<h3>Excerpt</h3> <div><div> <h2>CHAPTER 1</h2> <p>CHATTELS LAVES</p> <br> <p>Although war among the various Greek poleis was common, the Greeks were nonetheless (in principle) averse to the enslavement of their fellow Greeks (see, e.g., Pl. <i>Rep</i>. 469b–c; Xen. <i>Hell</i>. 1.6.14, <i>Ages</i>. 7.6).1 Most chattel slaves, therefore, were of "barbarian"—that is, non-Greek—origin, acquired mainly through Mediterranean trading networks. In the archaic period (ca. 630–480 BCE), slaves were primarily Scythians and Thracians, coming from areas northeast of Greece. After the Persian Wars, traders began to acquire more slaves from the east, particularly from those areas (like Caria) near the Greek cities of Asia Minor. And in the fourth century and into the Hellenistic period (323–330 BCE), slaves came from all over Asia Minor, with the number of slaves from Africa also increasing. Augmenting these regular supplies of slaves were those captured in war or, less frequently, by pirates or bandits.</p> <p>For classical Athens, some of our best evidence for the sources of slaves is epigraphic. So, for example, gravestones attest to the various ethnic origins of foreigners living (and dying) in Attica, many of whom were slaves. The Attic Stelai, records of property confiscated from Athenians convicted in the sacrilegious Defamation of the Mysteries and Mutilation of the Herms incidents of 415 BCE, preserve the names of thirteen Thracian slaves and ten Anatolian slaves; and in the funerary and dedicatory inscriptions from the silver mines at Laureion, many of which date to the fourth century, the names of twenty Anatolian slaves and two Thracian slaves are recorded. The picture we get from inscriptions is complemented by Aristophanic comedy, which presents slaves of a wide range of ethnicities.</p> <p>Although the population of chattel slaves was evidently at times quite high in Greece, exact numbers are nearly impossible to ascertain. Even for classical Athens there is no direct evidence for slave numbers; the closest we come is Athenaeus's (third-century CE) account of the census taken at the end of the fourth century BCE:</p> <p>Ktesikles, in the third book of the <i>Chronicles</i>, says that in the 117th Olympiad [312–308 BCE], there was a census taken by Demetrius of Phaleron of those residing in Athens, and 21,000 Athenians, 10,000 metics, and 400,000 slaves (<i>oiketon</i>) were found. (Athen. 272c–d)</p> <br> <p>This passage is quoted nearly every time scholars hazard a guess as to the number of slaves in classical Athens, but both its meaning and validity are contested. Also often cited by scholars are two other passages: Thucydides's report that after the Spartan occupation of Dekeleia in 413 bce, 20,000 slaves (<i>andrapodon</i>) deserted from Attica (Thuc. 7.27.5), and a fragment of Hyperides suggesting that more than 150,000 slaves "from the mines and the countryside" be enlisted to fight (fr. 29, Jensen). Drawing cautiously from these ancient accounts of slave numbers, coupled with modern estimates both of the total population of Athens and of rates of slave ownership, scholars have proposed a range of estimates for classical Athens, varying from a low of 20,000 slaves to a high of more than 150,000; the most likely number falls somewhere in the middle, representing 15–35 percent of the total population. Moreover, these numbers do not remain constant throughout the classical period, but fluctuate: slave numbers were at their highest immediately before the Peloponnesian War, fell dramatically during the war, and began to increase again afterward.</p> <p>Orlando Patterson has famously argued that slaves experience a process of desocialization and depersonalization, which he refers to as "social death." In this chapter, I demonstrate some of the ways in which chattel slaves in Athens were socially dead (their "social status"), in addition to being deprived of nearly all legal and political rights (their "legal status"). There is no question that slaves were desocialized: in most cases torn from their natal communities, they were deprived of all family and community ties. Chattel slaves were also depersonalized, in a process Igor Kopytoff describes as "commoditization." Once enslaved, an individual "is stripped of his social identity"—that is, desocialized—"and becomes a non-person, indeed an object and an actual or potential commodity." In fact, Aristotle calls the chattel slave "animate property" (<i>ktema ti empsukhon</i>) (Pol. 1253b32), and scholars have defined the chattel slave either exclusively or at least in part by his or her status as a piece of property. In this capacity, a slave could be bought and sold, hired out (Xen. <i>Poroi</i> 4.14–16), or bequeathed in a will (e.g., Dem. 27.9). In addition to being conceived of as a possession, however, the slave was also recognized as a person (of sorts) with limited legal rights, as we shall see.