Brill’s New Pauly

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(πελάται/pelátai, sg.: πελάτης, -τας/ pelátēs, -tas) is a general term in Greek for dependents. In the time of Solon (late 7th-early 6th cents. BC) it may have had a technical meaning analogous to hektḗmoroi in Athens (Aristot. Ath. Pol. 2,2) which, in any case, was lost. By the time of Plato (Plat. Euthyphr. 4c) pelátēs describes seasonal workers free by civil law (Poll. 3,82). The word thus had a meaning similar to thetes, and the two terms were often used synonymously. Pelátai further described certain people in relationships of dependency outside the Gree…

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Gehrke, Hans-Joachim (Freiburg), “Pelatai”, 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 09 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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