Open Access Book
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This book offers the first attempt at understanding interpersonal violence in ancient Athens. While the archaic desire for revenge persisted into the classical period, it was channeled by the civil discourse of the democracy. Performances such as the staging of trials and comedies ritually defined the meaning of violence and its appropriate application. Speeches and curse tablets not only spoke about violence, but also exacted it, deriving its legitimate use from a democratic principle, the communal decision of the human jurors in the first case and the underworld gods in the second.