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Status in Classical Athens$
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Deborah Kamen

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780691138138

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691138138.001.0001

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Privileged Chattel Slaves

Privileged Chattel Slaves

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter 2 Privileged Chattel Slaves
Source:
Status in Classical Athens
Author(s):

Deborah Kamen

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691138138.003.0003

This chapter focuses on a subcategory of chattel slave, known as “privileged” slaves. Privileged slaves were on the cusp of freedom: they held a number of rights, and manumission was actually attainable for them, given sufficient accumulated income. Socially, they possessed more honor than the basest chattel slaves, though as chattel, they were still in many ways “socially dead.” Moreover, the economic status of (at least some) privileged slaves clearly was a source of frustration for citizens. By possessing more wealth and privileges than poor, juridically free citizens, these slaves must have implicitly called into question the value of “freedom,” a concept assigned tremendous importance by the Greeks.

Keywords:   privileged slaves, slavery, chattel slaves, classical Athens, Greece, Greeks, social status, legal status, freedom

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