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HESPERIA

69,

2000

A

PERSONAL

LETTER

Pages 91-103

FOUNLD
ATH

E N

IN

I,AN

THE
ACORA

ABSTRACT
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
Jordan,forthcoming.

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.
2-4).3
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
I
of A): 'AXt?o86 po t6o toXtf3l8tov7rocp9ctol, 7Croc&8oc
xcvaayOMp-v.
2 Berezan or Olbia, 4th century.Ed. pr. Latyschev 1904 (drawing),
Wilhelm 1909 (phot., fig. 64), cf. Syll.3 1260. See Dubois 1996,

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Henry 1991 (phot. Fragmentary. 3 Torone. Fragmentary. Only the lower edge is preserved. cf. JORDAN N '7X:>0S:. pl.. Drawing by W. Only partly published.and well. [C-o4 ]o5 Teyeoctxycdo'ev. pl. Crossroads.upper and lower edges preserved.. III. 7 Emporion. 357. p. I know of three unpublished examples. Lopez Garcia 1995. no. G. Raubitschek 1943. . Apparently a private letter. p. with RoyalStoa at upperleft andPaintedStoa at upperright. 50-51). p. cf. p. IXatcpv xat [l5yLtvev ] (suppl. pr. IG 111.right-hand edge preserved.no edge preserved. p. 6 Agathe (Agde in southern France). 67).. 63-66.. pp. no.. Robert. 4th century. and L. 9 Emporion. 'AP-txc&v: -to-tv o'xcV xcxtLsv :. drawing. pr.shrine. 147). Opisthographic.Ed.3.DAVID 92 \X R. I. once the letters were received. Mvcyt'pyos I S'SGzS?z. ?poxcouxxit 5 Attica (Pnyx). drawing. figs. Sanmarti and Santiago 1989 (phot. Bu/lEp 1956.which shows that the letter ended xcape. third quarterof 4th century. 90). 11). 4th century.5 The extant lead letters are so few.Ed.upper and left-hand edges preserved.earlier 4th century. Vinogradov argues. drawing. pp. 122). ii).S XcXtUyLtcXvSVI XcltaotY-osOtYov) s(pocX[x]s -tot oYxotIXYtXPev B Side (its writing at right angles to that ofA): 1De'pev Vxsv]. 37. later bibliography: SEG XLII 972. Figure1. Bulltp 1944. 10-11 (phot. 79. was reused for other purposes or dis- 5. Robert.pp. Wilhelm 1904 (phot. because the lead. 114). 4 Attica (Xcad6cpt). Mende in the Chalkidike(4th century). Ju.from Olbia (5th or 4th century. Fragmentary. p. I E5-tv xepooilov toy xueLx6xvI &-coaovoat8&NXocUGt't NL NOCvtL. p.. no. and L. Dinsmoor Jr. p. Side A: Inc.Inc.. 4th century. p. B. late 5th century. pp.Opisthographic. Bravo 1974. color phot. Nieto 1997. 5th century.J.Vinogradov1971. Side A: Inc.Inc. Syll. Sanmarti and Santiago 1987 (phot. 35). Slings 1994.and Athens (4th century). drawing. 8 Emporion. Omo' vac. with the words xycPdevxocitA[yLcdvLv]. 33-35.3 1259.Ed. pr. for later bibliography. 21 (phot. drawing. Fragmentary.J. ii-iii (drawing.Almagro Basch 1952.

