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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



in ancient Greece, aliens, including freed slaves, who had settled in a city-state. Most of the information available to modern scholars concerns the Athenian metics.

Although the metics were personally free, they had no political rights, were not allowed to marry Athenian citizens, and, as a rule, could not own real property. Each metic was obliged to have an Athenian citizen as a guardian or patron, pay a special metic tax to the state (12 drachmas a year for a man and six for a woman), and register with the deme (local government body) of his place of residence. The metics were subject to military service and, like Athenian citizens, had to pay the eisphora, a special war tax. Some metics were wealthy slaveholders, merchants, shipowners, or owners of handicraft shops. The liturgy (leitourgia, a public service or office) was imposed on wealthy metics, as well as on wealthy Athenians. In the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. a considerable proportion of the urban population of Athens was made up of metics, who played an important role in the economy of the city-state. The status of the metics varied, depending on the city-state.


Latyshev, V. V. Ocherk grecheskikh drevnostei, part 1. St. Petersburg, 1897.
Gluskina, L. M. “Afinskie meteki v bor’be za vosstanovlenie demokratii v kon. V v. do n. e.” Vestnik drevnei istorii, 1958, no. 2.
Clerc, M. Les Métèques athéniens. Paris, 1893.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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