Slave-Wives, Single Women and "Bastards" in the Ancient Greek World : Law and Economics Perspectives, Paperback / softback Book

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


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.


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