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Blood-Money in Homer – Role of istor in the Trial Scene on the Shield of Achilles (Il. 18, 497-508)

Sima Avramović ; Pravni fakultet Univerzitet u Beogradu, Beograd, Srbija

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 820 Kb

str. 723-756

preuzimanja: 834



The author examines controversial verses depicting trial scene in a homicide case on the shield of Achilles in Iliad. The author firstly points to few unclear issues: a) what was core of the case – a question of facts (whether the blood-money for a homicide - poinē has been paid or not) or it was a legal question (could a blood-feud be replaced with a recompensation)?; b) did the litigants voluntarily present their dispute for settlement by the arbiter to avoid self-help (arbitration theory) or the issue was a part of the public control of self-help?; c) who decides the case (gathered people, collective of elders – gerontes or an individual – istor) and to whom goes deposited amount of 12 tallents of gold? The main focus of this article is concentrated upon istor, who is defined as an arbiter or a judge in the existing literature. The author offers an innovative approach that the istor was neither a judge nor an arbiter but a person of public faith, and compares it with the mnāmōn in the Code of Gortyn in 5th century Crete (one who knows, one who remembers). He also invokes legal anthropology to suggest parallels with the medieval institutions of pristav, who kept a memory of court rulings, helped judges in Slavic medieval law, and was a kind of guarantee of different legal acts. The last anthropological parallel comes from customary institution among Albanians at Kosovo and Metohia, namely the court of elders (plechnija) and institution of dorzon who was a guarantee that the opinion of the plechnar will be respected. The final conclusion is that istor was a person of public faith and a guarantor in blood-money case, one who was present and who knows important facts about the blood-feud agreement.

Ključne riječi

homicide, blood-feud, self-help, arbitration, Code of Gortyn

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: srpski

Posjeta: 1.321 *