Riflessi di te (Omnibus) (Italian Edition)

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Although it is difficult to be more precise in the absence of sources, it would not be unlikely that those Locrian poudaxai of the fifth century were the descendants of people who possibly still owned their own lands in the eighth and seventh centuries but became more dependent as a result of the pressure exerted on them by the closed and restricted Locrian aristocracy. Another example of this type of marriage in the Greek tradition is represented, in addition to the Spartan Partheniae and Epeunactoi, by the Argive slaves who married free women after their serious defeat at the hands of Cleomenes I Herodotus 6.

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Plutarch Mor. Lastly, unequal marriages even between free individuals are well known in Greek history, as the episode of the origins of Cypselus of Corinth shows Herodotus 5. Therefore, the story of the foundation of Locri by slaves who took their master's wives must be interpreted in the light of early seventh century criteria, not those of the fourth century ; the possibility of. The phenomenon would not have affected just one Locrian city, but the whole ethnos, as suggested by Polybius' reference to the Hundred Houses. If the very existence of this non-aristocratic group were regarded as a danger, the best option would have been the definitive exclusion of these individuals, and especially their offspring who would have enjoyed rights inherited from their mothers, according to the parallel provided by the Laws of Gortyn [VII, i-io] and their expulsion from Locris.

Bearing in mind the general circumstances of Greece in these years, the most obvious destination for those expelled would have been to found a colony. The fear of enslavement might have led the future founders of Locri to flee, but on the other hand the fear of those individuals the 'slaves' with an inferior legal status could have led to their expulsion. It is interesting to observe how Polybius insists that some at least of the free Locrian women belonged to the nobility of the Hundred Houses, saying : "these Hundred Houses were the most distinguished among the Locrians before the colonists left and the Locrians selected among them by lot the maidens to be sent to Ilium in fulfilment of an oracle" Polybius I Although Polybius gives no further information, sending Locrian maidens to Ilium is a subject widely documented in the literary tradition, although not all the ancient authors who refer to it interpret the ritual in the same way, and a late inscription found in Ozolian Locris also alludes to it Most modern authors have debated chiefly whether or not this information is true, how long the maidens spent at Ilium, how many were sent, etc.

The service rendered by the maidens who, after a concealment. Z4 , consisted, according to Lycophron's difficult text Alex. A poetic passage collected by Plutarch Mor. There are many puzzling elements in the traditions about the Locrian Maidens, but they seem to contain some undisputed facts. The first is that while the maidens remained in the sanctuary of Athena in Ilium43, they acted and behaved as real slaves, subject to a series of prohibitions, including approaching the goddess's statue, and carried out an whole series of menial tasks, including the cleaning of the sacred enclosure.

There are no reasons for denying that these rituals originated in high antiquity, especially since recent excavations in Troy confirm the existence. The relationship that Polybius Everything leads us to accept that the Locrians were obliged to provide the sanctuary of Athena in Ilium with sacred slaves, hierodoulai.

It is possible that as time went on real slavery may have become simply a ritual, but the commitment was for a thousand years The tribute in maidens, which seems to have affected both Ozolian and Opountian Locris, although especially the eastern Opountian Locris Lycophron Alex. The fear of punishment by the divinity that could provoke terrible consequences meant that the great families throughout Locris sanctioned this kind of enslavement of some of their members.

Aelian V. The nature of sacrifice and initiation in this ritual, recently analysed by Redfield47, is also, and mainly, a guarantee of stability for the Locrian ethnos. It is not strictly the fear of slavery, but certainly of the terrible punishments that the gods would inflict4 that led to the enslavement, perhaps symbolic and temporary, of a number of maidens selected from among the Hundred Families.

The privileges and the fulfilment of this obligation to the gods and to the Locrian community would have distinguished those Families who bore the burden of expiating the crime. In any case, we cannot forget that hybris toward the gods can mean ruin for mortals : in the Solonian poem Eunomia frag. But the coercive role that the poleis entrusted with protecting and defending the sanctuaries could exert should not be overlooked, as shown, for instance by the Delphic Amphictiony from the very moment of its creation50, marked by the destruction and enslavement of Krisa Isocrates Platai 31 Seen in this context, perhaps the crime of the Locrian women and the oIkCTCU with whom they formed attachments was considered so terrible because it could endanger the performance of their obligation, provoking serious damage to the community ; for this reason, the best solution was to expel them and send them far away from Locris to establish a colony.

