Pages 91-103






1. For a detailed descriptionof the
excavation,see Shear 1973. I am grateful to T. Leslie ShearJr.for permission
to publish the letter presentedbelow,
and to los Zervoudakifor permission
to publish here, for the first time,
photographsof the Lokrianskyphos
(Figs. 5-7). I am also indebted to J.
Gordon Howie for his observations
about the rhetoricalfiguresin the letter,
to Alison BurfordCooper and SusanI.
Rotrofffor adviceabout the skyphos,
and to Jaime B. Curbera,Matthew W.
Dickie, and Ronald S. Stroudfor their
carefulcriticismof this paperin manuscript.Craig Mauzy is responsiblefor
the excellenceof the photographsof
the lead tablet (Figs. 2-4). Unless I
note otherwise,all ancient dates are B.C.
2. Terracottaand lead military
stamps:Krolland Mitchel 1980 and
Kroll 1977b; cavalryroster:Kroll
1977a; Bacchic shouts:Jordan1986.
3. In a surveyof cursetablets from
the Athenian Agora, I mentioned
seventeen tablets from the crossroads
well (Jordan1985a, pp. 209-210), but
that was before it had been recognized
that the apparentBacchic shouts and
text of the inscribedpot-menderwere
not curses.For the text of one of these
last, see AgoraXXVIII, pp. 55-57 (SEG
XLIV 226).
4. For a useful introductionto the
study of letters on lead, see Bravo 1974.
At Henry 1991, p. 65, there is a good
laterbibliographyof texts. See also

A lead tablet found in the Athenian Agora, presentedhere for the first time,
preserves the text of a personal letter inscribed in the 4th century B.C. by a
professional.It is from a boy,his non-Attic name suggesting perhapsa metic
background,who complains that the master of the foundry to which he has
been sent, evidently as an apprentice,is mistreatinghim. The question raised
concerning the legal rights of (metic?) apprenticesis of special interest, as is
the locution ofthe text, at least partofwhich is in the boy'sown excitedwords.
Excavation in 1972 of the well beside the orthostate shrine at the crossroads near the Royal Stoa in the Athenian Agora (Fig. 1) proved to be
remarkablyfruitful, especially in its small finds of terracotta and lead, for
the epigraphicalrecord of the city.1Among the terracottapieces were several stamps, presumablymilitary passes, and among the lead were not only
other military stamps but also the strips that have preserved for us much
of the roster of the Attic cavalry.There was also a lead tablet inscribed
with what seem to be Bacchic shouts.2The few other inscribed lead pieces
from the well are the written debris of private rather than civic or organized religious life: a pot-mender and fifteen curse tablets of the 4th century, and the document that I present here, a personal letter of the 4th
century,addressed by one Lesis to his mother and to one Xenokles (Figs.
Private letters on lead constitute a small but interesting genre within
Greek epigraphy.4 Eight have been published in full, a ninth in part.
1 Berezan, 5th century.Ed. pr. Vinogradov 1971 (phot., ills. 1-3;
drawings, ills. 4-5); see Dubois 1996, pp. 50-55, no.26 for later
bibliography.Opisthographic. Side A: Inc. 'Q flp(oocy6p-, o
7waxp -rot Ema-X'E. Side B (its writing at right angles to that
of A): 'AXt?o86 po t6o toXtf3l8tov7rocp9ctol, 7Croc&8oc
2 Berezan or Olbia, 4th century.Ed. pr. Latyschev 1904 (drawing),
Wilhelm 1909 (phot., fig. 64), cf. Syll.3 1260. See Dubois 1996,

American School of Classical Studies at Athens
is collaborating with JSTOR to digitize, preserve, and extend access to

