The Case Of Eratosthetus's Case: The Letter Of The Law

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This paper will discuss the case of Euphiletus and how he got put to trial for killing the man his wife was having relations with. Euphiletus testifies that the letter of the law protects a man if he does find his wife in bed with another man and out of anger kills him. On the other hand, the spirit of the law says, because Euphiletus took five days to actually commit the murder the letter of the law does not apply to his case. Through Euphiletus court testimony he has given proof to prove that the murder of Eratosthenes was a justifiable homicide through the great gender roles played in Greek society and as well as the great honor.

To start off, Eratosthenes death was a justifiable homicide in Euphiletus defense. The crime Euphiletus committed was not only a public crime but was also a public service. It was a public crime due to the fact that he gathered all the male neighbors who were at home that night to gather torches and have them as audiences as well as witnesses. Euphiletus brought them as
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Ancient Greek was heavy on honor. Arête is an importance in Ancient Greek society. Having honor is what makes you a man in Greece. One can obtain honor by three way: Being a good fighter, having wealth, and being a good lover. In this case, Euphiletus’s honor was simultaneously gained and lost. He gained some honor by killing a man. In Greek society killing a man gave one so much honor; especially in Sparta, due to their war like society. By having witnesses at the murder scene, Euphiletus was able to share that proud moment of killing a man, the man that disrespected him and his family with many of his neighbors. To many, Euphiletus’s lost his honor. One would say he lost his honor by his unmanly action of hatching a plan for five days to kill the man who slept with his wife, rather than killing him right when he found out. Others would say he lost his honor because he let another man continually sleep with his wife in his own

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