Once they had settled in Epizephyrian Locri, the literary tradition informs us that a kind of sacred slavery also existed in that city, although it differed from that found in Locris, because it consisted of a kind of sacred prostitution in honour of Aphrodite. What is surprising is that the inhabitants carried out a votum solemn vow when their city was under serious threat in B.

Justin assures us that "when the Locrians were hard pressed in a war with Leophron, tyrant of Rhegium, they made a vow to prostitute their maidens at the festival of Venus if they were victorious" Justin In the case of Locri, fear of enslavement could have been the reason for making this extraordinary votum in Attention has already been drawn by a number of authors to a certain relationship of some kind between this decision and the custom in mainland Locris55, although the differences are evident.

Perhaps what the two communities had most in common was in fact the fear of enslavement, more symbolic in the case of mainland Locris but much more real in the case of the Italian Locri. In any case, we cannot fail to recognise that. Why the Locrians should, in the face of this new danger, this time coming from Rhegium, appeal to Aphrodite instead of their old protective deities is not clear, but it could be because of the growing cult of this goddess in the city revealed by archaeology57, and also Aphrodite's possible role of defender, especially in the form of Aphrodite Urania.

The intervention of Hiero of Syracuse put an end to the danger to Locri and also led to the votum being suspended, as Justin says. Conflicts between Locri and Rhegium and also Messana in the early years of the fifth century are also attested by several offerings of weapons deposited in Olympia by the two latter cities, perhaps after victories over the Locrians5.

Hiero's assistance to the Locrians is celebrated by Pindar in his second Pythian Ode vv. That the campaigns of Anaxilas and his son Leophron against Locri were interpreted by Locrians as aiming at enslaving this city is clear from information in the Scholia to Pindar Scholia in Pindarum : Pyth.

Fear of Enslavement and Sacred Slavery as Mechanisms of Social Control among the Ancient Locrian

It is not unlikely that Pindar, a contemporary of these events, depicted the basic characteristics of the Locrian votum, which implied the consecration of some of the Locrian maidens as sacred- slaves to Aphrodite, in order to avoid the enslavement of the entire city. Justin's text refers to this votum in on the occasion of a later misfortune to which I shall return shortly.

It is possible that the mechanism put into practice in the fourth century ' was similar to the one used in the fifth century ; it would have consisted in choosing one hundred women by lot who would stay for one month in a specific part of the temple of Aphrodite in which prostitution was practised Justm Its purpose was to put trust in a sacrifice, which involved the transitory consecration of women as the goddess's slaves, to save the city from being enslaved. The fear of enslavement causes, surprisingly, the forced submission of a section of the community.

Although the figure of one hundred women may be fortuitous, Polybius' account of the foundation of Locri suggests that it is not, because in his story there is a clear connection between the women of the Hundred Houses in mainland Locris who took part in the foundation, and sending maidens taken from these same Hundred Houses to Troy. As Polybius himself says The selection of one hundred noble women from the same number of families, who in mainland Locris had provided hierodoulai to Athena and in Locri had to provide sacred prostitutes to Aphrodite, represents a re-enactment of an old ritual in a colonial environment.

Converting their own women into slaves albeit temporarily , the Locrians transferred their anxieties to them in exchange for social peace and safety for the community. Of course, the only acceptable way was consecration to a deity, which would transform this form of servitude into a form of sacrifice. If such acts were not performed the threat of slavery was present. Furthermore, the capacity of exercising that. Time changed the meaning of these rituals ; already in Epizephyrian Locri, in the time of Dionysius the Younger B. On the occasion of the Lucanian threat, which brought a new risk of enslavement for the city, a suggestion by Dionysius was accepted, as Justin tell us : "This vow had been ignored, and now the Locrians were fighting an unsuccessful war with the Lucanians.

Dionysius [II] called them to a meeting and urged them to send their wives and daughters to the temple of Venus dressed in all their finery.

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From these women a hundred would be selected by lot to discharge the communal vow and, to satisfy the religious requirements, spend a month standing on show in the brothel, but all the men would have previously sworn not to touch any of them" Justin In Justin's story a relationship seems to exist between the suspension of the vow of and this new danger. The Lucanians and other Italic peoples had become a real threat to the liberty of the Greek cities in Italy : cities such as Cumae Diodorus The picture of the Greek West given by the orator Isocrates Paneg.

