The Rhetoric of Legal Texts in Late Antiquity: The Legal Document Form of Dialysis

Postgraduate Thesis uoadl:2873353 413 Read counter

Κατεύθυνση Αρχαία Ελληνική Φιλολογία
Library of the School of Philosophy
Deposit date:
Kolveris Nikolaos
Supervisors info:
Αμφιλόχιος Παπαθωμάς, Καθηγητής Αρχαίας Ελληνικής Φιλολογίας - Παπυρολογίας, Τμήμα Φιλολογίας, Φιλοσοφική Σχολή ΕΚΠΑ
Ροζαλία Χατζηλάμπρου, Επίκουρη Καθηγήτρια Αρχαίας Ελληνικής Φιλολογίας, Τμήμα Φιλολογίας, Φιλοσοφική Σχολή ΕΚΠΑ
Αθηνά Μπάζου, Λέκτορας Αρχαίας Ελληνικής Φιλολογίας, Τμήμα Φιλολογίας, Φιλοσοφική Σχολή ΕΚΠΑ
Original Title:
Η Ρητορική των Νομικών Κειμένων της Ύστερης Αρχαιότητας: Το Νομικό Έγγραφο της Διαλύσεως
Translated title:
The Rhetoric of Legal Texts in Late Antiquity: The Legal Document Form of Dialysis
The subject of the present thesis is the examination of the rhetoric of the legal document form known as dialysis in 5th and 6th c. A.D. Egypt. After a brief introduction and the first chapter entitled Notary’s Rhetorical Opera, providing a general view of the rhetorical elements used by notaries in composing legal texts, the division of the thesis into chapters follows the order of the parts of dialysis as a legal document form: Inscriptio, Narratio, Terms and Conditions-Dialysis’ Probatio, Oath, Penalty and Perjury, Kyria and Bebaia Clause, Stipulatio-Dialysis’ Peroratio and finally Subscriptiones and Testis. In these chapters I analyze not only the rhetorical elements found in these parts of the legal document of dialysis, but also their rhetorical contribution to the text as a whole.
Twenty-six (26) papyri were examined. In these a methodical use of rhetoric as a tool is in evidence, which the notaries employ to structure, process, appropriate and give prominence to the legal elements, in order to fulfill successfully the objective of their legal documents, the official and irrevocable settlement of the dispute among the opposing parties. The examination of the material proves that the legal parts of the document dialysis function as orationis partes. Generally, the rhetoric of these parts is characterized mainly by “legal pleonasm”, which is achieved by means of figura per adiectionem. The pretentious use of synonymous and/or complementary words and expressions satisfies the need to make the content of the legal text unambiguous and undisputed. Furthermore, with the aid of this figura notaries expurgate all potentially contentious elements that could give rise to further dispute, even if their existence involves a very low degree of risk for the validity of the agreement, but yet constitute sufficient ground for the renewal of the dispute.
However, the notaries do not use the rhetorical art only as a source of rhetorical figures, but also in order to structure the elements of their legal documents. In the Terms and Conditions of the dialyseis there is a specific logic in the arrangement of the individual parts, which informs the way the notary details the discharge of obligations, the renunciation of claims and the settlement proper. The sequence and relationship between them evince a studied dispositio of the terms and conditions which is intended to constitute an argumentum emanating from legal ratiocinatio. The purpose of this arrangement is to provide evidence of the final settlement of the dispute.
Main subject category:
Language – Literature
papyrology, rhetoric, rhetoric of law, roman law, late antiquity, dialysis
Number of index pages:
Contains images:
Number of references:
Number of pages:

Η Ρητορική των Νομικών Κειμένων της Ύστερης Άρχαιότητας- PDF.pdf
781 KB
File access is restricted until 2022-05-21.