La cd. iscrizione di Lygdamis da Alicarnasso: procedure legali su contese di proprietà
This law was engraved on a stele found at Bodrum, ancient Halikarnassos. It was probably enacted in the second quarter of the 5th century BC in a joint meeting of extraordinary nature syllogos by the two communities of Halikarnasseis and Salmakiteis. The role of the former seems to be prevalent, as suggested by the mention in the prescript of prytanis and neopoios, who also recur as a pair in inscriptions from Halikarnassos dating to the 3rd century BC, respectively as president of the monthly assembly and as eponymous official of the polis. The Lygdamis enacting the law, together with the two communities, must be recognized as the homonymous figure whom the biographical tradition on Herodotus and Panyassis recalls as tyrant of Halikarnassos. Tradition attributed Doric origins to Halikarnassos, nevertheless the document is written in the Ionian language and alphabet. Furthermore, onomastics show a strong Greek-Karian mixture (with the addition of the interesting incidental presence of an Iranian name) both in the community of the Halikarnassians and the Salmakiteis. With its provisions about mnemones, this nomos offers important and controversial evidence on the role of archival documentation in a 5th century BC polis, as well as on the slow transition from an oral culture to one that assigns a more important role to writing and written records. In any case, the context and reasons for the enactment of this law and, in part, its contents, remain elusive. What is certain is that this nomos occurred at a time of delicate redefinition of property structures. It limited the possibility of resorting to judges to claim property of disputed real estate to within a period of 18 months: during this period, judgments had to be issued on the basis of the testimony of specific mnemones; later, property ownership would have been recognized for those who owned the real estate when those same mnemones were in office, only after pronouncing a liberating oath in the presence of the counterpart. The nomos is protected by a strict entrenchment clause, in which the role of god Apollo emerges. In the case of transgressors, the god is the recipient of the proceeds from the sale of the person or their goods; moreover, it was in his sanctuary that the stele was published.