Freed slaves, their status and state control in Ancient Greece

Rachel Zelnick-Abramovitz*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Freed slaves in the ancient Greek world usually held the legal status of foreigners or non-citizen residents. The Greek states adopted various means to control social distinctions, and in many cases actively engaged in the process of manumission and its publication, thus applying public interests to private concerns. This is evident from many manumission documents, which allude to the involvement of political institutions in manumission, and to payments made by freed slaves to the treasurers or other officials. It can also be inferred from documents in which ex-owners seemingly grant to their freed slaves several civic rights and sometimes even citizenship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-318
Number of pages16
JournalEuropean Review of History/Revue Europeenne d'Histoire
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Grants of privileges and citizenship
  • Inscriptions
  • Laws
  • Manumission
  • Polis
  • Slavery
  • State's involvement in manumission
  • Status of freed slaves


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