n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Crimes of the Agora : corruption in Homer and Hesiod
|Article Title||Crimes of the Agora : corruption in Homer and Hesiod|
|© Publisher:||Classical Association of South Africa (CASA)|
|Journal||Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa|
|Affiliations||1 Rhodes University|
|Publication Date||Jan 2012|
|Pages||17 - 29|
This article locates institutional corruption, as described in early Greek epic, within the broader thematic area of wrong and redress, or of reciprocity as applied to negative actions. By 'institutional corruption' I refer to the exploitation or subversion of political or juridical institutions by individuals in a position of authority : the corruption of 'officials' who use a public position to advance their private interests. I begin with the broader area of wrongs in Homer, considering how they are addressed, and then attempt to identify where institutional corruption fits into that larger category by establishing how it differs from interpersonal crimes in its nature and the way it is addressed. I shall argue that, whereas interpersonal wrongs are remedied by redress negotiated or exacted by the parties involved, corruption belongs to a subset of crimes that are believed to attract divine retribution, and explore reasons for this distinction.
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