Ed.Ed. I. 7 Emporion. p... for later bibliography. ii-iii (drawing. pl.Opisthographic. 5th century. Fragmentary. Side A: Inc. Robert. once the letters were received. because the lead. Vinogradov argues.DAVID 92 \X R.from Olbia (5th or 4th century.Henry 1991 (phot. G. p. IG 111. 114). figs. no. no. 21 (phot. pp. Bravo 1974.. Crossroads. Side A: Inc. cf. III. Fragmentary. 357. drawing. 4 Attica (Xcad6cpt). p. pr. 10-11 (phot. drawing. 11).Inc. Dinsmoor Jr. 122). 6 Agathe (Agde in southern France). Bulltp 1944. pl. p. Fragmentary. Omo' vac. pr. 79. later bibliography: SEG XLII 972. Mende in the Chalkidike(4th century).earlier 4th century. pp. late 5th century. Bu/lEp 1956. 9 Emporion.J. Syll..upper and left-hand edges preserved. drawing. with the words xycPdevxocitA[yLcdvLv]. 147). and L. 4th century. cf. 67).and well. p. Sanmarti and Santiago 1989 (phot.right-hand edge preserved. ii). Sanmarti and Santiago 1987 (phot. drawing.. p.3 1259. and L. p.no edge preserved. Wilhelm 1904 (phot.3.shrine. with RoyalStoa at upperleft andPaintedStoa at upperright. no.J. Lopez Garcia 1995. 35). 37. Apparently a private letter. 90).pp. Ju. third quarterof 4th century. JORDAN N '7X:>0S:. pr. drawing. Robert. 50-51). Only the lower edge is preserved.and Athens (4th century).5 The extant lead letters are so few. Fragmentary.Vinogradov1971. ?poxcouxxit 5 Attica (Pnyx). I know of three unpublished examples.S XcXtUyLtcXvSVI XcltaotY-osOtYov) s(pocX[x]s -tot oYxotIXYtXPev B Side (its writing at right angles to that ofA): 1De'pev Vxsv]. 4th century. 8 Emporion. 63-66. 4th century. Nieto 1997.which shows that the letter ended xcape. p. pp. [C-o4 ]o5 Teyeoctxycdo'ev. IXatcpv xat [l5yLtvev ] (suppl. I E5-tv xepooilov toy xueLx6xvI &-coaovoat8&NXocUGt't NL NOCvtL. Figure1. 3 Torone. B.Almagro Basch 1952.upper and lower edges preserved. Drawing by W.Inc. p.. 'AP-txc&v: -to-tv o'xcV xcxtLsv :. 33-35. Slings 1994. color phot. Raubitschek 1943.. . was reused for other purposes or dis- 5. Mvcyt'pyos I S'SGzS?z.Ed. Only partly published. Opisthographic.

and I cannot confidently identify any one cluster of scratchings as a letter. they are no doubt the remains of what was once an address. at any rate: there are no splits in the strokes of Ql in AN?PQUIQI in line 3 or in the strokes in line 4. in every word but one. The sounds /e. with the writing on the inside (Side. opening as they do in the third person.e.e. like those from Berezan (1). and that he used the instrument that he had at hand. If the marks are deliberate. Fig. That area of the outer side (i.making articulate the fearsand only half-expressed thoughts of his clients. Splits within the individual strokes of the letters. has offeredquite plausiblerestorationsthat do not requiresuch division. pp. impeccable. p. 113).. a stilus that had alreadybegun to show wear. beginning a few generations later. and from Attica (4.A. such as a potsherd. while only inherited co. 2).The unpublished Athenian example(see note 5 above) has word-divisions. with shapes slightly larger than the letters of Side A. ?X0zV [1]. may well show a formulaic distinction between scribe and sender. 83: "The markof the public letter-writer. which would have been the outer flap of the resulting scroll. remarks.these featuresmay show no more than that our scribelearnedto write in the earlierpart of the century. with all edges intact except for a slight tear near the right-hand end of Side A. some 0. 2) I have not been able to show any of this splitting. XocXxe has no example of a word that might be spelled with ov).but the text of our letter (see below). 3-4). Henry (1991). 5). a row of faint scratchings. I regretthat in my tracing (Fig. the spelling. Torone (3). but the area is corroded. To put it somewhatmore scrupulously. but its editor. suggest the use of a splaying reed stilus (Figs. The purpose of such splits in stili evidently being to control the flow of ink. wo5-c [2]) or compensatory lengthening (6os [2]).9 A date in the earlier 4th century is indicated. had become more generallyaffordable.238-258. this being the exposed part of the scroll. Turner1968. 