The World of Prometheus
The Politics of Punishing in Democratic Athens
For Danielle Allen, punishment is more a window into democratic Athens's fundamental values than simply a set of official practices. From imprisonment to stoning to refusal of burial, instances of punishment in ancient Athens fuelled conversations among ordinary citizens and political and literary figures about the nature of justice. Re-creating in detail the cultural context of this conversation, Allen shows that punishment gave the community an opportunity to establish a myth of harmony and cleanliness: that the city could be purified of anger and social struggle, and perfect order achieved. Broad in scope, this book offers both a full account of punishment in antiquity and an examination of the political stakes of democratic punishment.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
A very impressive debut, rich enough in arguments, approaches, theories, and facts that one can disagree with a lot of it and still find much which is useful and convincing. -- James Davidson London Review of Books