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In this context, the population of Locri could also have been reduced to slavery, and that would explain why they agreed to Dionysius the Younger's proposal. We must not forget that Dionysius' mother was Locrian and undoubtedly belonged to one of the Hundred Houses. This proposal consisted, as we have seen, of re- enacting the old votum of but forcing all the Locrians to swear beforehand that none of them would touch the women consecrated to Aphrodite while they remained in her service.

It is also possible that. Dionysius used a subterfuge not unknown in Locrian traditions : there would be a formal proclamation, but everybody knew that the women would not be touched, just as the spirit of the oath given by the Locrian colonists to the natives when they arrived in Italy was immediately violated, but not its formal clauses Polybius, Should it be AoKpcov? Or is it part of a sentence - Aoicpoi However, it was all just a great stratagem devised by Dionysius to steal the sumptuous jewellery worn by the Locrian women : just as the women, wearing all their finery, entered the temple, they were robbed of their jewellery by Dionysius' soldiers, and it all became his personal booty Justm On this occasion, Dionysius exploited the Locrians' genuine fear of enslavement to take advantage of them.

The whole episode shows, however, that in contrast to the events of , the fourth-century Locrians were already more reluctant to offer their wives as sacred prostitutes to Aphrodite and they demanded a formal commitment to ensure that they were respected. However, the possibility that Dionysius could re-enact the old votum, even with such a proviso, suggests that the Locrian aristocracy was still influenced by the weight of old traditions, perhaps because of the archaizing character of Locrian society, shown, for example by the fact that they continued to use the legislation of Zaleucus, which exhibited a great number of archaic traits for instance, Polybius n.

Dionysius, half Locrian and half Syracusan, knew how to manipulate Locrian tradition to his own advantage, even though he had to give the Locrians a commitment in the form of a public oath about the fate of the women offered to the goddess.


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On the other hand, the fear of enslavement was still strong enough in Locri to persuade them to give their consent, albeit with guarantees, to the re- enactment of a ritual that many would have considered a relic of the past. Clearchus, an author who lived at the turn of the fourth and the third centuries B.

It is quite possible that, once Dionysius had deceived the Locrians, he embarked on a policy of untrammelled violence, directed especially against the Locrian women, which has left many traces in the. Possibly the Locrians' response to their old fear of enslavement was to take pleasure in exercising their freedom : while the fear was expressed by consecrating the daughters of citizens to Aphrodite as prostitutes, their pleasure in freedom by similar treatment of the female members of the tyrant's family.

However, in the latter case, the prostitution was not sacred, and the women were ultimately put to death. The fraudulent use of Locrian traditions by Dionysius the Younger and Locrian doubts about performing an ancestral but increasingly incomprehensible ritual show how time could change extremely ancient rituals and customs.

Nevertheless, the significant fact is that in the middle of the fourth century, the Epizephyrian Locrians still believed that by allowing the controlled and temporary, almost symbolic, enslavement of their women they could avoid the real enslavement that might result from the Lucanian raids. By transferring responsibility to a part of the community, the weakest, but also the one which guaranteed their legitimacy, the Locrians overcame their fear of enslavement.

Circumstances also changed in mainland Locris.

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  • When Delphi ordered the Locrians to send maidens to Troy once again, they entrusted king Antigonus with deciding which city should send the tribute Aelian V. The king's response was that the matter should be decided by lot Aelian V. We do not know how this issue was resolved, but we know of a later document, an inscription found in Vitrinitsa, possibly ancient Oiantheia, in Western Locris, which provides an insight into the evolution of the Locrian tribute. The text describes the rights and privileges that the city of Naryx, Ajax's motherland Strabo 9.

    It is interesting to note that the parents of each pair of maidens would receive a maintenance subsidy for them and that the Locrians gave each maiden fifteen minae for clothes and food lines 7. Granting 1, drachmae to each of the maidens shows that in the third century BC they were far from experiencing the awful predicament depicted by most of the literary sources who dealt with their sojourn in Troy.