e.e. The writing in the letter presented here is in a good 4th-century hand." 9. 8. 10. in- . Torone (3). but the area is corroded. 5). and that he used the instrument that he had at hand. [1]. has offeredquite plausiblerestorationsthat do not requiresuch division. The purpose of such splits in stili evidently being to control the flow of ink.and right-handedges of the text of 3 arelost. The main text (Side A) is in four lines. but there is no reasonwhy he could not have employed a scribe considerablyolder. impeccable. the text diphthongs appearas et (tr. 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. Vinogradov1971. at right angles to its writing). particularlynoticeable at the beginning of line 1.8Our relatively few examples on lead do not allow any generalization for Greek-speaking areas elsewhere or in earlierperiods. pp. this no doubt explains the slight damage at the right. To put it somewhatmore scrupulously. like those from Berezan (1). The one clearexception is 8. LETTER FOUND IN THE ATHENIAN AGORA 93 carded:the examples that we have today would be chiefly those that were never delivered.238-258.10 The tablet is apparentlyopisthographicand is unusuallywell preserved. interestingly. the spelling. Bravo (1974. a stilus that had alreadybegun to show wear. pp.. Henry (1991). opening as they do in the third person. without noticing the apparentscribalhabit of not dividing words at line-ends. He seems to have sharpened it from time to time. XocXxe has no example of a word that might be spelled with ov).utiXXet: EHvo xXe. I regretthat in my tracing (Fig.itself obviously easierto handle than lead. and badly worn. Our letter too shows no word-division.see Threatte 1980. such as a potsherd.A PERSONAL 6. 83: "The markof the public letter-writer. The senderof the letter was fairly young. 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. but its editor. p. they are no doubt the remains of what was once an address.. 2). The sounds /e.9 A date in the earlier 4th century is indicated. Turner1968. contra. experiment shows that fresh thin lead sheets are in fact soft enough to be inscribed with reeds. letter-formsand spelling need not force us to assumethe earlierratherthan the later 4th centuryas the actualtime of writing./ and /W/are written e and o if they result from contraction (7epLLuMv[1]. which would have been the outer flap of the resulting scroll.A. 172-176. some 0. beginning a few generations later.that the reasonwhy we find no lead letters afterthe 4th century is that by then papyrus. is to be seen everywherein the platitudesand clich6s of which so many private[papyrus] letters are composed. 3-4). from the direction of the left-hand ends of the lines of the text.making articulate the fearsand only half-expressed thoughts of his clients.indeed 1 and 4 each has an address on its back.11 The tablet was rolled up. For the chronologyof these conventions.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. with all edges intact except for a slight tear near the right-hand end of Side A.but the text of our letter (see below). we may speculate that the scribe normally wrote not on lead but on papyrus or some other material that accepted ink. there may have been more. 113). 95-96.t [2]. Bravo this style of writing without word-division suggests the work of the professional scribe. Both left. a row of faint scratchings. for letterwriting on papyrus among the Greeks in Egypt shows that it was usual to employ scribes to write one's letters. Side B) shows. in every word but one. A. 7. had become more generallyaffordable. That they are neatly aligned suggests that they are deliberate. and from Attica (4. may well show a formulaic distinction between scribe and sender.71 and 4 do have word-division in the addresses on their backs. remarks.The unpublished Athenian example(see note 5 above) has word-divisions. suggest the use of a splaying reed stilus (Figs. p.In otherwords. Splits within the individual strokes of the letters.05 m from and parallel to the right-hand edge of Side A (i. wo5-c [2]) or compensatory lengthening (6os [2]). encrusted. ?X0zV [1]. while only inherited co. with shapes slightly larger than the letters of Side A. 2) I have not been able to show any of this splitting. 11. If the marks are deliberate. The evidence that we have. with the writing on the inside (Side. this being the exposed part of the scroll.these featuresmay show no more than that our scribelearnedto write in the earlierpart of the century. of which the last preservedline ends yp-.To B. and I cannot confidently identify any one cluster of scratchings as a letter. Fig. That area of the outer side (i.

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. I p r> E4 0 A OTAA . } /-7A A .

