Department of Greek & Latin


Aspects of Family Law in the Ancient World

This was the sequel to the international conference Use and Abuse of Law in the Athenian Courts, focusing on matters of family law in antiquity. We gathered together 27 international speakers from the UK, continental Europe, South America and Japan who gave excellent presentations on marriage, divorce and adultery; property and inheritance; rights and obligations of kinship, and the relations between family and the state on a wide range of Ancient legislations, embracing a number of Mediterranean and Near and Middle Eastern cultures from the earliest times to late antiquity. The conference was well attended by both senior scholars and graduate students, who were benefited by a number of bursaries we offered thanks to the generosity of our sponsors.

Wednesday 22nd April
Opening remarks
Chris Carey, UCL
Thursday 23rd April
Friday 24th April

Besides the remarkable diversity of the conference programme covering a number of periods, Mediterranean cultures and a range of legal systems which were beautifully laid out and thoroughly discussed, a distinctive feature of the conference was the concluding Public Event. In an attempt to highlight the relevance, the shared features and differences and thus the comparative element between ancient family laws and modern family laws―central aim of the conference― we invited a modern Judge, The Rt. Hon. Lord Wilson of Culworth (Justice of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom), to chair a panel of 4 distinguished speakers, Sophie Démare-Lafont (Paris), Paul du Plessis (Edinburgh), Yifat Monickendam (Jerusalem), Chris Carey (UCL), who gave presentations tailored to the needs of both experts and non-experts and fostered lively discussion with the participation of the audience of about 150 members. It was a very lively and stimulating event which enabled members of the general public to attend a high-quality event for free and contribute to what it was an excellent evening full of law.

The event was sponsored generously by The UCL Greek and Latin, Leventis Fund and Professor Manuwald, HoD, honoured us with her presence, representing our department at this important public-engagement event. We had also the pleasure to welcome a number of notable UCL alumni, who were cordially invited to the event, by UCL's Departments of Greek and Latin (including Dr Margaret Mountford), Laws and UCL Institute of Archaelogy. The event was followed by a wine reception at UCL Quad, which was well-attended.

  • Sophie Démare-Lafont (Paris)
  • Paul du Plessis (Edinburgh)
  • Yifat Monickendam (Jerusalem)
  • Chris Carey (UCL)

Click here to watch the panel discussion on Family Law in Antiquity and Modern times Audio

Sunday 8th May 2016

The organisers are delighted to say that they are working on the conference proceedings aiming to edit the content and produce a volume based on the lectures of a very stimulating and highly academic event.

Ifigeneia Giannadaki, Chris Carey, Brenda Griffith-Williams