</p> <p>Finally, chattel slaves in classical Athens, as in many other slave societies, were almost entirely stripped of honor (<i>time</i>), rendering them the very lowest social <i>and</i> legal status group on the spectrum of statuses. But even within the legal category of "chattel slave," there existed a large range of substatuses, generally dependent on the type of labor the slave performed (and related to this, their economic status). This labor, in turn, was sometimes correlated with the slave's ethnicity: so, for example, Thracians and Anatolians generally performed manual labor, Scythians served as policemen-archers, and Phoenicians were at least sometimes bankers and traders (see chapter 2). This correlation did not always hold, however: a striking example is the Thracian slave-overseer Sosias, who was wealthy enough to lease 1000 mining slaves from the general Nicias (Xen. <i>Poroi</i> 4.14).</p> <p>In this chapter, I will focus on the legal and social status of the "basest" chattel slaves—that is, those performing the basest forms of labor, like working in the mines or mills. I will reserve for chapter 2 discussion of what have (rightly or wrongly) been called "privileged" slaves, who exercised greater independence despite their legal status as chattel.</p> <br> <p>Chattel slaves in Greece had no legal claims to property, either moveable or unmoveable. They also, in theory, had no power over their labor or movement: they performed the tasks that were assigned to them and engaged in no movement that was not mandated by their master or mistress. In practice, this ideal behavior was not necessarily realized: although specific tasks were assigned to slaves, the ways in which they conducted these tasks were within their control, and many slaves (particularly in households with few slaves) were "multitaskers" who presumably had some degree of control over which tasks they did when, and how. That said, to the extent that they did not choose their occupations, and did not own the means or fruits of their production, slaves, at least ideologically, had no control over their labor. Slaves' movement, too, was notionally circumscribed by their masters, and there were certain public places from which they were barred, including citizens' <i>gymnasia</i> and <i>palaistrai</i> (Aesch. 1.138; Plut. <i>Sol</i>. 1.3). However, the realities of slave labor necessitated that slaves exercise some autonomy over their own movements. Take, for example, the labor of domestic servants, which encompassed, among other things, "child-minding, caring for the sick, answering and guarding the door, cooking, woolworking, carrying messages, fetching water, [and] shopping." For slaves sent out to the marketplace to buy food, their task was set but their path probably was not. Stephanie Camp's work on geographies of resistance in the American South has illuminated the ways in which slaves can carve out their own spaces and movements even while appearing to follow the rigid guidelines set out by their masters. Moreover, some slaves (as discussed further in the next chapter) were leased out by their masters to work in the mines or to do other dangerous labor; while this often involved extremely unpleasant tasks, it also represents a case where the slaves' movements were, by necessity, not overseen by their immediate master.</p> <p>Chattel slaves were defined at least in part by the fact that, unlike free people, they had to answer for their wrongdoings with their bodies (<i>somata</i>) (see Dem. 22.55, 24.167). One way in which this manifested itself was through corporal punishment by their masters, who were permitted to inflict nearly any form of violence on their slaves. Physical abuse could take a number of different forms: whipping, flogging, hitting with sticks, fettering, rape, tattooing, and branding. A vivid description of such violence, apparently written by a young male slave, can be found in a fourth-century lead tablet from the Athenian Agora: "I am perishing from being whipped; I am tied up; I am treated like dirt—more and more!" (Ag. Inv. IL 1702, line 4).