Slave marriages in the laws of Gortyn: a matter of rights?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article tackles the long-held view that slaves at Gortyn possessed legal privileges not found in most other Greek slave systems, namely formal, enforceable rights to marry and own property. Combining legal analysis with cross-cultural comparison, it is shown that the complex social arrangements within Gortyn’s slave population engendered a variety of problems relating to the property interests of slaveholders. Gortyn’s laws on slavery are thus primarily directed at clarifying these issues, not at validating or enforcing slave ‘rights.’ A comparative approach enables
us to understand the rationale behind the complex ‘slave marriage’ arrangements that produced these legal quandaries.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-416
Number of pages27
Journal Historia: Zeitschrift für Alte Geschichte
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013


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