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Wandering GreeksThe Ancient Greek Diaspora from the Age of Homer to the Death of Alexander the Great$
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Robert Garland

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161051

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161051.001.0001

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The Asylum-Seeker

The Asylum-Seeker

(p.114) 7 The Asylum-Seeker
Wandering Greeks

Robert Garland

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the principle of asylum. The Greek word asulia, which is somewhat misleadingly translated as “asylum,” literally means “not plundering” or in the case of an individual “the condition of not being plundered or abducted [viz from a sanctuary].” In theory at least asulia offered refuge for all, irrespective of a person's political affiliation, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, or any other qualifying condition. Because any long-distance traveler was usually at some risk in ancient Greece, anyone with a legitimate reason to be on the road or at sea was entitled to apply for asulia inside a sanctuary. At times of crisis, too, entire populations might seek refuge in a local sanctuary. In addition, orphans, adolescent girls escaping from an arranged marriage, runaway slaves, and other kinds of needy individuals could claim asulia.

Keywords:   asylum, asulia, refuge, long-distance travelers, ancient Greece, sanctuary, local sanctuary

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