A final word.Jordan1985b. pp.O&v 3 xcct&vsvp6OScart P3s?utov DxuUt. For I have been handed over to a man thoroughly wicked. the tablet with the Bacchic syllables. ta S t . This I stress only because. and. about the findspot. and Corinth (CorinthXVIII. 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.&XXc& Tpb?. p. IL 1702 Figs. 138. before we turn to the text. 125-131. for the well itself had thousands of such votives.svoxXWZxat' TYp. which has been assumed by C. on the exposed flap and at right angles to the writing on the other side. z6. 1993. 13. 0. 14.134 m Early fourth centuryB. be obvious that if that tablet was in any sense in situ when it was found among the votives in the well.C.3. W. as here.A PERSONAL LETTER FOUND IN THE ATHENIAN 95 AGORA scribed. in other words.The letter was not. if the deity is chthonian. pp. I am treated like dirt-more and more!" .'4 at once assumed Lesis's letter to be a curse tablet. Xenokles the ghost addressed.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. late 6th[?]-5th century). the fifteen curse tablets. I am tied up. when I was preparing this article. the well beside the orthostate shrine. 4th century). Hellenistic). I am perishing from being whipped. For a helpful discussionof such "letters"see Bravo 1987. 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.from Selinous (Jameson et al. a votive at the shrine.Knidos (DTA4ud 1-13. thinking of the texts of certain lead curse tablets with quasi-epistolary formulae addressing the dead. 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. I think. p. See Kroll 1977a. pp. most of them suggesting a female cult.X[L rsTCeGS 2 co5-u6v6oXcok6isvov&v t xCaxs6cot. p.'3From the text of Lesis's letter it should.Morgantina (SEG XXIX 927-932. sanctuariesof Demeter and of Demeter and Korehave yielded some forty cursetablets. 0. 196-200. Agora inv. 281291. Roman Imperial?). 168. 622. Hellenistic). 8zsaco6a. cf. I showed the text of the letter to a friend specializing in magic who. whatever its precise significance.12 Other inscriptions were clearly not votives: the cavalrytablets and the military stamps evidently come from the Hipparcheion. SideA { } 1 AYICa6 12. 2-4 H. 'AvOpcrnotyaxp wpc3o~czuTc cavu wovY}pUt 4 [iaatyhJvS'Vo. Habicht to have been located nearby. and the "mother"the Earth herself. Habicht 1962. 84. In all. it is a personal letter that was never delivered. p.050. arc6kXuVcwataSs[LGuiat 7PO=J?xaxt.[vYfqo .Mytilene (Curbera andJordan1998. a5-r6 C.Rhodes (Zervoudaki 1973. 4th century).

. See Masson 1987. (DeZ8L5. even though the apparently single instance of this last. Further.2 439.from P6Xo[tu (= Att. 7LatO. the masculine ending -L. SideA. Agora IL 1702.mXS. IG V. and so on. The name Ai1aL.is new and certainly not Attic. JORDAN Figure 3.15a Doric origin of the name Aamq can probably be assumed.96 DAVID R. it is eo6yvpuu.As for the superfluous I L. detail of lines 2-4. r3o6X-). attested in Doric and probably that underlying the name A-a(xx. left splaying of end. Like the masculines A6cL/AuJAua xo/Auomv from X6w. it conceivably results from the unfamiliarity of the name AmaL in Athens. p. Zebg4. . being preponderantlyDoric. Agora IL 1702.We may compare the Doric name BMM.. in this case no doubt XC (= Att. The stilus has been sharpened for line 4./( x)8Lcx/oDd'8wv evidently formed from a verb. We may compare the use of the verb in the opening for- 15. 2nd century). AYIOL. is from Arcadia./ZeoiCoc/ZegtoCv from from 9se3o[LaL. I LqI.31 (Megalopolis. 246. Side A.).shoingeffctsof reed stilus Figure 4.a near-synonym of Mo. 0?X@).

