"The Greeks did not invent law or originate the notion of i t. Codes of law existed in Babylonia when the Greeks were still little better than savages, and the Mosaic Law of Israel is also ancient. But Greek law, which emergged in the 7th century BC, differed from these in several respects.
1) Greek law was not intended to carry out the will of an omnipotent monarch or of a god; Greek law aimed entirely at improving the lot of mortal humans.
2) while earlier systems could be changed at the will of a king or priesthood, Greek law was usually based on some kind of popular consent and could be changed only by being referred to the people for their approval.
3) Greek law was expected to secure life and property for all members of a society, not just for a select group of leaders or priests. "
"Classical Greece," Great Ages of Man, Time/Life Books. 1965.