Athenian Court as a Positive Institution
In this paper I will argue that the court invented by Athena does put an end to the cycle of violence as retribution. I will do this by introducing and discussing the principles of the Athenian court that idealize justice over vengeance. Then I will discuss the rule of law argument that is introduced as an institution and argue how it is better than using emotions and passion to dictate a verdict. Finally I will end by discussing the response of the furies and ask if simply implementing a court system is the best decision overall.
Athena's implementation of the court was influenced by the ongoing vicious cycle of violence that in the House of Atreus. With many individuals dying as a form of vengeance, the violence escalated as Orestes tries to escape the furies who are pursuing him for the crime of killing his mother. Punishment, without the court in place, was simply pursuing the perpetrator and killing him as retribution. In response, Athena puts a stop to this blood feud by developing and instituting a background structure that will help structure daily life in the context of justice. Not only would the courts help regulate and coordinate citizen activity, it will also promote peaceful coexistence and healing rather than all ongoing bloodshed. In order to promote the justice and peace, there are important principles that the Athenian court follows.
The first important principle illustrated is that the courts are public. By making it public, the courts entail that the system has to be done out in the open, ensuring everyone can see the justice being played out. This promotes transparency, in which everyone can see if the justice has taken place as well as verifiability, by allowing them to know if there was a fair trial and judgments. Without these two qualities of publicity, justice would be a lot less verifiable and would result in a lot of gossip and rumor rather than the true information. Accountability is also ensured, as the state has to answer for why it does what it has done. There will be a public description and announcement explaining the verdict and this is important since all of the public would be able to see what is being done in response to a crime. This implementation of publicity is seen in the courts and rule of law in America. Most trials take place in front of a judge who is an objective third party person and most of the time there is a jury with no influence in the case that observe and make the decision. The processes and verdicts are all announced publicly, highlighting the importance of transparency and the role of the public for these courts to work.
In addition to publicity and accountability, justice is done in the realm of the state not the family. It is no longer the royal king making the decision; it is now solved by the state. The regulation by the state will provide a fair trial, as there will be no private interests or influence from...