8.itself obviously easierto handle than lead. interestingly. A. without noticing the apparentscribalhabit of not dividing words at line-ends. encrusted. 172-176.6 All of the letters with published illustrations have writing that is crisp and sure and most of them have no word-divisions at line-ends within their main texts.05 m from and parallel to the right-hand edge of Side A (i. 95-96. letter-formsand spelling need not force us to assumethe earlierratherthan the later 4th centuryas the actualtime of writing. The senderof the letter was fairly young.In otherwords." 9.utiXXet: EHvo xXe. of which the last preservedline ends yp-.10 The tablet is apparentlyopisthographicand is unusuallywell preserved. this no doubt explains the slight damage at the right. 11. particularlynoticeable at the beginning of line 1. For the chronologyof these conventions.A PERSONAL 6. LETTER FOUND IN THE ATHENIAN AGORA 93 carded:the examples that we have today would be chiefly those that were never delivered. The edges themselves are not flat and straight but crinkled and have traces of pinking that suggest the use of shears ratherthan a knife for cutting the lead sheet. Our letter too shows no word-division. from the direction of the left-hand ends of the lines of the text. there may have been more.and right-handedges of the text of 3 arelost.indeed 1 and 4 each has an address on its back. for letterwriting on papyrus among the Greeks in Egypt shows that it was usual to employ scribes to write one's letters. contra.t [2]. but there is no reasonwhy he could not have employed a scribe considerablyolder.11 The tablet was rolled up. [1]. 10. Bravo (1974. Bravo this style of writing without word-division suggests the work of the professional scribe. at right angles to its writing)..To B.that the reasonwhy we find no lead letters afterthe 4th century is that by then papyrus. pp. Both left. experiment shows that fresh thin lead sheets are in fact soft enough to be inscribed with reeds./ and /W/are written e and o if they result from contraction (7epLLuMv[1].71 and 4 do have word-division in the addresses on their backs. The evidence that we have. That they are neatly aligned suggests that they are deliberate. The writing in the letter presented here is in a good 4th-century hand. and badly worn. we may speculate that the scribe normally wrote not on lead but on papyrus or some other material that accepted ink. is to be seen everywherein the platitudesand clich6s of which so many private[papyrus] letters are composed.8Our relatively few examples on lead do not allow any generalization for Greek-speaking areas elsewhere or in earlierperiods. The one clearexception is 8. in- . The main text (Side A) is in four lines.see Threatte 1980. p. the text diphthongs appearas et (tr. 7. Side B) shows. He seems to have sharpened it from time to time. Vinogradov1971.

} /-7A A . I p r> E4 0 A OTAA . SideA I I C) P >LIn---L/A 10 cm X a. AgoraIL 1702.OH l1-y --4F I TlBE-AToIJ 04Y T-/LIA N A T>> KA IAAmroMENQ~~~~~~~~APPHAA)<I~~~~<1 E-f F-y p g ? I 5 a I a Figure2.

