Koinodikion: a study of judicial process as a diplomatic tool in Hellenistic Crete



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This study investigates the nature of koinodikion (“shared tribunal”) in Hellenistic Crete, addressing questions of what it was and how it functioned in intercity treaties, and particularly its relationship to the Cretan Koinon, or federation. In my report, I examine koinodikion through a close reading of the inscriptional (IC IV.197, IC III.iii.4, and a new treaty between Gortyn and Knossos) and literary (Polybius 22.19.1-5) evidence, observing not only its use in a particular passage, but also that passage's significance in context of the whole document. I then compare my findings in the Cretan context to attestations of koinodikion from outside of Crete, where the Cretan Koinon was not a factor. Finally, I examine two earlier Cretan inscriptions (IC IV.80 and IC I.xvi.1) to reconstruct a cultural context for shared judicial practices.