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Apollodoros' Mother: The Wives of Enfranchised Aliens in Athens*

  • C. Carey (a1)

The banker Pasion, father of the notorious fourth-century litigant and politician Apollodoros, some of whose speeches have survived under the name of Demosthenes, was originally a slave; freed by his owners, he made a substantial fortune from banking and subsequently received Athenian citizenship for his generous gifts to the city. At [Dem.] 59.2 we are given a paraphrase of the decree which enfranchised him: 'Aθηναον εἶναι Πασωνα κα κγνους τοὺς κενου ‘[the Athenian people voted] that Pasion and his descendants should be Athenian’. In common with inscriptions recording grants of citizenship, and unlike Roman military diplomata, the decree appears to have ignored Pasion's wife Archippe. The silence of the decrees of enfranchisement is echoed in the literary sources, with the result that we have no explicit testimony to the legal status of the wife of an alien who was granted Athenian citizenship. M. J. Osborne assumes that the status of the wife was in no way affected by the grant; she remained an alien. D. Whitehead has argued that in such cases the wife's status was indeterminate; in the event of the death of her first husband she might find herself married either to an Athenian citizen or to an alien, whereupon her status would be defined according to that of her husband. This article will argue that Archippe's status was unaffected by Pasion's receipt of citizenship, that is, that she remained a metic. I shall then proceed to consider the question of the implications of the difference in status of Pasion and Archippe subsequent to his enfranchisement for the legal basis of the relationship between them, and finally draw a tentative conclusion about the date of Pasion's receipt of citizenship.

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The Classical Quarterly
  • ISSN: 0009-8388
  • EISSN: 1471-6844
  • URL: /core/journals/classical-quarterly
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