12 Other inscriptions were clearly not votives: the cavalrytablets and the military stamps evidently come from the Hipparcheion.'3From the text of Lesis's letter it should. p. For I have been handed over to a man thoroughly wicked. Habicht 1962. I am perishing from being whipped.&XXc& Tpb?. In all. 138.Morgantina (SEG XXIX 927-932. SideA { } 1 AYICa6 12.Mytilene (Curbera andJordan1998. late 6th[?]-5th century). 13.The letter was not. pp. Xenokles the ghost addressed. A final word. as here.134 m Early fourth centuryB. 14. I am tied up. z6. for the well itself had thousands of such votives. Roman Imperial?). and the "mother"the Earth herself.otlat tlaxov "Lesis is sending (a letter) to Xenokles and to his mother by no means to overlook that he is perishing in the foundry but to come to his masters and find something better for him. 4th century). ta S t . Hellenistic). 2-4 H.C. W. See Kroll 1977a. 84. a5-r6 C.X[L rsTCeGS 2 co5-u6v6oXcok6isvov&v t xCaxs6cot. 0. 281291. when I was preparing this article. the fifteen curse tablets.3. I showed the text of the letter to a friend specializing in magic who.O&v 3 xcct&vsvp6OScart P3s?utov DxuUt. whatever its precise significance. In the Classical and Hellenistic periods the shrine evidently received so many votives-more than any other in the Agora-that they must have had to be cleared out from time to time and discarded. It is not. I think. which has been assumed by C. p. thinking of the texts of certain lead curse tablets with quasi-epistolary formulae addressing the dead. 196-200.Knidos (DTA4ud 1-13. 0. pp. 'AvOpcrnotyaxp wpc3o~czuTc cavu wovY}pUt 4 [iaatyhJvS'Vo.Rhodes (Zervoudaki 1973. 622. the well beside the orthostate shrine. the tablet with the Bacchic syllables. 8zsaco6a.'4 at once assumed Lesis's letter to be a curse tablet. most of them suggesting a female cult. arc6kXuVcwataSs[LGuiat 7PO=J?xaxt.svoxXWZxat' TYp. Habicht to have been located nearby. in other words.Jordan1985b. a votive at the shrine. 168. I am treated like dirt-more and more!" . sanctuariesof Demeter and of Demeter and Korehave yielded some forty cursetablets. 125-131. and Corinth (CorinthXVIII. 4th century). For a helpful discussionof such "letters"see Bravo 1987. pp. about the findspot. it was so only in that the person whom Lesis had commissioned to deliver it considered it simpler to drop it down the well or into the shrine than to complete the errand. 1993.050. IL 1702 Figs. Hellenistic). be obvious that if that tablet was in any sense in situ when it was found among the votives in the well. if the deity is chthonian. This I stress only because. on the exposed flap and at right angles to the writing on the other side. p. p. Some of the inscribed objects listed at the beginning of this article are obviously appropriate as offerings and may have come from the shrine: for example. cf. Agora inv.from Selinous (Jameson et al. it is a personal letter that was never delivered.[vYfqo . before we turn to the text.A PERSONAL LETTER FOUND IN THE ATHENIAN 95 AGORA scribed. and.

shoingeffctsof reed stilus Figure 4. Agora IL 1702. I LqI. AYIOL.31 (Megalopolis.. The name Ai1aL.2 439.a near-synonym of Mo. detail of lines 2-4.15a Doric origin of the name Aamq can probably be assumed. attested in Doric and probably that underlying the name A-a(xx. IG V. Agora IL 1702. being preponderantlyDoric. See Masson 1987.96 DAVID R. is from Arcadia. SideA.from P6Xo[tu (= Att./ZeoiCoc/ZegtoCv from from 9se3o[LaL. left splaying of end. r3o6X-). it is eo6yvpuu.).is new and certainly not Attic. We may compare the use of the verb in the opening for- 15. . 246. it conceivably results from the unfamiliarity of the name AmaL in Athens. Further.As for the superfluous I L. (DeZ8L5. Zebg4. 0?X@). and so on. 7LatO. the masculine ending -L. in this case no doubt XC (= Att.mXS. Side A. p. The stilus has been sharpened for line 4.We may compare the Doric name BMM. even though the apparently single instance of this last. JORDAN Figure 3. Like the masculines A6cL/AuJAua xo/Auomv from X6w../( x)8Lcx/oDd'8wv evidently formed from a verb. 2nd century).

