Gortyna, Law Code of

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gortyna, Law Code of


the only almost entirely preserved text of ancient Greek law. It was compiled in the town of Gortyna (on Crete). The original text (12 columns), dating from the beginning of the fifth century B.C ., is written on the stone wall of a public building. It was discovered in 1884 by the Italian archaeologist F. Halbherr. This compilation is antedated by an earlier code, fragments of which (from Gortyna and Eleuterna) date from the sixth century B.C . The law code of Gortyna encompasses the most far-reaching aspects of social relationships in Gortyna, including property, inheritance, and domestic law.


Kazamanova, L. N. Ocherki sotsiai’no-ekonomicheskoi istorii Krita V-VI vv. do n.e. Moscow, 1964. (With a Russian translation of the inscription.)
Willetts, R. F. The Law Code of Gortyn. Berlin, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.