901 E. Rollins St., Columbia, MO 65211

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Featuring Sara Forsdyke, Josiah Ober Collegiate Professor of Ancient History at the University of Michigan

Presented by the Department of History

Women and Slavery in Ancient Greece

The voices and lives of women in ancient Greece are often hard to grasp due to lack of sources. Surviving texts are mostly written by men, and, even when these texts feature female characters, women are mostly represented from a male perspective. One exception to this generalization is a large and rich body of texts known as the Delphic manumission inscriptions. These texts document the grants of freedom to enslaved persons and - remarkably - most of them concern enslaved women. This lecture will examine what we can learn about these enslaved women from these inscriptions, and will show that enslaved women often negotiated skillfully with their enslavers to secure not only their own freedom and that of family members but also an array of  other rights including legal recognition of their ownership of property. 

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