Ergonomics for Impartiality and Efficiency in the Law-Courts of Ancient Athens

  • Vassilis PapakostopoulosEmail author
  • Dimitris Nathanael
  • Nicolas Marmaras
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 824)


The judicial procedure in the classical Athenian time (508–323 B.C.E.), was designed to achieve societal values such as representativeness, legitimacy and impartiality. In the present paper, the procedure for selecting and allocating daily jurors to law-courts and the artefacts involved are described, based on the description made by Aristotle in his book Constitution of Athens, as well as findings from excavations in ancient Agora of Athens. It is demonstrated that the whole system meets contemporary ergonomic principles for user-centred and service design. Furthermore, it is shown that the system of the ancient Athenian law-courts represents an exemplar case of a highly sophisticated sociotechnical system, designed based on the understanding of societal values and the users’ micro-moments throughout their entire journey.


Service design Tangible artifacts Citizen panels 



We would like to thank Mr. Danos Papadopoulos, industrial designer at the Department of Product and Systems Design Engineering, University of the Aegean, for his kind offer to draw the sketches, and the undergraduate students Alexandra Daglidi, Nikoletta Pagouna, Joanna Papadopoulou and Konstantinos Christidis for their valuable contribution to the development of the sketches.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vassilis Papakostopoulos
    • 1
    Email author
  • Dimitris Nathanael
    • 2
  • Nicolas Marmaras
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Product and Systems Engineering DesignUniversity of the AegeanHermoupolis, SyrosGreece
  2. 2.School of Mechanical EngineeringNational Technical University of AthensZografouGreece

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