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Rechtswissenschaftliche Fakultät Lehrstuhl Alonso

FS23: Roots of the European Legal Tradition - Seminar on the Mediterranean Cradle of the Law: Continuity and Diversity of the Greek Legal Tradition

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(Vst.-Nr. 3388)


Why - within the great variety of courses offered by our faculty - to attend a seminar in Ancient Law? A seminar is meant to provide in addition to the existing compulsory offer of the faculty an opportunity to venture into new, less often discussed topics; topics which are not commonplace and allow us a respite from the constraints of a preestablished curriculum. Such broadening of horizons helps stimulate students to critically question and at the same time better understand their own legal system. Seminars offer students a unique opportunity to explore, in a relaxed atmosphere, themes outside their usual areas of study – specific topics that cannot find their way into the ordinary curriculum, foreign provisions, or –in our case– ideas and solutions from the past that have arrived to us through literary sources, through inscriptions and through papyri.

Our Chair, together with Professor Athina Dimopoulou from the University of Athens, will hold in the Spring Semester 2023, for the second time, a Seminar entitled "Roots of the European Legal Tradition: Seminar on the Mediterranean Cradle of Law". The event, limited to 12 participants, is open to both bachelor and master students and will take place from March 31 to April 3 at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. It will address a wide range of topics under the general theme "Continuity and Diversity in the Greek Legal Tradition".

Primary sources (and their translation) as well as a short selection of literature will be provided to the participants by the chair for their respective topics. As usual, the assessment involves the writing of an original paper (Bachelor's or Master's), the presentation of the results at the seminar, and the active participation in the discussions during the seminar itself. The paper may be written in either German or English;  however, due to the close cooperation with members and students of the University of Athens, we kindly request that the presentation of the results in the seminar be in English.

The academic discussion at the seminar will be complemented by archaeological/historical insights into ancient Greek civilization, so that the program –we hope– will leave a lasting impression on the participants. Further information, especially about the organization and schedule of the seminar, will be available at a later date in an extended information sheet. We are glad about your interest and look forward to your registration!


List of topics:

Section I: Law of persons and family law

Topic 1: Manumission of slaves in the Greek world

Topic 2: The "giving" of the bride and the formation of marriage in Greek law

Topic 3: Divorce in the Greek legal tradition

Section II: Law of credit and real securities

Topic 4: The debt trap in Antiquity: Indebtedness as a problem, between philosophical doctrine and constitutional law practice

Topic 5: Debt modification and novation in Greek practice

Topic 6: The Greek hypothec

Section III: Law of sale

Topic 7: The Greek sale in the classical poleis and in the Hellenistic world

Topic 8: Sale on credit and sale for delivery in Greek practice

Topic 9: Earnest money and sale in the Greek and Hellenistic world

Section IV: Foundations of the Greek law of obligations

Topic 10: Forms and effect of the Greek "written agreement" (syngraphe)

Topic 11: Agreement, promise and "bound provision" (Zweckverfügung) in the Greek homologia

Topic 12: The Greek obligation as a right of distraint


Credits and records:

The seminar is open to bachelor- and masterstudents. The bachelor-thesis is awarded 6 ECTS and must consist of approx. 20 pages (excl. bibliography etc.). The master-thesis must be awarded exactly 12 ECTS since the academic reform and it has to consist of approx. 40 pages.

Date and Place
Briefing: Changed date: Friday 18th of November at 12:15 over Zoom (Link in the seminar guidelines)
Seminar: March 31st until April 3rd 2023; Athens
Participation and further Information
For the procedure and further information please consider the: seminar guidelines (PDF, 366 KB)
Further details regarding the order of events in Athens as well as accomodation etc. will be published asap.
The application for the seminar runs through the Applicationtool RWF. If you have any questions regarding the content of our seminar don't hesitate to contact us:



Prof. Dr. Athina Dimopoulou

Prof. Dr. Athina Dimopoulou

Prof. Dr. Athina Dimopoulou studied at the University of Athens as well as at the Université Paris-II and at the École des hautes études Sorbonne in Paris. In 1999 she obtained her PhD from Université Paris-II (Panthéon-Assas). Since 2012, in addition to her work as a lawyer in Athens, she has been an assistant professor of Roman law at the Faculty of Law of the National Kapodistrian University.

Her research focuses on legal-epigraphic sources and Greek orators, which can be confirmed not least by her outstanding publications and the numerous prizes she has been awarded.

Prof. Dimopoulou has received numerous honours, including in particular the honorary award presented by the Greek Minister of Education in 2012 for her services at the Roman Law Moot Court, which she chaired between 2008 and 2016. Athina Dimopoulou is a member of the scientific committee of the "Revue Internationale des Droits de l'Antiquité" (RIDA) and of the journal "Rivista di storia del diritto greco ed ellenistico" (DIKE) and taught alongside her position as an assistant professor at the University of Athens as a visiting professor at numerous other universities, including the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and the University of the Aegean.