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Metics and the Athenian Phialai-inscriptions; a study in Athenian epigraphy and law.


Metics and the Athenian Phialai-inscriptions; a study in Athenian epigraphy and law.

Meyer, Elizabeth A.

Franz Steiner Verlag


214 pages



Historia Einzelschriften; v.208


In this work, Meyer (History, U. of Virginia) contests the widely held view that silver cups--phialai--listed in certain eminent, 4th century BC Athenian inscriptions, were products of a legal process by which slaves were emancipated and freed slaves were relieved of residual obligations to their former masters. It is a certainty, according to Meyer, that the inscriptions record dedications of the phialai--with the silver cups having been initially produced as the result of some sort of legal victory by foreign residents of Classical Athens. These resident foreigners--metics--were required to pay a special tax or risk enslavement. Meyer argues that an increasingly pro-metic atmosphere resulted in measures being taken to discourage frivolous lawsuits accusing metics of failing to pay this tax, and that it is by metic victories in these legal procedures, rather than legal processes associated with emancipation, that the phialai were generated. Meyers presents her case in a historical essay in part 1. An epigraphical study of the re-published inscriptions is provided in part 2. 47 photographs of the inscriptions are included. Distributed in North America by The David Brown Book Co.

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Publication:Reference & Research Book News
Article Type:Book review
Date:Nov 1, 2010
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