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Ár nDraíocht Féin
Three Cranes
Chaos Matrix

July 19th, 2005

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09:17 am - . . . that he may be dismembered as this onion is dismembered. . .
Does anyone know, off-hand, where I could find the text of a Greek oath? Or an explaination of one?

I'm in need of it for an OL article, and I figure I have enough people interested in that area on this list that someone might know where I can look?
Current Mood: working
Current Music: "Island", -JB

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Date:July 19th, 2005 01:32 pm (UTC)
I have that. I didn't look through that one in particular, though. Will do so when I get home.

"Magic in the Ancient World" has Roman ones (and a Hittite one) but no Greek, I don't think.
[User Picture]
Date:July 19th, 2005 03:57 pm (UTC)

Greek Oaths?

Bugger me? Wait, no, that's British.
Fuck me gently with a chainsaw? No ... that's Valley Girl.
I can't think of anything.
[User Picture]
Date:July 19th, 2005 07:52 pm (UTC)
From Honor Thy Gods: Popular Religion in Greek Tragedy by Jon D. Mikalson:

p. 80, "Oaths were used widely and probably daily by ancient Greeks. They reinforced stipulations of international treaties, they put religious sanctions on magistrates' promises to perform their duties properly and honestly, and they secured major and minor contracts and other financial dealings between individuals... These oaths were made in the names of numerous gods, almost always those of local cult, who might be related in sundry ways to the action, group, or activity involved. Oaths contained, implicitly or explicitly, a curse on the violator, and perjury was an impiety which brought that curse to fulfillment. For individuals punishment was often the destruction of the perjurer and, perhaps, of his family. I have argued elsewhere that in oath-taking an individual most often faced the choice between pious and impious action, deciding between what was pious and what might bring social or financial gain. For this reason the maintenance of oaths, at the popular level, was often treated as the key element of personal piety."

p. 86-7, "In everyday life promissory oaths were employed to involve gods in matters of justice with which they were not inherently concerned. There is no evidence from popular sources that the gods took an interest in human lying, cheating, accepting bribes, iving false testimony, intentionally voting unjustly in a law trial, failing to perform duties as a citizen or government official, or in a host of similar "wrongs." The Athenians brought their gods into these matters by having individuals swear elaborate oaths, with gods as witnesses, not to do such things... Divine punishment befell him not because of the illegal act per se but because he violated his oath."

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