Starting with the first substantial body of primary sources, the epics of Homer and Hesiod in the 7th century, and ending with the fall of Egypt to the Romans in 30BC, this volume describes and analyzes the development of mediation, arbitration and other ways of resolving disputes, other than litigation. New translations of more than three hundred primary sources allow you to decide for yourself whether the conclusions are valid. For the Greeks, mediation was the natural first step, the chosen third party taking the role of adjudicator only when efforts to produce a settlement had failed - and then swearing an oath and consciously adopting a different character. In some times and places, for example in Ptolemaic Egypt, the regular response of the authorities was to submit a claim to an administrative officer with the instructions: "Best to mediate; if not.." In Athens, too, in the 4th century BC, almost all civil claims went not to the courts but to public arbitrators, men who had just been relieved from military service in their 60th year. Inscriptions record their names and awards.
Papyrus finds show private arbitration of construction disputes in 3rd century Egypt, with original documents startlingly like those in contemporary disputes.