The Process of Freedom: Manumissions of Hellenistic Slaves


Anonymous

(ca. Second Century B.C.)

 

Unconditional Manumission

In the archonship of Tharres, in the month of Panagyrius, as reckoned by the people of Amphissa, and in the archonship of Damostratus at Delphi, in the month of Poitropius (144 B.C.), Telon and Cleto, with the approval of their son Straton, sold to Pythian Apollo a male slave whose name is Sosus, of Cappadocian origin, for the price of 3 minas of silver. Accordingly Sosus entrusted the sale to the god, on condition of his being free and not to be claimed as a slave by anyone for all time. Guarantor in accordance with the law and the contract; Philoxenus son of Dorotheus of Amphissa. The previous sale of Sosus to Apollo which took place in the archonship of Thrasycles at Delphi, and the provisions of the sale, namely that Sosus should remain with Telon and Cleto for as long as they live, shall be null and void. Witnesses: the priests of Apollo, Praxias and Andronicus, and the archon Pyrrhias son of Archelaus, and the Amphissians Charixenus son of Ecephylus, Polycritus, Aristodamus son of Callicles, Euthydamus son of Polycritus, Dorotheus son of Timesius, Demetrius son of Monimus. The contract is kept by the priest Praxias and Andronicus, and the Amphissians Polycritus and [Charixenus] son of Ecephylus.

Conditional Manumission

When Panaetolus and Phytaeus were generals of the Aetolians, in the month of Homoloius, and in the archonship of Xeneas at Delphi and the month Bysius (167 B.C.), Critodamus son of Damocles, of Physce, sold to Pythian Apollo a male slave whose name is Maiphatas, of Galatian origin, and a female (slave) whose name is Ammia, of Illyrian origin, for the price of seven minas of silver. Maiphatas and Ammia shall remain with Critodamus for as long as Critodamus lives, doing for Critodamus what they are told to; if they do not remain and do what they are told to, the sale shall be null and void. When Critodamus dies, Maiphatas and Ammia shall be free and the sale shall remain with the god on condition that they are free and not to be claimed as slaves by anyone for their whole life, doing whatever they wish and going wherever they wish. Guarantors in accordance with the law and the contract: Philon son of Aristeas, Astoxenus son of Dionysius. Witnesses: the priests Amyntas and Tarantinus; private citizens: Dexicrates, Sotimus, Callimachus, Euangelus, ... chaeus, of Delphi, Lyciscus and Menedamus, of Physce.

 


M. M. Austin, ed., The Hellenistic World from Alexander to the Roman Conquest: A Selection of Ancient Sources in Translation (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981), 221-222.