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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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Freedmen with Conditional Freedom

Freedmen with Conditional Freedom

(p.32) Chapter 3 Freedmen with Conditional Freedom
Status in Classical Athens

Deborah Kamen

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on one of the two major subtypes of freed slave in classical Athens, the slaves freed with strings attached. It begins with a discussion of how manumission worked in classical Athens. Slaves in Athens could be freed in a number of different ways. Sometimes a master freed his own slaves. Slaves could also be freed through “purchase” by a third party. A large number of slaves were freed conditionally. The most striking feature of conditional-freedom manumission inscriptions is a so-called paramonē clause, mandating that the freedman remain and serve his or her former master. The paramonē clause also often includes sanctions, whether bodily punishment, sale, or invalidation of manumission, in the case of failure to perform paramonē service.

Keywords:   freed slaves, classical Athens, Greece, Greeks, manumission, freedmen, conditional freedom

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