In Greece the prejudices of the (largely landowning) citizen-élites against the activities of ‘mechanics’ (banausoi), often slaves, *freedmen, or *metics, subjected artisans to formal handicaps in ...
In Greece the prejudices of the (largely landowning) citizen-élites against the activities of ‘mechanics’ (banausoi), often slaves, *freedmen, or *metics, subjected artisans to formal handicaps in the oligarchic *polis, including limitation of political rights (Ptolemaic *Cyrene: SEG 9. 1, para. 8, unfortunately corrupt), restriction of their freedom of movement (Thessalian cities: Arist. Pol. 7. 12, 1331a31–5), and exclusion from the *gymnasium (Beroea in the 2nd cent. bce: P. Gauthier and M. Hatzopoulos, Meletemata 1994, 21, line 29), although in the Athenian *democracy their social standing was higher, notwithstanding the condescension of Athenian ‘intellectuals’. Craftsmen themselves could be proud of their products, if the ‘signatures’ on painted *pottery are really those of their makers, as too of their occupations, to judge from the Athenian artisans who stated them in their dedications, including a ‘washerwoman’ (πλύντρια) (A. Raubitschek, Dedications from the Athenian Acropolis (1949), 464–5), the last a reminder of the considerable involvement of women in the humbler crafts, especially *textile production.Less