Handbook of Ancient Water Technology

By Örjan Wikander | Go to book overview

VII.3
THE GREEK WORLD

The Greek world never constituted a unity, but the political and geographical fragmentation notwithstanding, there are certain common features in the approach to water use among the Greeks. These common traits have been attributed to similar physical conditions (a relative scarcity of water; the necessity to deal with sudden torrential rainfalls), and a long tradition.1 “Greek water right” did not however consist in an elaborated legal structure (as in the Roman world, due to the flourishing of Roman legal thought), but merely in a collection of legal material.2

No unified body of written juristic sources on water, not even on a local scale, has been preserved.3 However, some important passages in Plato's Laws, referring to “excellent old laws laid down for farmers” can be taken as a starting point. Without quoting verbatim the nomoi georgikoi, Plato lays down some principles that characterized these laws,4 setting out from the common Greek practice of

1 Thus Koerner 1974, 189; earlier e.g. Kohler and Ziebarth 1912, 88f. On pre-
cipitation patterns in Attica and elsewhere in Greece, see Argoud 1987b, 25–8. On
the hydrogeological basis of Greek civilization see Crouch 1993, 63–82 and passim.

2 Koerner 1974, 156: “die Griechen kein durchgearbeitetes System entwickelt
haben, sondern nur eine Sammlung des Rechtsguts kannten”. On the origin of law-
giving and laws in the Greek world in general, see recently Gschnitzer 1995, who
favours a modern interpretation according to which the various legislative enter-
prises (Dracon, Solon, etc.) meant that new statutes were enacted, not that old tra-
ditional law was written down. Only later came a stage when traditional law was
collected. On the religious sphere as the origin of Greek laws see Panessa 1983
and below.

3 In the enormously rich legal material from Gortyn on Crete there are also
three statutes on water use, but not in connection with the famous Code: IC IV
43 Bb, 52, 73 A. Four other inscriptions are worth mentioning, from Mytilene (IG
XII 2, 4 + IG XII Suppl., p. 2; c. 350 B.C.), Pergamon (the so-called Astynomoi-
inscription, preserving statutes from the late second century B.C., see Klaffenbach
1953, 4–11 for text and German translation), Andania (IG V 1, 1390; 92/91 B.C.),
and a fragmentary one from Ephesos (Heberdey et al. 1912, no. 18, lines 6–12 =
Inschr.Eph. 2018; A.D. 4/14); see Koerner 1974, 156–7. There are some statutes on
water use also in the recently discovered fifth-century city law from Thasos, see
Duchêne 1992, 19–20 with translation pp. 33–4. These inscriptions will all be dealt
with below.

4 Thus Klingenberg 1976, 62–3, who convincingly argues that Plato's writings

-557-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Handbook of Ancient Water Technology
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 741

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.