189-193. no. from what we know of Athenian law. pp. last quarterof 5th century).u 7cspu3sV &ZOXO?vooq at Demosthenes 50. 13). 22. of mistreatment by his masters. for if so Lesis's mother has no legal standing in the negotiations with his 8seit6Tovnin the xoxXx-sLov.20for example.v stlTs 16. give several examples of the verb TcspLop6cowith present or aorist but never future participles no doubt reflects usage. "Andif I shall not teach her.5. E. includes "thepolemarchand his court. as a parallel to which W. 93.asks them both to come to the 8as0ro'Tco and to make a new arrangement.you will perforcehave her taught at my own expense"(lines 9-12). 5.Lesis writes to his master(and to his mother who may here have some influencesexual?-over Xenokles) to get him out of there. and the use of the present 6?o'iwovuobelow probably argues against a future participle here. See Jordan1978.Xenokles may want to protect his investmentby finding the boy something better. Cf."As I see it. The similarity suggests that the formula with which Lesis's letter opens would have been familiar in Athens. We need not assume that the . againstthis interestingidea is Lesis's requestthat bothXenokles and the mother should make the new arrangements with the foundry-keepers.g. or she shall be considerednot to know what she has been taught. Lesis complains to Xenokles and his mother. if the letter expresses his instructions accurately." 21.uv rS7SGAsv9p6ccoc xco4sLv'AO-vouo'V Xcolq OCL to [1[167.D. in either case. 51.Yet Lesis writes to her as well as to Xenokles and. the boy may.. and 6 use Mnesiergos'sand Selene'sverb but aremore like the formula y. his mother can have no legal part in the arrangementwith the 8srno6oTx.g. Nqa%t6q 7cspLLu?vI cOi6t6v&. we have to conclude. His non-Attic name points to the latter. need not be a foundry specifically for bronzeworking. pp.e.its etymology notwithstanding."7An opening of a message with the verb SLTLrSXXeLvis indeed found on an earlier graffito from the Agora.we may compare the latitude of the use of the word xyoXxc6q. a woman.A xyoXxeiov. That standardgrammars.pt.to whose compassion. let us concede. her citizen patron. B9. Poet. Lesis's father. The preservedbeginnings of 2. Xenokles must have contracted the apprenticeshipas his owner or conceivably as his owner s representative. then.If he is a slave. p. an ironworker(cf. 4. In deducing the relation between Lesis and Xenokles we should begin by asking if Lesis is a slave or free.'8 6-svoxXse. His request that together with the masters they should "find something better for him" (line 3) implies a previous agreement. ?Vc yo cXmsoru..Spelling at the time would have been the same for a future participle (&OcoXo4tevoV. for the articulationof the last line.It seems to me therefore unlikely that Lesis is a slave.though. Gen. 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. with the message ZocPvso<q> ISweo7eX IFXoco'xoL I 'g o"CroISv 6s%L6[L] (AgoraXXI.odpsLv (for examplessee Exler 1923. Goodwin 1889.with its nominative-plus-dative-plus-y. on the relationshipof metic and prostates. 50-56). also the opening of 1. however.the curseon the third. if Lesis's masters should default on their part of the arrangements.'9 I cannot determine.which could refer to a coppersmith but also to a goldsmith (Od.on the other hand.22In any case. Ootitvsewv vtoyjo03' S. we may compare the locution . Crdnert'6 adduced Selene's lines in Aristophanes' Clouds(608-610): 'H ZseXvq iov TCp9C)oc.MOXO6svov.IV 346 (Tebtunis. ?148. is no longer on the scene or in a position to conduct transactions. See Harrison1968. We may at the outset rule out the possibility that Xenokles is Lesis's father. be in a position to appeal.2'Xenokles will have been present at the negotiation.directedagainstthree personswith forthcominglawsuits.in which case Xenokles is presumablythe mother's prostates. If he is a slave. 3. 3. 2444.cnaL6poo-examples from LSJ). pp. contracted from -X?0X-) and an aorist (-X6-). 20. 17. 18. some in fact with penalty clausesshould the masters/teachers default. 1461a29 xXxaxq tobq tOv atL6pov ?pycx4o0 vooq. 19.343). A. asprostates. From Roman Egypt we have a numberof apprenticeshipcontracts(see below).xoctL .A PERSONAL LETTER FOUND IN THE ATHENIAN AGORA 97 mula of 4.oupsLv familiarfrom papyrusletters. Cronert 1910. 9. whether Lesis and his mother are of the citizen or the metic class. in which a masterweaver writes. Kiihner1904. p. P Mich. p.who has the boy'sslave mother in his oikos? Xenokles rents out Lesis to work in a foundrywhere he is abused. [t as we see. A readerof an earlyversion of this articlemade a suggestion:"Could Xenokles not be Lesis'smaster.m S(poocxes. Arist. 55-56. Costabile'srecentpreliminarypublication (1998) of an early-4th-century lead cursetablet from the Athenian Kerameikos. The evidence on the metic at law is enhancedand complicatedby F.

