Journal name not available for this finding
In terms of sexually motivated transgressions, adultery is viewed by many modern Western legal systems as a matter dealt with only in the intimate realm of those entangled and subsequently attaches little legal consequence to its occurrence. Rape, on the other hand, is regarded as a heinous crime (and rightly so) for which severe punishment for transgressors awaits. Conversely, ancient Athenian law demonstrated a notable distaste for adultery, so much so that affairs involving a male citizen’s wife, or any other woman under his οἶκος, constituted a crime and, by law, transgressors could be killed immediately by an affected male party if caught in flagrante. Committing rape, however, was not as severely punished as a rapist could only receive the death penalty in the event that he was so prosecuted by the Athenian judiciary consisting solely of male citizens. Under this ancient Athenian precedent, a victim of rape – a woman who was forced to have sexual intercourse – was, legally speaking, thought to suffer less than a woman who was seduced reflecting Athens’ prejudicial social-legal view of women. Moreover, this view must be seen against the background of the threat of insecurity to the patriarch’s οἶκος (that is, his household including his estate and, by extension, the members of his household that formed part of that estate) that the adulterous woman posed as well as the all-male Athenian judiciary whose members themselves were members of an οἶκος and, in most cases, were no doubt at its head.