Theme Of Freedom In Debra Hamel's Trying Neaira

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In Debra Hamel’s Trying Neaira the ideas of Orlando Patterson’s triad of freedom can be examined through the Naira's trail. When quantifying the question was Athens “free” the answer is yes, but freedom is dependent on who you talk about in ancient Athens and the context. In Athens, freedom was limited, in what is commonly hailed as the birthplace of the concept, though men were almost always freer than their female counterparts. With women, slave courtesan women, like Neaira, seemed to have more rights in some degrees than their “free” counterparts. Also, those “free” to society seem to pay a price for their freedom, and if the society deems necessary may take the freedom away- essential freedom in Athens is a prison in this sense to its freedom. The first freedom of Patterson’s triad of freedom is personal freedom. Personal freedom is essential is the ability for an individual to conquer a decision and pursue it, if it is within the limits of others’ desires. Neaira’s occupation was known in ancient Greek society as a hetairia …show more content…
Slaves were property and investment in the society, “Neaira was purchased outright by two of her regular customers,” (Hamel, 29). Neaira was traded by Nikarete, her first know owner, to a new pair of young men. Nikarete and the two men, Timanoridas and Eukrates, are slavers and as such they can apply their own will upon the human being the human being they own; in this case it being Neaira to the two young men. This dominance on the actions of others again elaborates the soverignal freedom slave owners had, as slave where task to do what their masters desired. It is also important to note both men and women owner could oppress their will upon slaves in Athens. And of course, slaves had no soverignal freedom when it came to their master’s will, and by extension, slaves lacked many personal and civic

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