Here the word evidently has a looser sense. I quote from Alison Burford'suseful summary: Few details are known of the apprenticing system in Greece. no doubt using such terms as TuV) 0ovqpo6. all from the 320s). who heaped abuse on her brother. . PoCpoC6S60otOCt below. Lucian went home in tears and complained to his mother. and Plato [Meno 91D] makes a comparison between the master of rhetoric and his fee-paying pupil. from Hellenistic and Roman Egypt.with Lesisliterallybelongingto these 8asoi06tcx.and broke the slab.. receives a civic nomenclature ) o'xoi3cvo(SEG XVIII To6kocn(oopy"o) 4t M1szXt(rr in the form @DGcATru 23. not a rich man. to learn the art.v. Lucian did.. too enthusiastically. pp. Burford1972. conceivably the verb was a terminustechnicusfor such occasions. a sculptor of some reputation. it would have been pointless for him to write to his mother. note 25). not much different from Lesis's &v0pCO' L.ov roads well." ow5Tc. The uncle gave Lucian the chisel and a slab of marble and told him to strike. In any case. whose father. Xenokles.C 7rpo6sT6cog usualy in the sense of"owner." according to the evidence assembled s. the present letter is the only real testimonium.. as it had in earlier urban (and to that extent industrialized) societies. 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. Lucian was able to go home to complain. 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. 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. in LSJ and DiccGE. If this were the sensehere. 88-89. Lucian'swords (Somn.. the conditions of apprenticeship cannot in the nature of things have varied much.23 For 4th-century Attica. although the political and economic organization of Egypt differed in many ways from that of the rest of the ancient world.98 DAVID R. SEG XVIII 36. the only surviving records of such agreements. and the sculptors Pheidias and Polykleitos and their fee-paying pupils. or anyone else for help. JORDAN or from anywherenearthe crossletter was actuallysent from the xocXxe?.tr..in the 2nd century of our era. suggest that the terms would have been of the simplest. Indeed we know little beyond the fact that it existed. other than the "manumission cup" inscriptions (IG 112 1553-1578. .2]. f3XTLov ascnc6tc OCOt6 0XOEv I xoct ?VeopeoOw. we may go a bit farther than this. sent him to the shop of his wife's brother. In the "manumission cup"inscriptions a slave. Lesis has to write to Xenokles and to his mother.whereupon the uncle beat him with a stick. once freed.The word 8a7rn6'-r means "master. 3) are cp(oxs68e8Ov t6 Ost&c.2.Here the similarities end. a little further on he refers to Zeuxis of Herakleia who gave painting lessons. There is a reference to 'competent didaskaloi'-instructors-for 'the lowest mechanics' in Xenophon's Memorabilia[4.L O&X?O. though. His situation may remind us of Lucian's.