</p> <p>Slaves had some, albeit few, protections against extreme violence directed against them. They could run away to a slave asylum, like the Theseion or the altar of the Eumenides in Athens (Aristoph. <i>Knights</i> 1311–12); here they were protected, but rather than being given their freedom, they were sold to a new master. There were also some legal measures in place to protect the slave. Technically, a master was not supposed to kill his slave (Ant. 5.47), but if he did, it was unlikely that anyone would press charges. Nonetheless, a master who killed his own slave would still want to purify himself, since all bloodshed was thought to be a source of pollution (Ant. 6.4; cf. Pl. <i>Laws</i> 868a). If slaves were harmed by someone who was not their master, their master could bring a <i>dike</i> (private suit) for <i>blabe</i> (damages), under which the slave was viewed, legally, as a piece of property that had been damaged. This is the same suit used if someone hurt your donkey or broke your furniture. If, however, slaves were <i>killed</i> by someone who was not their master, the master could file a private suit for murder (the <i>dike phonou</i>) (Isoc. 18.52, [Dem.] 59.9). The case was brought, via the Basileus (the "king" archon, one of the city's chief magistrates), to a special court called the Palladion and was heard along with cases of unintentional homicide of citizens, as well as the murder of metics ([Arist.] <i>Ath. Pol</i>. 57.3; Dem. 23.71; see also Dem. 47.68–73). If a man was convicted of murder at the Palladion, he faced exile (Dem. 23.72; [Dem.] 59.10). Finally, the master, or any other citizen in Athens, could in theory bring a public suit, called a <i>graphe hubreos</i>, against someone who committed an act of <i>hubris</i> against a slave—that is, an assault against the slave's honor. Many scholars have struggled to account for the fact that slaves were included in the law against <i>hubris</i> despite their lowly status. Was it that slaves were protected <i>qua</i> vehicles of their masters' honor? Was it that they themselves possessed some small degree of honor, <i>qua</i> human beings? Was it that the protections offered by the <i>hubris</i> law were simply a byproduct of the burgeoning ideology of Athenian democratic inclusiveness? The Greeks themselves suggested (Dem. 21.47–49; Aesch. 1.16–17) that the protection of slaves was (at least in part) a means of demonstrating how serious the Athenians were about prosecuting any and all acts of <i>hubris</i>. Since we have very little evidence for <i>graphai hybreos</i> actually being brought to court on behalf of slaves,40 the question is perhaps more interesting on an ideological than on a practical level. That is, the fact that slaves <i>could</i> be protected by this suit implies that, at least by the period under consideration here, they were conceived of as having some honor—even if it was only a small amount, or only by proxy—worth protecting.</p> <p>In terms of legal personality, the chattel slave had very few rights. Plato's Kallikles describes slaves as those who, when treated unjustly, cannot defend themselves or anyone else they care for (<i>Grg</i>. 483b). They could be neither a plaintiff nor a defendant in court, though a case could be brought on their behalf (see above). Legally (as well as conceptually), they were the equivalent of a minor, represented by their master just as a father or other guardian represented his children's legal interests. If slaves incurred a debt, their master was liable, as we see most clearly in the case of a slave who ran up huge debts running a perfume business for his master (Hyp. 3). If slaves committed a private offense, their master was generally held responsible (Hyp. 3.22; [Dem.] 53.20), though the master could in turn punish the slave. It may be the case that slaves could be directly sued, but our only evidence for this practice cites it in the context of saying that it is inappropriate to do so, since (the logic goes) slaves act only on the orders of their masters (Dem. 37.51, 55.31). For public offenses, on the other hand, slaves had to assume liability for their own actions, and most often the punishment entailed being whipped by a representative of the state. Thus, for example, a slave who became the lover of a freeborn boy was punished with fifty lashes (Aesch. 1.139).</p> <p>While slaves could not serve as witnesses (<i>martures</i>), their statements could be elicited by judicial torture (<i>basanos</i>) and used as evidence (see Is. 8.12 for an explanation). However, although litigants are attested <i>challenging</i> their opponents to produce slaves for torture, in almost all cases the challenge is rejected, and there is little evidence of <i>basanos</i> being carried out (but see Dem. 37.20–22; Aristoph. <i>Frogs</i> 618–22). As a result, scholars have debated whether <i>basanos</i> ever actually took place. For our purposes, however, the "reality" of this practice is less important than its ideological ramifications; that is, whether or not it was performed, the presuppositions underlying <i>basanos</i>—namely, that slaves were lesser beings capable of "speaking" only through their bodies—served to reinforce the slave's already base status. In certain exceptional cases, slaves were called upon to offer information (<i>menusis</i>) before a magistrate, presumably without torture, in return for which they were given their freedom. After the Mutilation of the Herms and Defamation of the Mysteries in 415 BCE, slaves were encouraged to give information in exchange for their freedom (Thuc. 6.27.2; Andoc. 