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by Archaeology Newsroom

Strategies of Survival in Antiquity: Adoption, Slavery, “Paramoni”

The hard reality in every pre-industrial society obliged its members to act and behave in a way, which we would regard today as inhuman, although selective sterilization or abortion are common practices in the modern Western world as well. The survival of the elderly in antiquity was depending on the possession of slaves who looked after them instead of their children. Therefore, it is not surprising that in numerous liberation inscriptions the slaves are bound to stay with their former master or an aged relative of him until the latter would die. For the members of the elite the adoption, of boys in particular, as well as the institutions of marriage between close relatives and of concubine were representing various strategies of survival.