Κριτικές παρατηρήσεις στην επιγραφή ICret I x (Ελτυνία) 2Part of : Επετηρίς του Κέντρου Ερεύνης της Ιστορίας του Ελληνικού Δικαίου ; No.42, 2010, pages 9-42
The inscription ICret I x (Eltynia) 2 : critical notes
The object of the present study is the early fifth century epigraphic evidence from Cretan city of Eltynia. This inscription of legal character deals with personal injuries mainly to minors, listing injuries and providing the appropriate penalty for them. The claim compensation varies and depends on the gravity of the injury, the age of the perpetrator and the place or the circumstances under which the injury occurs.The law of Eltynia has already been studied by archaeologists, historians, linguists and historians of the law. The present study attempts to carry out a critical review of the inscription’s regulations, as well as their comparative examination in relationship to legislative provisions from other Cretan cities. In this context our interest is focused in the role that is held by the polis in the administration of justice, the suppression of crime and generally in the organization of the society and the achievement or rule of law by means of written legislature in this early period. At the same time the study is extending to terms that refer mainly to legal terminology as well as to the everyday social and political life of Eltynia and are of special interest to the research. The exact definition of the semantic content of these terms is not easy, given the conciseness that characterizes the early legislative provisions in archaic Crete. The attempt of another explanatory approach to the semantic content of the disputed terms will in our opinion contribute to the correct interpretation of the related legislative provisions, to their objective evaluation and to their assessment as an intermediary stage in the long course of the historic development of the ancient Greek Law.Although some researchers consider the law of Eltynia as a kind of “penal code” it is actually not a systematic and aggregate record of the penal provisions of this small city in Crete. Following the tradition of the legal provisions of the time, the regulation of Eltynia, of which only fragments are preserved, represent ad hoc regulation of concrete problems of this given community in this given moment in time. The regulations concerning personal injuries and damages to foreign property constitute a fundamental area of the archaic legal systems. However what is so impressive about the law of Eltynia is the legislator’s consideration of the protection of the under-aged that is expressed through the penalization of bodily injury with victims (perpetrators in some cases) being minors. This positive impression is underlined by the fact that the inscription of Eltynia is possibly the only epigraphic evidence expressing such in interest at such an early stage.Of great importance by itself is the recording and promulgation of the specific penal provisions that constituted a point of reference for all members of the given community. From this point of view the provisions of Eltynia are placed among the first legislative attempts of the cities in archaic Crete, of the ancient Greek world so to speak, to institute generally accepted rules that would secure rule of law, decency and the preservation of standing order.