Lesis's father. 20.2'Xenokles will have been present at the negotiation. however. pp. His non-Attic name points to the latter. 51. 3. for if so Lesis's mother has no legal standing in the negotiations with his 8seit6Tovnin the xoxXx-sLov. Cronert 1910.'9 I cannot determine. 93."As I see it. give several examples of the verb TcspLop6cowith present or aorist but never future participles no doubt reflects usage. we have to conclude. and the use of the present 6?o'iwovuobelow probably argues against a future participle here.D. ?148. Xenokles must have contracted the apprenticeshipas his owner or conceivably as his owner s representative. p. againstthis interestingidea is Lesis's requestthat bothXenokles and the mother should make the new arrangements with the foundry-keepers. asprostates. p. 3.directedagainstthree personswith forthcominglawsuits. Ootitvsewv vtoyjo03' S. p. Nqa%t6q 7cspLLu?vI cOi6t6v&.with its nominative-plus-dative-plus-y. 13). the boy may." 21.the curseon the third. 22. Lesis complains to Xenokles and his mother. some in fact with penalty clausesshould the masters/teachers default. 9.who has the boy'sslave mother in his oikos? Xenokles rents out Lesis to work in a foundrywhere he is abused.asks them both to come to the 8as0ro'Tco and to make a new arrangement. and 6 use Mnesiergos'sand Selene'sverb but aremore like the formula y. That standardgrammars. if Lesis's masters should default on their part of the arrangements. A readerof an earlyversion of this articlemade a suggestion:"Could Xenokles not be Lesis'smaster. 5. no.20for example. "Andif I shall not teach her. Goodwin 1889.on the other hand.A PERSONAL LETTER FOUND IN THE ATHENIAN AGORA 97 mula of 4.to whose compassion. includes "thepolemarchand his court.xoctL .343).If he is a slave.pt. be in a position to appeal."7An opening of a message with the verb SLTLrSXXeLvis indeed found on an earlier graffito from the Agora.oupsLv familiarfrom papyrusletters.u 7cspu3sV &ZOXO?vooq at Demosthenes 50.It seems to me therefore unlikely that Lesis is a slave.Spelling at the time would have been the same for a future participle (&OcoXo4tevoV. See Jordan1978. whether Lesis and his mother are of the citizen or the metic class. last quarterof 5th century). The similarity suggests that the formula with which Lesis's letter opens would have been familiar in Athens. then. See Harrison1968.5. 2444.A xyoXxeiov. 17. as a parallel to which W.m S(poocxes. 189-193.'8 6-svoxXse.though. 50-56). or she shall be considerednot to know what she has been taught. in either case. if the letter expresses his instructions accurately. From Roman Egypt we have a numberof apprenticeshipcontracts(see below). her citizen patron. Arist.e. We need not assume that the .Xenokles may want to protect his investmentby finding the boy something better. We may at the outset rule out the possibility that Xenokles is Lesis's father. also the opening of 1. Poet.g.Yet Lesis writes to her as well as to Xenokles and. a woman. contracted from -X?0X-) and an aorist (-X6-). in which a masterweaver writes.uv rS7SGAsv9p6ccoc xco4sLv'AO-vouo'V Xcolq OCL to [1[167. ?Vc yo cXmsoru.cnaL6poo-examples from LSJ). B9. E. Kiihner1904. 4. 18. Costabile'srecentpreliminarypublication (1998) of an early-4th-century lead cursetablet from the Athenian Kerameikos. pp. an ironworker(cf. 19.we may compare the latitude of the use of the word xyoXxc6q.which could refer to a coppersmith but also to a goldsmith (Od. If he is a slave.g.v stlTs 16. 55-56. his mother can have no legal part in the arrangementwith the 8srno6oTx.. from what we know of Athenian law. The evidence on the metic at law is enhancedand complicatedby F. we may compare the locution . [t as we see. The preservedbeginnings of 2.in which case Xenokles is presumablythe mother's prostates. for the articulationof the last line. P Mich.Lesis writes to his master(and to his mother who may here have some influencesexual?-over Xenokles) to get him out of there. is no longer on the scene or in a position to conduct transactions. who acts on her behalf in the polemarch's court if she ever needs to undertake a legal action.22 LXX )x()xxb` xcc\xco6xcd.22In any case. Gen.you will perforcehave her taught at my own expense"(lines 9-12). need not be a foundry specifically for bronzeworking.odpsLv (for examplessee Exler 1923. 1461a29 xXxaxq tobq tOv atL6pov ?pycx4o0 vooq. of mistreatment by his masters..its etymology notwithstanding. Cf.IV 346 (Tebtunis. pp. let us concede. with the message ZocPvso<q> ISweo7eX IFXoco'xoL I 'g o"CroISv 6s%L6[L] (AgoraXXI. Crdnert'6 adduced Selene's lines in Aristophanes' Clouds(608-610): 'H ZseXvq iov TCp9C)oc. In deducing the relation between Lesis and Xenokles we should begin by asking if Lesis is a slave or free. His request that together with the masters they should "find something better for him" (line 3) implies a previous agreement. on the relationshipof metic and prostates.MOXO6svov. A.

