A conference sponsored by the

Classical Association of the Canadian West

and the

Classical Association of the Pacific Northwest

on the theme



March 14-15, 2014

Simon Fraser University, Harbour Centre

Vancouver, BC




red-figure volute krater; Apulian, attributed to the "Underworld Painter," 330-20 BCE: the three judges of the underworld, Rhadamanthus, Minos, and Aeacus


Plenary Speaker

Adriaan Lanni, Professor of Law, Harvard Law School

"Athenian Institutional Design and Democratic Law Courts"


Whether a political figure faces a decision that affects the safety and prosperity of an ancient city-state, a literary figure concludes (an often mistaken) decision in a tragedy, a judge decides the guilt or innocence of a litigant, or an artist tries to achieve some work of merit, the concept of “decision” pervades many aspects of the cultural life of a society.  Philosophers have explored such merging of general, abstract notions with the need for action in specific situations.  Oracular pronouncements are sought for divine guidance.  Systems of selection are devised.  All of them test notions of innovation and leadership.


Adriaan Lanni is Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. She teaches modern criminal law and procedure and a variety of courses on ancient Greek and Roman law. Her writing includes Law and Justice in the Courts of Classical Athens and articles on Athenian law and American criminal procedure. She is currently finishing a book entitled Law and Order in Ancient Athens and starting a book entitled Ancient Law in Comparative Context: Public Law in Athens, Rome, and the Near East.  She holds an M.Phil. in Classics from Cambridge, a Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan, and a J.D. from Yale Law School.