Greek Epigraphy and Religion
Leiden, The Netherlands
The Latin phrase leges sacrae and its various translations (sacred laws, lois
sacrées, heilige Gesetze) have been applied since at least the nineteenth cen-
tury to various collections of inscribed documents. It is a modern invention
born out of the German Wissenschaft ideology of systematic, scientific, com-
prehensive methods of inquiry. This rubric and the collecting of Greek inscrip-
tions under it have always been recognized as problematically subjective, and
in the last decade or so a flurry of scholarship has critiqued the corpora more
directly. Much of this analysis has focused on the leges half of leges sacrae:
whether “sacred law” corresponds to an ancient category, what legal aspects of
sacred laws distinguish them from other laws and decrees, and how their terms
might have been enforced. What has been less examined, however, is what de-
fines the subject matter that led to the classification of these documents as
sacrae. What is sacred about Greek sacred law?
Gawlinski, Laura. Greek Religion and Epigraphic Corpora: What's Sacrae about Leges Sacrae?. Greek Epigraphy and Religion, , : 11-26, 2020. Retrieved from Loyola eCommons, Classical Studies: Faculty Publications and Other Works, http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/9789004442542_004
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