suggest that the terms would have been of the simplest.The word 8a7rn6'-r means "master. sent him to the shop of his wife's brother.whereupon the uncle beat him with a stick. to learn the art. not much different from Lesis's &v0pCO' L.." according to the evidence assembled s.. or anyone else for help. no doubt using such terms as TuV) 0ovqpo6. not a rich man. His situation may remind us of Lucian's. note 25). all from the 320s). in LSJ and DiccGE. the conditions of apprenticeship cannot in the nature of things have varied much.. the only surviving records of such agreements. Lucian was able to go home to complain.. a little further on he refers to Zeuxis of Herakleia who gave painting lessons. and the sculptors Pheidias and Polykleitos and their fee-paying pupils.and broke the slab. pp. it would have been pointless for him to write to his mother.ov roads well.C 7rpo6sT6cog usualy in the sense of"owner. the present letter is the only real testimonium. What is Lesis's status vis-a-vis his masters? We have virtually no direct evidence for the institution of apprenticeship in 4th-century or earlierAthens-in fact. and Plato [Meno 91D] makes a comparison between the master of rhetoric and his fee-paying pupil." ow5Tc. 3) are cp(oxs68e8Ov t6 Ost&c. too enthusiastically.in the 2nd century of our era. as it had in earlier urban (and to that extent industrialized) societies. There is a reference to 'competent didaskaloi'-instructors-for 'the lowest mechanics' in Xenophon's Memorabilia[4. although the political and economic organization of Egypt differed in many ways from that of the rest of the ancient world.Here the similarities end. Here the word evidently has a looser sense. 88-89. receives a civic nomenclature ) o'xoi3cvo(SEG XVIII To6kocn(oopy"o) 4t M1szXt(rr in the form @DGcATru 23. once freed..v. a sculptor of some reputation. Burford1972. who heaped abuse on her brother. I quote from Alison Burford'suseful summary: Few details are known of the apprenticing system in Greece.L O&X?O. SEG XVIII 36.with Lesisliterallybelongingto these 8asoi06tcx. whose father. Lesis is unlikely to have worked in any of the three excavated bronze foundries in use in the Agora in the 4th century (see below. A formal agreement of some kind was made between the parents or guardians of the prospective apprentice and the master-craftsmanwho had consented to take him on.tr. though. we may go a bit farther than this.2.98 DAVID R. other than the "manumission cup" inscriptions (IG 112 1553-1578. . The uncle gave Lucian the chisel and a slab of marble and told him to strike. from Hellenistic and Roman Egypt. PoCpoC6S60otOCt below. In the "manumission cup"inscriptions a slave.2]. In any case. Xenokles. Lesis has to write to Xenokles and to his mother. Lucian went home in tears and complained to his mother. Indeed we know little beyond the fact that it existed. Lucian'swords (Somn. . f3XTLov ascnc6tc OCOt6 0XOEv I xoct ?VeopeoOw. If this were the sensehere. conceivably the verb was a terminustechnicusfor such occasions.23 For 4th-century Attica. JORDAN or from anywherenearthe crossletter was actuallysent from the xocXxe?. Lucian did.

see Westermann1914. 1939. There is all the more reason therefore for saying the same if he kills him.uotx.2.`oq) (lines 216-217). Pol. If this idea is right. are from a wide spectrum of Attic economic life. The o&UsXs6Osporinclude wool-workers. parents their sons and daughters to learn professions. The professions. 27. 358-363.25 .shopkeepers.see Mattusch 1977. and that there were generally two types of contracts: apprentices either worked by day and came home at night or remained with their teachers/masters until the term of instruction (which could be as long as several years) ended. he wonders whether there is an action for breach of contract for his services as a teacher.which are too small for such divisionsof labor.presumablythe speaker is not awareof the prohibition that the Old Oligarch refers to.5. Zambon 1935. pp. they might bring an indictment for assault(ypox(pcx v 03ps&)" (transl. referring no doubt to the man in charge of some particularbranch of work within the xocXxseov.] Ath. Julian also puts this case: A shoemaker.] 