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Despoteia
(167 words)

[German version]

(Δεσποτεία; Despoteía). In Greek ‘rule’ (from δεσπότης, despótēs, lord) did not initially have a specific legal meaning. The expression referred to the relationship in which the lord ruled over his slaves based on tradition (Aristot. Pol. 1253b) or in the political sense to despotism (Pl. Leg. 698a). Despoteia first appeared in Ptolemaic papyrus documents as the power of disposal possessed by the owner (BGU 1187,32, 1st cent. BC), together with the term kyrieía already used in the Greek city states. It was only in Roman Egypt that despoteia became a permanent compon…

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Thür, Gerhard (Graz), “Despoteia”, 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 17 August 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e315960>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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