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date: 20 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the processes through which slaves in ancient Greek communities exited slavery, as well as their status and condition as freed people. It examines the nature of the existing evidence for manumission and freed people and its implications for studying the topic; it explores the forms of manumission and the processes through which slaves managed to gain their freedom; finally, it discusses the meanings that freedom had for freed people in the various conditions in which they found themselves after exiting slavery. The chapter places particular attention on the significance of the master–slave, free–slave, and community formation dialectics for manumission and for life after slavery. It also engages with fruitful comparisons between different areas and communities of the Greek world, as well as between Greek and Roman manumission and freed people.

Keywords: manumission, freedmen, freedwomen, paramone, manumission inscriptions, sacral manumission, freedom

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