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Translations of Hellenistic Inscriptions: 22


MANUMISSION OF DAMON BY A DOCTOR

Greek text:   SGDI_1899
Date:   155/4 B.C.
Tags:     slaves
Format:   see key to translations


This inscription follows the normal pattern for manumission records at Delphi, except for the unusual clause referring to a doctor's practice. This is the earliest known record of a slave (or ex-slave) participating in medical care. Damon seems to have been a skilled slave, because his manumission price is higher than average, but still less than the price asked for a female musician ( Inscription 24.H ). There is a French translation of the inscription by E.Samama, "Les médecins dans le monde grec", no. 59 ( Google Books ).


When Athambos son of Habromachos was archon, in the month of Ilaios, Dionysios and Politas, sons of Asandros, sold to Pythian Apollo a male save, named Damon, on these terms, at a price of six minas of silver, as Damon entrusted the sale to the god, on condition that he would be free and unseizable by everyone for all time, doing whatever he wishes and going off wherever he wishes. Guarantors in accordance with the law of the city: Dromokleidas son of Hagion, Astoxenos son of Dionysios, and Dion son of Alexon. And if anyone seizes Damon for re-enslavement, the vendors Dionysios and Politas and the guarantors - Dromokleidas, Astoxenos and Dion - shall present the sale to the god as secure. If they do not present the sale to the god as secure, they shall be liable to prosecution according to the law. In the same way also passers-by shall be entitled to rescue him as a free man; they shall suffer no penalty for doing this and cannot be subjected to any trial or fine. If Dionysios has need, Damon shall share with him in the doctor's work for five years, receiving what he requires for food, clothing and bedding.

Witnesses:

inscription 23


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