Burford1972.3: 24. a goldsmith. 26. Pol. If a teacher kills or wounds a slave during a lesson. 25. referring no doubt to the man in charge of some particularbranch of work within the xocXxseov. For the evidence from GraecoRoman Egypt for apprenticeshipthere.though.uotx. the mention of the profession being apparentlyoptional. all of which were necessarily learned before the manumissions. Julian also puts this case: A shoemaker. and also persons with skills that could hardly have been gained in the masters'households but would have required apprenticeship elsewhere: a gem-cutter. Zambon 1935.uxotLyousvo 6cXXoiot6im 86s'8o 7pomqX xxo. 9. 27.] Ath. for at [Dem.The evidence is contradictory. 1939. he says. lines 213-214) or'ApLoToivrg ui MsX(&uL)Io'xcJv oxototo(. 92. which shows that his contract was of the latter type.which are too small for such divisionsof labor. T. See Fisher 1992. since a . yo&p potCoPcSL. another specializing in amphoras. parents their sons and daughters to learn professions.C. pp.) in Justinian'sDigest. There is all the more reason therefore for saying the same if he kills him. but in order to correct and to teach him.merchants. to guarantee an answer. If this idea is right. saysJulian.8% 'AvOpC0mL Tc6cv wovqp6i.see Mattusch 1977.5. a citharode.10).stands the singular here. "in order that if I caught him and in a fit of anger put him in bonds or struck him.] 53. a xocXxse6. struck with a last at the neck of a boy (a freeborn youngster) who was learning under him. 358-363.It is he to whom the 8srnCo6Lrou of the xocXxseovwill have handed Lesis over for personal instruction. with the result that the boy's eye was knocked out. The Old Oligarch speaks of the Athenian sanction on striking a slave or a metic ([Xen. a potter.farmers. The professions.the question of the legal rights of the apprenticewas still debated by Roman jurists.Several centuries later. he wonders whether there is an action for breach of contract for his services as a teacher. the action for insult does not lie because he struck him not with intent to insult. p. pp. as far as I know.26Whether the law deterred or was meant to deter corporalpunishment of young persons during apprenticeships is a question for which there is no evidence. The matter of the ypoxpi 6f3ps&gis indeed complex. guardians their wards.A PERSONAL LETTER FOUND IN THE ATHENIAN AGORA 99 36 A. they might bring an indictment for assault(ypox(pcx v 03ps&)" (transl.2. see Westermann1914. because he had badly done what he had been teaching him. 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. In contrastto the plural 8scnyt6tctoof line 2.presumablythe speaker is not awareof the prohibition that the Old Oligarch refers to.`oq) (lines 216-217). 1.24Lesis had to send a letter home. are from a wide spectrum of Attic economic life. The o&UsXs6Osporinclude wool-workers.16 the speakertells of his neighbors' ruse of sending a young Athenian boy (coxaOpTLovot6Uov)to destroy a rose-bed. 36-85. Burford27refers to an opinion of Ulpian (3rd century A.25 . with whom Xenokles and Lesis's mother have made the arrangement. In the papyrus contracts we see that owners could apprentice their slaves.cobblers. On such facts. 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.A.shopkeepers. Murray). a flute-player. assuming him to be a slave (ot6ocixocqui6' 6ovAov stUovL). the letter concernsnone of the 4th-century bronze foundriesin the Athenian Agora.

