Greek Bastardy in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods

Greek Bastardy in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods

Greek Bastardy in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods

Greek Bastardy in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods


In the ancient Greek world bastards were often marginal, their affinities being with the female, the alien, the servile, the poor, and the sick. This book reviews the major evidence from Athens, Sparta, Gortyn, and Hellenistic Egypt, as well as collating and analyzing fragmentary evidence from the other Greek states. Dr. Ogden shows how attitudes towards legitimacy differed across the various city states, and analyzes their developments across time. He also advances new interpretations of more familiar problems of Athenian bastardy, such as Pericles' citizenship law. This book should interest historians of a wide range of social topics--from law and the economy to the study of women in antiquity and sexuality.


The starting-point of this book was the core of my Oxford D.Phil. thesis, 'Notheia: Greek Bastardy to 30 bc' (1992), begun at Corpus Christi College and completed at New College. the teaching of a course on Women and Society in Ancient Greece at Swansea in 1992-3 gave me the opportunity to rethink and elaborate upon this material.

I thank first my D.Phil. supervisors, Dr S. R. F. Price, Dr P. S. Derow, and Prof. W. G. G. Forrest. My examiners, Prof. J. K. Davies and Dr R. Van Bremen, gave me much valuable help, as did Dr O. Murray and the other (anonymous) examiners of the 1994 Connington prize, for which the thesis was also successfully submitted.

For the Oxford Classical Monographs Committee Prof. P. J. Parsons and Prof. M. Winterbottom helped on the administrative side. Dr R. G. Osborne of Corpus Christi College gave me generous help as my appointed adviser, although we could find little to agree upon. For the Press itself Ms H. O'Shea, Ms L. Gasson, Ms L. Alsop, and Ms J. Pritchard transformed the manuscript into a book.

I have received moral support from senior colleagues in teaching jobs: Mr F. Weiskittel and Dr W. G. Thalmann, both formerly of Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, Mr R. Lane Fox and Dr J. B. Hainsworth of New College, and Prof. C. Collard of University College, Swansea.

Many others have helped along the way. Dr J. N. Davidson has been my richest source of references; conversations with Dr M. Edwards have clarified my thought. I have received advice on specific points from Dr P. G. McC. Brown, Dr N. S. R. Hornblower, Dr S. C. Humphreys, Dr F. P. R. Just, the late Prof. D. M. Lewis, Mrs E. Matthews, Prof. F. G. Millar, Dr R. C. T. Parker, Dr C. Sourvinou-Inwood, Mr E. J. Stell, Dr J. C. Trevett, Dr I. G. Tompkins, Dr M. Vickers, and Dr U. Wartenberg.

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