53. guardians their wards. a goldsmith. p. all of which were necessarily learned before the manumissions.It is he to whom the 8srnCo6Lrou of the xocXxseovwill have handed Lesis over for personal instruction. In the papyrus contracts we see that owners could apprentice their slaves. and also persons with skills that could hardly have been gained in the masters'households but would have required apprenticeship elsewhere: a gem-cutter. lines 213-214) or'ApLoToivrg ui MsX(&uL)Io'xcJv oxototo(. a citharode. the letter concernsnone of the 4th-century bronze foundriesin the Athenian Agora. saysJulian. The matter of the ypoxpi 6f3ps&gis indeed complex. 9. 1. "in order that if I caught him and in a fit of anger put him in bonds or struck him. is he liable under the lexAquilia for having done unlawful damage?Julian writes that a man who put out a pupil's eye in the course of instruction was held liable under the lexAquilia.) in Justinian'sDigest. T. with whom Xenokles and Lesis's mother have made the arrangement. In contrastto the plural 8scnyt6tctoof line 2.farmers.stands the singular here.10). with the result that the boy's eye was knocked out.24Lesis had to send a letter home. If a teacher kills or wounds a slave during a lesson.uxotLyousvo 6cXXoiot6im 86s'8o 7pomqX xxo. a xocXxse6.C.A PERSONAL LETTER FOUND IN THE ATHENIAN AGORA 99 36 A.merchants. assuming him to be a slave (ot6ocixocqui6' 6ovAov stUovL). For the evidence from GraecoRoman Egypt for apprenticeshipthere.26Whether the law deterred or was meant to deter corporalpunishment of young persons during apprenticeships is a question for which there is no evidence.cobblers. to guarantee an answer.Several centuries later. the action for insult does not lie because he struck him not with intent to insult. but in order to correct and to teach him. pp. he says. another specializing in amphoras. The Old Oligarch speaks of the Athenian sanction on striking a slave or a metic ([Xen. Murray). 92. a flute-player. On such facts. Burford27refers to an opinion of Ulpian (3rd century A. struck with a last at the neck of a boy (a freeborn youngster) who was learning under him. as far as I know.the question of the legal rights of the apprenticewas still debated by Roman jurists. yo&p potCoPcSL. because he had badly done what he had been teaching him. Burford1972.8% 'AvOpC0mL Tc6cv wovqp6i.3: 24. the mention of the profession being apparentlyoptional. See Fisher 1992. 25. a potter.though. since a .A. for at [Dem. which shows that his contract was of the latter type.The evidence is contradictory.16 the speakertells of his neighbors' ruse of sending a young Athenian boy (coxaOpTLovot6Uov)to destroy a rose-bed. 36-85. 26.

Subsequent discussions:Collignon and Couve 1904. J.34(As an Attic example we have a lively description by Aristophanes. inv. but I have no doubt that action can be brought against him under the lexAquilia.32Another cord from the ceiling is around his neck. another cord. 278. 442). but the artistryis crude. Bliimner. accordingto Bliimner. Krueger. 44-45. and Waltersassumethat the right hand is free and is begging for mercy. Tv-u-Vape'jpi 86p&v. another horizontal-handled skyphos.DAVID IOO R. 5).the wife of the naked man at the wheel (see below). no.XX0C6tu.28 As an instance of the brutality that could take place in a workshop in Greece. 135-136. 91. one of the workers has been suspended face down from the ceiling. pp. A man. Bluimner1889. holding in his raised left hand a skyphos with upturned handles that he inspects (Figs. concludes that the composer of the second sentence of Lesis's letter must have 28. and two small sticks that may be paintbrushes(Fig. several examples of slaves being whipped while tied up and suspended. The verbs in the last line are in an almost staccato asyndeton. Burford1972.the female owner of the shop.Gordon Howie. pp.and Watson 1985. pp. 1. s7 6xaV 7csLV@Vc MLv6apo. Collignon and Couve. No doubt as punishment for some wrongdoing. p. On the floor is a potter'swheel. The man at the wheel seems not to have envisagedthis possibility.E:YE-r 9PP9L-u'a XXa- OpZo0i0?5 This latter is itself an echo of the end of Lysias'sAgainst EraxpWcVc-us. 30. 29. metic.30the only clothed figure in the picture. within easy reach of his right hand. or free-here in statupupi//ari? The second sentence of the letter. 