The Rule of Law in Ancient Greek Thought

  • Fred D. MillerJrEmail author
Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 3)


The rule of law is a normative principle that political power may not be exercised except according to procedures and constraints prescribed by laws which are publicly known. The rule of law requires all persons, including governmental officials, to obey the laws and be held accountable if they do not. Moreover, the laws can be changed only through constitutional procedures and may not be nullified or overridden by individual fiat. The concept of the rule of law can be found in ancient Greek theories of law (nomos), and it is implicit in many other Greek legal ideas. Greek legal practice encouraged the rule of law, and its theoretical underpinnings were examined in the writings of Plato and Aristotle.


Practical Wisdom Moral Virtue Nicomachean Ethic Governmental Official Athenian Democracy 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Social Philosophy and Policy CenterBowling Green State UniversityBowling GreenUSA

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