    It also shows that the conditions of the ritual had changed considerably by this late period and that sending maidens to Troy was undertaken with certain guarantees that the time they spent there would not be too distressing for them. The old ritual was becoming quite obsolete and it was no longer the solution for difficult situations that it had perhaps been when it originated, and the third-century aristocratic Locrian group of Aianteioi were not willing to allow their daughters to be mistreated and abused In the same way, the fourth- century Epizephyrian Locrian aristocracy was not willing to consecrate their female members as sacred prostitutes, although it seemed to have been more disposed to do so in the previous century.

    In conclusion, what the Locrian cases have shown us is how throughout their history - both in Greece and in Italy - the fear of slaves and the fear of enslavement were a constant in the Locrian way of thinking. The foundation of the colony sanctioned the definitive inferiority of a group that, perhaps, had originally enjoyed greater freedom or even total freedom although not aristocratic status.

    Their crime would have been marrying women of the Hundred Houses who guaranteed the performance of the annual tribute to Athena Ilias. These unions could have put the whole community at risk, introducing an element of illegitimacy to it. One of the key elements in this offering was the chastity of the maidens who would serve as the goddess's slaves, and perhaps it was thought that this chastity would be endangered by unequal unions. While the mainland Locrians continued fulfilling their.

    On the other hand, it was at a time of serious danger, when the city was about to perish and be enslaved, that the tradition was re-enacted in Epizephyrian Locri, although in a different way from Locris, since the votum was made to Aphrodite as protector of that city. While Athena Ilias protected the chastity of the Locrian maidens dedicated to her, Aphrodite claimed rituals of sacred prostitution. Consequently, Epizephyrian Locrians decided to confine some of their maidens in the sanctuary of Aphrodite to practice sacred prostitution as a sacrifice to the goddess in exchange for the city's salvation, which would equate the maidens with the sacred slaves who served there.

    The idea that underlies this votum is, consequently, the same as that which explains the ritual that took place in Troy, even though its details were different. The survival of aristocratic governments with very archaic features could explain the temporary conversion of some women into slaves both in Greek Locris and in Italian Locri, and through this action the liberation of their homelands from the fear of enslavement.

    The weakening of these aristocracies in the course of the fourth century can be seen in various manifestations of their inability to compel the cities to maintain unchanged their former sacred duties unchanged : in mainland Locris, in the suspension of sending maidens to Troy ; and, in Italian Locri, in the demand for a series of provisos that would safeguard the chastity of the consecrated maidens.

    While we know of no occasions after Dionysius' time in Epizephyrian Locri when the votum was respected, in the Locris of Greece, much more influenced by the oracle of Delphi, the resumption of offerings to Troy was ordered.. As I hope I have succeeded in showing, among the Locrians the fear of slavery was demonstrated by the half-real and half- symbolic enslavement of maidens. Their consecration and service to a divinity were, nevertheless, the only form in which the practice could be made acceptable to the cities and the families that participated in it, since this enslavement was also a sacrifice, which it was hoped would secure the gods' protection for those cities or, at least, save them from being punished with slavery and ruination.

    These fragments were collected by Rose, V. Leipzig repr. Stuttgart : frags. Walbank F. Oxford : Walbank, F. JRS 52 : 7 : "the probability is that on the origins of Locri Aristotle for once was wrong and Timaeus right" ; see also Id. ASNP 6 : On the history of Epizephyrian Locri see Musti, D. Locri Epizefirii. Naples : ; see also Redfield, J. Love and. Redfield, T. Conversely Nafissi, M. London : interprets Antiochus in a different way and seems to consider Ephorus s account as the version preferred in Taras itself during the first half of the fourth century B.

    It is, however, difficult to decide between the two versions which, in any case, both try to give a "rationalist" interpretation of the obscure term 'Partneniae1. Madrid : Pembroke, S. Malkin, I.

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    Riflessi di te (Omnibus) (Italian Edition) Riflessi di te (Omnibus) (Italian Edition)
    Riflessi di te (Omnibus) (Italian Edition) Riflessi di te (Omnibus) (Italian Edition)
    Riflessi di te (Omnibus) (Italian Edition) Riflessi di te (Omnibus) (Italian Edition)
    Riflessi di te (Omnibus) (Italian Edition) Riflessi di te (Omnibus) (Italian Edition)
    Riflessi di te (Omnibus) (Italian Edition) Riflessi di te (Omnibus) (Italian Edition)

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