpretation of New Comedy texts.