Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation

Envy, Poison, and Death: Women on Trial in Classical Athens

Esther Eidinow


At the heart of this book are some trials conducted in Athens in the fourth century BCE. In each case, the charges involved a combination of supernatural activities, including potion-brewing and cult activity; the defendants were all women. Because of the brevity of the ancient sources, and their lack of agreement, the precise charges are unclear; the reasons for taking these women to court, even condemning some of them to die, remain mysterious. This book takes the complexity and confusion of the evidence not as a riddle to be solved, but as revealing multiple social dynamics. It explores the ... More

Keywords: Athens, women, magic, religion, law courts, trial, fourth century, emotions, envy, phthonos, gossip

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780199562602
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199562602.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Esther Eidinow, author
Assistant Professor in Ancient Greek History, University of Nottingham
Author Webpage