Brill’s New Pauly

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Desmoterion
(438 words)

[German version]

(δεσμωτήριον; desmōtḗrion). In Athens at the market (on location [1]) there was a prison (Dem. Or. 24,208f.) that owed its name to the fetters, δεσμά (desmá) that were put on the prisoners usually in the form of chains and shackles. The places of detention were not safe from breakouts in other cities either. The supervisory authority, in Athens the Eleven, decided the nature of custody (in chains, permission for visits). Prisoners were always held with others and imprisonment was not imposed as punishment but to secure the accused, condemned and state debtors. The desmote…

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Thür, Gerhard (Graz), “Desmoterion”, 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 04 December 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e315930>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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