Honors Program


Document Type


Date of this Version



Uhlmann, Lillyan. 2023. "Hubris and the Protection of the Citizen Body." Undergraduate Honors Thesis. University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


Copyright Lillyan Uhlmann 2023


The Classical Greek notion of hubris, which relates most closely to a modern form of disrespect, was an important form of protection for the citizen body. The law of hubris fell under the public sphere of graphai, which allowed for any individual in the community to bring up a charge. The law of hubris protected not only male citizens, but also women and slaves, which emphasizes the protection of the society as a whole. Hubris was a way to check those of power in society and charges of hubris, if proven, could result in the revoking of citizenship or political opportunities, or even the death penalty. Often the most prominent offenders of hubris were the wealthy and powerful within society. Hubris was seen through various forms such as assault, slander, prostitution, and others as long as the intent behind the action could be proven. Actual cases charged with hubris were not commonly seen within the court system, but the law was referenced frequently during trials for different crimes, involving assault and slander especially. Important cases of hubris include Against Timarchus, Against Conon, and Against Meidias. These cases help to explore the meaning of the law and its use within the court system.