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HorkosThe Oath in Greek Society$
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Alan Sommerstein and Judith Fletcher

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781904675679

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781904675679.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 22 September 2021

Oaths in Greek International Relations1

Oaths in Greek International Relations1

(p.26) 2 Oaths in Greek International Relations1

Sarah Bolmarcich

Liverpool University Press

This chapter examines the role of oaths in international relations in ancient Greece. In particular, it looks at oaths often attached to peace treaties as well as the extent to which care was taken to avoid creating loopholes for evasion. The chapter discusses the flexibility of oaths in some Greek treaties, made possible by inserting built-in ‘escape-clauses’ and ‘antideceit clauses’. Drawing on records of treaty-oaths in both literary and epigraphic sources, it describes examples of apparent violation of oaths or failure to fulfill the obligations imposed by an oath. The chapter also considers how religion and the gods are invoked in the creation and enforcement of a treaty and oaths between states.

Keywords:   oaths, international relations, ancient Greece, peace treaties, anti-deceit clauses, religion, gods, escape-clauses

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