31.and I think that we are meant to understandboth hands to be bound. Scheibler1995. tosthenes: Cx6c0'tu ?Xp%XaT- 7TE770VOCTEs ?X?- &x&4us. It is evidently intended to be read as Lesis's own words. is in contrast to the first.2. Athens. is stretched tight and tied to a ring or a hook in the floor. accordingto Halm-Tisserant.C. these with upturned handles. p. with verbs in the "epistolary"third person. Farther to the right there is a shelf. with its first-person verbs. 6). 4445) alone assumesthat the victim is vomiting into the skyphosthat the man at the wheel is obliginglyholding up. pl. 33. Kolbertapud Mommsen. p. from Roman comedy. is a horizontal-handled skyphos with what is evidently a paintbrushin it. with which the seated figurewas in the act of striking the departingassistant. Bliimner adducing. Standing on the wheel.) But is this assumption necessary?May he not be an apprentice-slave. a leather thong or a stick.1.and what Aristotle offers as an example of a vivid peroration at the very end of his Rhetoric:s?'Pqx0C. .To the left of the stool at which the figure sits is another stack of three skyphoi. walking away to the left (Fig. His left foot is tied against the ceiling itself. His hands also hang from cords. Bluimnerand all others who have discussed the figure suspended from the ceiling have assumed that he is a slave. p. accordingto Scheibler. 32. 34. a stack of three skyphoi with horizontal handles in his right hand. Burford cites a scene on a late-5th-century imitation black-figure skyphos found at Abai in Lokris (National Museum. Frogs 618-822. 7-8). vol. attached to his penis. presumably on the back wall. In front of the victim and facing him stands another worker swinging a long. pp. strangling him so badly that his tongue hangs out. in his upraised right hand.23). 1114 (phot. thin object. In the middle of the scene a seated person of undetermined gender. his right foot hangs lower. Halm-Tisserant(1998. holds a triangular object (a fan?)31in one hand. 150-156.33As if this were not enough. We may compare the asyndeton of the SpartanHippokrates'letter that the Athenians interceptedin 410 (Xen.There are two cords.That it may be a fan is the suggestion of Susan Rotroff. who has been kind enough to point me to these passages. from a cord. Bliimner 1889. 120. and admittedlyneither is attachedto the right hand.for Collignon and Couve it is a rhyton.29He depicts an assistant. of one side. a kylix in the other. behind which crouches another worker.Collignon and Couve. with a kantharos. Walters 1905. Trans. 38).Above the painter who sits peacefully at the wheel we behold something gruesome. Blimner and Waltersdescribeit as a leathersheet. Hell. The scene is obviously a pottery workshop. the painter is conceivably relying on first-hand knowledge of life in the pottery works. JORDAN teacher only has the right to administer reasonable chastisement. and Walters. 156. Halm-Tisserant 1998.

or again. ?Tve9pr -c ZTpcovOv ZebG -cuXn. [aUov jXXov) from Alexis'sAtthis.NationalMuseum inv.) and a Tpo6q passage that Photios cites (Lex. NationalMuseum. and Menander for the idiom. though. For discussion. The expression evidently went out of use well before it found a firm place in the language. p.depictinga potter'sworkshopwith a torture scene. 126. I myself would keep open the possibility.442. . o5tco.act xadtyud2ov. / tsr?xa [iL&Xov[LXXov). .and effectively.v. 29 Kassel-Austin (TW.Athens. for Photios is obliged to explain it: txXUov [&UXov avW toI. Watercolorshowing potter'sworkshopandtorturescene.late 5th century. CourtesyMuseum Figure8.u&aUov. The last expression is otherwise known only from Euripides (IT 1406. Photios refersto Alexis's Pezonike. Xiyooatrvoivw -ob xatcaovVaic Vou. s.A PERSONAL LETTER FOUND IN THE ATHENIAN AGORA IOI A4 Figures5-7.Anaxilas's Horai. that Aristotle recommended asyndeton precisely because persons in such situations as those of Hippokrates or Lysias or our Lesis would naturally.uM[X]Xov. had some education in rhetoric and therefore would not be Lesis himself but presumablythe professional scribe. SkyphosfromAbai in Lokris.35 Without quoting his evidence. fr.Athens Courtesy 35.see Arnott 1996.XUXov 8e L&aXXov 7m'tpaq"'etax'cpo. . use it to urge attention..however.

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