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Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 54


MANUMISSION OF SLAVES AT SUSA


Greek text:   IKEO_197 , IKEO_206
Date:   142/1   & 131 B.C.
Tags:     slaves ,   women
Format:   see key to translations

Susa was renamed "Seleukeia-on-the-Eulaios" in the 3rd century B.C., and it seems to have adapted well to its new role as a Greek city. Even during the unsettled times of the 2nd century B.C., it continued to use the Greek language. The following two manumission records belong to the period when the city was captured by the Parthians. At the time of the first inscription, Susa was probably being ruled by a local king called Kamnaskires, but by the time of the second inscription, it was controlled by the Parthian king. After it became part of the Parthian empire, the city continued to produce Greek inscriptions for another 150 years ( see RC_75 ). For a summary of some other inscriptions of Susa in the Hellenistic period, see S.Sherwin-White & A.Kuhrt, "From Samarkhand to Sardis", page 179 ( Google Books ).

There are clear similarities between these manumission inscriptions at Susa and the manumission records found on Hellenistic cuneiform tablets at Uruk, where the slaves were consecrated to the local gods Anu and Antu; see J.Monerie, "More than a Workman? The case of the ēpeš dulli tīdi ša bīt ilāni from Hellenistic Uruk", p.413-417 ( academia.edu ).



[A]   In year 171 {142/1 B.C.}, in the month of . . ., Straton son of Simias consecrated to the goddess Nanaia his slave girl Kan...., aged about 30 years, on behalf of the safety of the king and queen. It shall not be possible for Straton or for anyone else on his behalf in any way to lay claim to the aforementioned person, nor even (?) to sell her. If he does anything of this sort, it shall be invalid and he shall in addition pay a fine of three thousand drachmas of silver to the temple of Nanaia.

[B]   In year 116, according to the {Parthian} king's reckoning, or year 181 {132/1 B.C.}, according to the former reckoning, in the month of Xandikos, Apollonides son of Philippos consecrated his slave girl Bacheias, aged about 30 years. It shall not be possible for anyone to lay claim to the aforementioned person, nor to enslave her. If anything of this sort happens, it shall be invalid and the perpetrator shall in addition pay a fine of three thousand drachmas of silver.

inscription 55


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