E:YE-r 9PP9L-u'a XXa- OpZo0i0?5 This latter is itself an echo of the end of Lysias'sAgainst EraxpWcVc-us. but I have no doubt that action can be brought against him under the lexAquilia.DAVID IOO R. A man. Tv-u-Vape'jpi 86p&v. 34. No doubt as punishment for some wrongdoing. is a horizontal-handled skyphos with what is evidently a paintbrushin it. accordingto Scheibler. Athens. his right foot hangs lower. behind which crouches another worker. no. pp. holding in his raised left hand a skyphos with upturned handles that he inspects (Figs. 44-45. 278.Above the painter who sits peacefully at the wheel we behold something gruesome. with which the seated figurewas in the act of striking the departingassistant. Blimner and Waltersdescribeit as a leathersheet. 29.for Collignon and Couve it is a rhyton.C. vol. Collignon and Couve. . Trans. 120. On the floor is a potter'swheel.29He depicts an assistant. one of the workers has been suspended face down from the ceiling.Gordon Howie. who has been kind enough to point me to these passages. holds a triangular object (a fan?)31in one hand. 4445) alone assumesthat the victim is vomiting into the skyphosthat the man at the wheel is obliginglyholding up. 1. Frogs 618-822. p.and I think that we are meant to understandboth hands to be bound. 150-156. pl. or free-here in statupupi//ari? The second sentence of the letter. Halm-Tisserant 1998. p. attached to his penis. accordingto Bliimner. Bluimner1889. presumably on the back wall. and Waltersassumethat the right hand is free and is begging for mercy. 32. tosthenes: Cx6c0'tu ?Xp%XaT- 7TE770VOCTEs ?X?- &x&4us. from Roman comedy.Collignon and Couve.2.XX0C6tu. The scene is obviously a pottery workshop. J. 135-136. 442). Bliimner.and what Aristotle offers as an example of a vivid peroration at the very end of his Rhetoric:s?'Pqx0C. 31. a stack of three skyphoi with horizontal handles in his right hand. is in contrast to the first. Krueger.) But is this assumption necessary?May he not be an apprentice-slave. His hands also hang from cords. p. 30. these with upturned handles. Bluimnerand all others who have discussed the figure suspended from the ceiling have assumed that he is a slave. The man at the wheel seems not to have envisagedthis possibility. Subsequent discussions:Collignon and Couve 1904. inv. several examples of slaves being whipped while tied up and suspended. Burford1972. another cord. Farther to the right there is a shelf.That it may be a fan is the suggestion of Susan Rotroff. In the middle of the scene a seated person of undetermined gender. strangling him so badly that his tongue hangs out. of one side. The verbs in the last line are in an almost staccato asyndeton. pp.the wife of the naked man at the wheel (see below). Scheibler1995. 33. It is evidently intended to be read as Lesis's own words. and admittedlyneither is attachedto the right hand. 7-8).23). Burford cites a scene on a late-5th-century imitation black-figure skyphos found at Abai in Lokris (National Museum. JORDAN teacher only has the right to administer reasonable chastisement. another horizontal-handled skyphos. Hell.34(As an Attic example we have a lively description by Aristophanes. pp.the female owner of the shop. from a cord. and two small sticks that may be paintbrushes(Fig. accordingto Halm-Tisserant. Kolbertapud Mommsen. walking away to the left (Fig. s7 6xaV 7csLV@Vc MLv6apo.and Watson 1985. p. with verbs in the "epistolary"third person. with its first-person verbs. 6). We may compare the asyndeton of the SpartanHippokrates'letter that the Athenians interceptedin 410 (Xen. is stretched tight and tied to a ring or a hook in the floor.To the left of the stool at which the figure sits is another stack of three skyphoi. His left foot is tied against the ceiling itself. Bliimner 1889. 1114 (phot.33As if this were not enough. 5). Walters 1905. in his upraised right hand. In front of the victim and facing him stands another worker swinging a long. Halm-Tisserant(1998.32Another cord from the ceiling is around his neck. Bliimner adducing. 156. concludes that the composer of the second sentence of Lesis's letter must have 28. pp. thin object. Standing on the wheel. and Walters. but the artistryis crude. 38). with a kantharos. a kylix in the other. 91.There are two cords. the painter is conceivably relying on first-hand knowledge of life in the pottery works.1.28 As an instance of the brutality that could take place in a workshop in Greece. within easy reach of his right hand.30the only clothed figure in the picture. metic. a leather thong or a stick.

Photios refersto Alexis's Pezonike. use it to urge attention. I myself would keep open the possibility.v. 126. / tsr?xa [iL&Xov[LXXov). CourtesyMuseum Figure8.however.late 5th century. The last expression is otherwise known only from Euripides (IT 1406. For discussion.u&aUov. p. 29 Kassel-Austin (TW.depictinga potter'sworkshopwith a torture scene.) and a Tpo6q passage that Photios cites (Lex. .Anaxilas's Horai. and Menander for the idiom.Athens Courtesy 35.act xadtyud2ov. . ?Tve9pr -c ZTpcovOv ZebG -cuXn.see Arnott 1996.35 Without quoting his evidence. that Aristotle recommended asyndeton precisely because persons in such situations as those of Hippokrates or Lysias or our Lesis would naturally.XUXov 8e L&aXXov 7m'tpaq"'etax'cpo. [aUov jXXov) from Alexis'sAtthis. o5tco. s. or again. Watercolorshowing potter'sworkshopandtorturescene..A PERSONAL LETTER FOUND IN THE ATHENIAN AGORA IOI A4 Figures5-7.and effectively. though. had some education in rhetoric and therefore would not be Lesis himself but presumablythe professional scribe. NationalMuseum. Xiyooatrvoivw -ob xatcaovVaic Vou.Athens.NationalMuseum inv.442.uM[X]Xov. The expression evidently went out of use well before it found a firm place in the language. fr. . for Photios is obliged to explain it: txXUov [&UXov avW toI. SkyphosfromAbai in Lokris.

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