Brill’s New Pauly

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(952 words)

[German version]

Taking a member of another family into one's own family; usually in antiquity only adults were adopted. In adoption the concern was not the well-being of the adopted person but the continuation of the agnatic family association into which the adopted person was introduced. Adoption was used above all if there was no male heir. Adoption was already documented in Cretan inscriptions (IC IV 20; IV 21) of the 7th/6th cents. BC; it was comprehensively regulated in Gortynian law (X 33-XI 23) with almost no restrictions on adoption.

In Athens there were three types of adopt…

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Deißmann-Merten, Marie-Luise (Freiburg), “Adoption”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 03 October 2023 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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