This chapter focuses on nothoi. A nothos was defined as the child of two parents who were not legally married, hence the term's standard translation: “bastard.” Nothos status can be divided into two distinct sub-statuses of illegitimate children: (i) a child born to a citizen and a noncitizen (also called a mētroxenos if the mother was the foreigner, as was most often the case); and (ii) a child born out of wedlock to two Athenian citizen parents. In the case of recognized illegitimate children born to two unmarried citizen parents, their pure Athenian blood presumably gave them a higher status than most mixed-blood mētroxenoi. Mixed-blood illegitimate children were likely stigmatized for their impure ancestry, especially in the fourth century, when the ideology of the pureblooded Athenian became most prominent and most strongly policed.
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