'‘Laying the law down’: the Greek nomothetes, and how Philo, Josephus, and Plutarch made sense of Plato?' with Dr Ália Rodrigues (University of Coimbra)

5:00pm - 6:00pm / Tuesday 24th April 2018
Type: Seminar / Category: Department / Series: Classics and Ancient History Seminar Series
  • Admission: Free.
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Location: Walbank Seminar Room, 12 Abercromby Square, University of Liverpool

The idea of what it means to be a lawgiver is indebted to the literary and philosophical tradition of lawgivers and lawgiving which is a world of its own, i.e. even if the evidence is insufficient to establish a single mind that genuinely created a legal code. In contrast to the historical evidence available, the intellectual tradition presents a consistent and stable narrative which enables us not only to humanise this idea by associating intentionality and deliberation activities but also, and more importantly, to perceive a dispersed ethical and legal tradition as coherent by envisaging a single mind behind it. Athenian legal oratory, Plato’s political works and Aristotle made a crucial contribution to the stabilisation of the nomothetes ideology. In this paper, I intend to demonstrate how this fourth-century ideology was received, continued and adapted to Philo, Josephus and Plutarch’s ethical agendas.

Image: Janus Bifrons, Vatican Museums