1.12–18, 27–28); slaves were assured manumission for informing against their masters in cases of sacrilege or damage to sacred olive trees (<i>hierosulia</i>) (see Lys. 5 and 7); and in Plato's ideal city in the <i>Laws</i>, slaves are to be freed for informing on those who steal treasures or neglect their parents (914a, 932d).</p> <p>In the course of the fourth century BCE, practical considerations led to a gradual improvement in the legal capacities of at least some slaves. Probably due to their increased involvement in mercantile affairs, it appears that starting around 350 BCE slaves could bring lawsuits and be prosecuted in certain kinds of commercial suits dealing with imports and exports (<i>dikai emporikai</i>) (see chapter 2). Most likely, the slaves participating in these <i>dikai</i> were "privileged slaves," to be discussed in the next chapter. Legally speaking, however, this right was open to all chattel slaves, even if they were not in a position to exercise it.</p> <p>Slaves had virtually no rights in the areas of sex and marriage. Female slaves in particular were at the sexual disposal of their masters (e.g., Xen. <i>Oik</i>. 10.12). Slave-prostitutes of lower status (<i>pornai</i>) were whored out by brothel-keepers, themselves often freedwomen ([Dem.] 59.18; Is. 6.19). Male slaves, unlike male citizens, were banned from pederastic relationships with citizen boys (Aesch. 1.139; Plut. <i>Sol.</i>1.3). Slaves were not allowed to marry, but cohabitation with their slave-partners was occasionally granted as a reward (Xen. <i>Oik</i>. 9.5; [Arist.] <i>Oik</i>. 1344b17–18). It was, however, most likely only "higher-up" slaves (managers and overseers) who were offered this sort of perk for good service. Children born to female slaves belonged to the master, who could either keep them in his household as slaves or sell them. However, despite the fact that slave "marriages" and "families" were not legally protected, later epigraphic evidence indicates that slaves themselves may have recognized relationships with their slave-partners and children. So, for example, some inscriptions attest to slaves and former slaves paying for the manumission of their slave-children, or to "husband"-"wife" pairs being freed together.</p> <p>Social mobility depended greatly on the type of chattel slave. A slave working in the silver mines of Laureion, for example, not only was unlikely to be freed, but also had little chance of attaining a higher-status profession as a slave. Domestic servants, on the other hand, were closer to the category of "privileged slave"—we might call them "semi-privileged"— and accordingly had more opportunities for advancement. If their work was respected, they might be elevated in the household status hierarchy, perhaps rising to the rank of overseer. Moreover, if they had a particularly intimate relationship with their owner or their owner's children, as was especially the case with wetnurses and male <i>paidagogoi</i> (tutors), they might even be granted their freedom (see chapter 3). This was generally done either upon the master's death or when the slave was too old to be of much use in the household. In the case of a nurse, this might be when she could no longer provide wetnurse services or when the children of the family had grown up (see, e.g., Dem. 47). Other frequently freed slaves are high-class prostitutes (e.g. [Dem.] 59) and attractive slave-boys (e.g. Hyp. 3), both of which groups I would characterize as at least semiprivileged. Citizenship, unlike manumission, was a near impossibility for slaves, particularly for the types of slaves who occupied the lowest rung of the slave hierarchy. We will turn to slaves who became citizens in chapters to come; these individuals invariably started at a "high" level of servitude, often as serving as bankers or performing other duties of a "privileged" nature. </div></div><br/> <i>(Continues...)</i> <!-- Copyright Notice --> <div><blockquote><hr noshade size="1"><font size="-2">Excerpted from <b>STATUS IN CLASSICAL ATHENS</b> by <b>DEBORAH KAMEN</b>. Copyright © 2013 by Princeton University Press. Excerpted by permission of PRINCETON UNIVERSITY PRESS.<br/>All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.<br/>Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.</font><hr noshade size="1"></blockquote></div>