Punishments in Ancient Greece

Ancient Greece Punishments: Until the end of the Dark Age (1200 BC – 900 BC) and for the initial period in 900 BC and thereafter, there were no set of laws or rules in Ancient Greece. They would generally follow the tit-for-tat policy.

Ancient Greece Punishments

For example, Ancient Greeks would settle a murder by the family members of the victim killing the culprit. This generally resulted in a lot of bloodshed and long family clashes.

Ancient Greece Punishments

Ancient Greek Laws

In 632 BC, a Greek statesman named Draco devised the first written laws of Greek. The laws were so harsh that it is believed that they were written in blood. These laws later gave birth to the English term ‘Draconian’, which basically meant a harsh and unreasonable law.

Before that, in Athens, a jury of around 200 people, all men, decided the fate criminals. Imprisonment back then was not considered punishment, hence, punishments like fines, right to vote taken away, exile or death were imposed upon criminals.

Ancient Greece Punishments

Most of Draco’s punishments were ruthless. As a result, his laws were refined by another Athenian statesman and lawmaker, Solon. Solon was appointed the lawmaker in 594 BC. He completely changed the laws as set by Draco except for the punishment of exile for the crime of homicide.

Common Crimes in Ancient Greece

Other than this Solon made tort laws which included punishment for physical harm like murder, rape etc. Punishment for such crimes was exile or fine. Punishment for theft was returning the stolen property and paying a fine of double the value.Such were the laws and punishments as decided by Draco first and Solon later. Greeks later also set up courts to carry out trials.

More info on- Ancient Greek punishment methods, punishments in school, death penalty

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