Ransom at Athens ([Dem.] 53.11) (Englisch)

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Keywords: debt - manumission - ransom - slavery - Solon (ProQuest: ... denotes non-US-ASCII text omitted.) While pursuing three runaway slaves, Nikostratos was himself captured at sea, shipped to Aigina, and sold ... [...]the law is held to permit an exception to Solon's ban on debt-slavery,4 perhaps the only one.5 On this view, Nikostratos was free, if precariously, when he approached Apollodoros. In another case, Xenochares sold Sosikles to Apollo on similar condition that he be free; if a person should lay hands on Sosikles with a view to enslavement, anyone was permitted to rescue him "on grounds that Xenochares had received the ransom-from-enemies. "8 As was so common at Delphi, the slave raised the funds with which to secure his purchase by the god, who bought and then in such operations see V. Gabrielsen, "Piracy and the Slave Trade," in A. Erskine (ed.) A Companion to the Hellenistic World (Malden 2003) 389-404, 394: "It was not the original captor/vendor who profited most from this transaction but rather the retailer in Aigina." G. Herman, Ritualised Friendship and the Greek City (Cambridge 1987) 93 suggests that these xenoi, were 'friends,' not 'aliens,' and that they offered a friendly loan; Millett, Lending and Borrowing 265-266, dismisses the idea. 66 These were non-trivial expenses; Apollodoros gave Nikostratos' brother 300 drachmas for the relatively short trip to Aigina. The fact that Demosthenes first lent ransom money to Athenian captives at Pella did not prevent him from bragging that he later forgave those debts (Dem...

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