David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Classical Quarterly 38 (02):351- (1988)
In Athens during the late Classical and Hellenistic periods, it was customary for a man who was borrowing a large sum of money to pledge some property as security for the repayment of his loan. To show that this property was legally encumbered, a flat slab of stone, called a horos, was set up, and an inscription, indicating the nature of the lien on the property, was inscribed on the horos. These horoi served to warn third parties that the man who pledged the property as security was not free to sell it or otherwise alienate it until the loan was repaid. The terminology which is used on these horoi to indicate that the property has been pledged as security varies. On a relatively small number of horoi, only seven, the property is described as ‘lying under ’ for a debt, the amount of which may or may not be specified. The texts found on a far greater number of horoi, some 128 in all, use a different type of expression. On these horoi, the property is said to have been ‘sold on condition of release’ . The terminology used on the horoi to describe this kind of lien presents a striking contrast with that employed by the Attic orators: in their speeches we find the verbs ποκεσθαι and ποτιθναι when it is a question of pledging security for a loan, but never ππρασθαι with the addition of the prepositional phrase π λσει
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