Brill’s New Pauly

Get access

(393 words)

[German version]

were among the wage-earners (μισθωτοί/misthōtoí; Lat. mercenarii, operarii) and supplemented the regular workforce when there was a need for additional, usually heavy, labour. In Athens they gathered at the Κολωνὸς μίσθιος/Kolōnòs místhios. They received  wages (μισθός/misthós: Hom. Il. 21,445; Lat. merces) or sometimes grain (σῖτος/sîtos, Lat. frumentum;  Ration).

Although there are not very many references to day-labourers in the agricultural sector, their work was of considerable importance, particularly at harvest time (Hom…

Cite this page
Burford Cooper, Alison, “Day-labourers”, 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 21 February 2024 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

▲   Back to top   ▲