The permanent exhibition of the Epigraphical Museum
Inscription on the liberation of slaves
This is a typical example of a Classical inscription concerning the liberation of slaves. This stele is preserved in its entirety and its text is carved somewhat clumsily in twelve lines. According to the inscription, Nikon, frees his slave Nikaphorida and her two children, and presents them to the sanctuary of Poseidon at Tainaro together with all of their belongings. In ancient Greece, it was common to liberate slaves out of sympathy or gratitude towards them. To do so, an official liberation act had to be drafted. The liberated slave was symbolically dedicated to a sanctuary, according to the ancient custom of hierodouleia, in order to ensure his freedom and safety.