Slave-Wives, Single Women and Bastards in the Ancient Greek World: Law and Economics Perspectives

Slave-Wives, Single Women and Bastards in the Ancient Greek World: Law and Economics Perspectives

By: Morris Silver (author)Paperback

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Greek scholars have produced a vast body of evidence bearing on nuptial practices that has yet to be mined by a professional economist. By standing on their shoulders, the author proposes and tests radically new interpretations of three important status groups in Greek history: the pallake, the hetaira, and the nothos. It is argued that legitimate marriage - that is `marriage by loan of the bride to the groom' - was not the only form of legal marriage in classical Athens and the ancient Greek world generally. Pallakia, that is, `marriage by sale of the bride to the groom', also was legally recognized. The pallake-wifeship transaction is a sale into slavery with a restrictive covenant mandating the employment of the sold woman as a wife. In this highly original and challenging new book economist Morris Silver proposes and tests the hypothesis that the likelihood of bride sale rises with increases in the distance between the ancestral residence of the groom and the father's household. The `bastard' (nothoi) children of pallakai lacked the legal right to inherit from their fathers but were routinely eligible for Athenian citizenship. It is argued that the basic social meaning of hetaira (`companion') is not `prostitute'/'courtesan' but `single woman' - that is, a woman legally recognized as being under her own authority (kuria). The defensive adaptation of single women is reflected in Greek myth and social practice by their grouping into `packs', most famously the Daniads and Amazons.

About Author

Morris Silver is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the City College of the City University of New York. He specializes in ancient economies and has widely published on slavery by contract and the role of ancient religions in facilitating economic growth.


Acknowledgment Abbreviations In the Interests of Disclosure I. Overview and Summary of Main Conclusions II. Socioeconomic Foundation of the Pallake Institution III. Pallake-Wife as Privileged Slave: Central Texts IV. Constructing the Greek Wife: Legal Aspects V. Constructing the Greek-Wife: Ritual Aspects VI. "Wife" as a Multidimensional Status in Ancient Greece: Supplementary Evidence VII: "Wife" as a Multidimensional Status in Ancient Greece: Testimony of Euripides' Electra VIII. Path to Pallakia IX. Single Woman as Hetaira as Suppliant X. Wealth Transfers in the Greek Marriage Market with Emphasis on the Roles of Distance and Single Woman Status XI. Wealth Transfers in the Greek Marriage Market: The Spinning Hetaira XII. Companionship as an Adaptation to the Dangerous Life of the Single Woman XIII. Role of Cults in the Marriage of Single Women XIV: Hetaira as Textile Worker XV. Legal Status of Nothoi XVI. Share the Wealth? Not with (Foreigner) Nothoi XVII. Case Studies in Pallakia: Homer's Penelope as Pallake XVIII. Case Studies in Pallakia: Hera as Zeus' Pallake XIX: Case Studies in Pallakia: Classical Athens 1. Socrates the "Bigamist"; 2. Archippe as Pallake; 3. Plangon as Pallak Summary of Main Findings and Problems for Future Research

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781785708633
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 224
  • ID: 9781785708633
  • ISBN10: 1785708635

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